Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Barn Dances

I don't live in a "farm town" by any means, but right in my own community there is a great little place called Bowers Farm. Year round it is full of activities- corn mazes, petting zoo, sledding hill. It's a great place to take kids and let off some steam.

When I was in middle school, Bowers started hosting "Barn Dances". All of the local middle school kids were invited to attend. If my memory serves me right, they were monthly. It would be about 50 preteens packed into a barn, with a dj and a concession stand. What more could you want at that age?

My friends and I took barn dances VERY seriously. On the day of a barn dance, my group of friends would meet at one of our houses (we had a rotation schedule). We'd change out of our Catholic school unifroms, chow down on pizza, and start getting ready. There was always Nsync playing loudly in the background, and a bathroom full of hair ties, snap bracelets, Baby G watches, and glitter eye shadow. We helped each other get ready and giggled through all of it. Then a parent- sometimes two, depending on how many of us were going that night, would drop us off at Bowers Farm. We'd meet up with our cool public school friends and dare each other to ask some guy to dance. Within our group we each had a buddy or two that we'd stick with the whole night- none of us were ever alone, even if we felt like it in our preteen angst.

Sometimes, we even tried to coreograph a dance before we went to the barn, thinking it'd be so cool if that song played and we broke out into dance. I can't remember a single time we were successful at this....although I do recall performing it for all of my sisters friends at her 16th birthday party in our basement. I'm positive they were jealous of us.

The first time I ever slow danced with a boy was at a Barn Dance. His name was Kyle and I thought he was the cutest boy in the entire world. Besides Justin Timberlake, of course! I remember how terrified I was to ask him to dance. What if he said no- in front of EVERYONE! So instead, my friends told him to ask me. And he did! I have a clear visual of this happening. He tapped me on the shoulder and sort of shrugged while he asked me. We awkwardly slow danced, which basically just meant sort of swaying back and forth and not speaking. But in my mind, it was magical. I have no idea what Kyle is up to now, I can't even remember his last name or really what he looked like (besides that he was signficantly shorter than me), but I will always remember that moment.

When the dance was over and we'd have our heart broken by some jerky 8th grader, we piled into a car and headed to the hosts house. Parents always had snacks ready for us, and we would quickly wipe off the glitter eye shadow and change into our pj's. With our sleeping bags laid out on the floor, we would put a movie on and pretend to be watching it and falling fast asleep, when actually we were whispering and playing truth or dare or cheering up whoever had been hurt the most that night.

Those nights were beautiful for us. We laughed, we cried, we bonded, we grew up a little. We taught each other things and made each other braver. You know that quote in the movie "Stand by Me" that says... I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone? That's exactly how I feel. Friends have come and gone, but there have never been anyone as great as my middle school pack. Kelly, Danielle, Rosalyn, Kim, Katie, Aimee, Christine, Clarissa and Larissa. My pals.


Misha Gerrick said... Add Reply

Such a sweet memory. I wish we had something like that in my town.

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Rob-bear said... Add Reply

What an amazing group of friends. I'll bet you had a lot of wonderful times together. And great parents, too!

Thanks for sharing your life with us.

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Crystal L. Kirkham said... Add Reply

Wow, what a memory. I remember some of my high school dances, but I didn't like high school very much even though I went to every dance. Bower Farms just sounds like such a great place

Unknown said... Add Reply

Reading your post bought me back to my own middle school days! I remember those dances and it did feel so magical! What great memories!

Anonymous said... Add Reply

Ohhh that sounds so sweet. i wish we had a cool barn dance instead of having them in dirty gyms!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said... Add Reply

Those people during your teen years do stick with you through thick and thin.
Sounds like a wonderful time.

Unknown said... Add Reply

What a sweet story! :) I loved having sleepover with my girlfriends when I was younger. :) Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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Cath said... Add Reply

Such a lovely story!

Thanks for stopping by mine - I'll make sure to stop by here again soon :)

Deanna said... Add Reply

What a special memory. I'm so glad you stopped by my blog and pointed out how our theme is similar. My dance memory will be coming later in the alphabet (hint... K of C Dances). Great story.


Deanna said... Add Reply

What a special memory. I'm so glad you stopped by my blog and pointed out how our theme is similar. My dance memory will be coming later in the alphabet (hint... K of C Dances). Great story.


Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said... Add Reply

What a great story! Thanks so much for sharing. Hope you've kept up with all those wonderful friends!

Mary Montague Sikes

Unknown said... Add Reply

Your post is lovely! I am still besties with all of my high school buddies - I feel ya. BUt I am jealous of your barn dance. My parallell took place in the basements of a YMCA. Srsly less romantic.

Unknown said... Add Reply

That is awesome. What wonderful memories of such great innocent times! Those barn dances sound like a blast!


Jai said... Add Reply

Awe what wonderful memories. Sounds like it would be very fun.

Donna Hosie said... Add Reply

I was taught barn dancing at school - loved it.

Adored your memories.

Dawn Embers said... Add Reply

Interesting post. Oddly I lived in small town Wyoming growing up and have never been to a barn dance.

Unknown said... Add Reply

Great memory, girl! I totally remember slap braclets, thought they were the coolest. I wonder if that form of coolness will be the fad again. We shall see...

Grace Grits and Gardening said... Add Reply

I DID live in a farm town and we never had barn dances! No fair! Loved this post:))