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Dancing Queen

Looking at the straight jeans tucked into the boots, the long sweaters, the dolman sleeves, the platform shoes, and the disco ball that I recently saw in a store, I knew that the saleswoman, who looked 25 years old, had no idea how. it was life. here in New York City in the late 70’s and 80’s. A young taxi driver treated me like royalty because I told him I had seen “Queen” at a concert and I didn’t dare speak all the rock concerts he had gone to, or to tell him that later, he had spent every Friday night dancing in the clubs: Studio 54, Xenon, Ice Palace. I have happy memories of my girlfriend and I getting ready and grooming for Friday night, THE night, OUR night. It took us days to figure out what we would wear, find the perfect belt, shoes, or figure out what we were doing with our hair; we bought Paul Mitchell “SCHPRITZ” (which was actually glue in a plastic pump prayer bottle) by the gallon, so we could go dancing.

When I approach the climber at the gym, my iPod is my teacher and Donna Summer’s “Enough is Enough” is yetEnough to get my blood pumping … If you see me up there, swinging and twirling with movements that would challenge the balance of the average person (my age) … I promise I won’t fall. I can dance, walk and read at the same time.

In the early 80’s I was an aerobics flunkie, and I’m not a runner, I’m more like a pile driver when running … I even tried pole dancing, but it was like Lucille Ball on marijuana when I approached the elegantly extended pole , I got on it and quickly fell, hurting my arm and leg going down. I’m, to say the least, bored of looping, so the treadmill is not for me. Forget turning to nowhere … it can’t be done. But when I’m “taking a step”, that low center of gravity comes in handy. Some mornings you can find me in the gym, quite early, spinning on the machine, with reading glasses placed on my nose and a day of emails, business documents and other things piled up on the floor next to me. Throwing the papers from my high mountain, I make piles of the essentials and the disposable ones. Along with everything that floods my morning mind, it never occurs to me to worry about what anyone watching this routine might think. Every now and then I blurt out the sounds of song pieces, and have elicited a few “shut up” from my exercise partners. But I dont care. I’m not ashamed.

Every once in a while I look in the mirror and think it’s really pathetic or funny or maybe both as I look forward to one more year of my butt defying gravity and I notice that my arms still look pretty good to me. considering that I am a Jewish woman of a certain age. I can’t afford to do what Demi Moore did: I’m stuck on my elbows and knees all my life.

The only images I have of myself dancing as a child were from my father’s 8mm film. There I was in ballet class, the whole class moving to the right and I was moving to the left, finger to nose. My sister became a dancer and I received piano lessons, guitar lessons, art lessons, anything that kept me from dancing, there was a reason for that. Recently, at my company Christmas party, as soon as the disco tunes started spinning, my young man and I mean very The young dance partner whispered “I don’t know how to dance like that” (Although he did …) and I replied in a whisper: “I am the Queen of the Dance, I will not let you down …” Nine dances later, they called us John (Travolta) and Olivia (Newton John -) there is something to be said about it, considering that I was absolutely born in a year in which I could have been the mother of my partner. All the women I worked with thought I needed a young guy, so I fulfilled her fantasy.

In 1977, I came to New York to attend NYU. It was a time that never left me. The end of the Vietnam War in 1975 gave license to a generation of dreamers and schemers to do our own thing … Anger and fights ended … Clothes, makeup, hair, music, drugs, The Promiscuity Before AIDS, the Jane Fonda videos, gave some appeal and importance to the new freedom of the day. The dance sanctified it … When I came to New York I was truly a hybrid, part aspiring Jewish American princess, part activist, part hippie / bohemian artist, writer. It was here, through my love of clothes and makeup and my love of dance, that my true identity was born. I was at Bond’s, The Underground, The Limelight, Max ‘Kansas City, and of course Studio and Xenon. If I’m totally cool, I am totally great for that. (Well maybe not all that great) this information certainly makes me old by many people’s standards. And yes, Rent and Chorus Line were my favorite works.

Those clubs created a platform for Madonna, Cher, Donna Summer, and a new kind of socializing that, no matter where you went, was about how sexy you could look and how many drugs you could do, and at least get home. the next afternoon. The man in the white suit was “the man …” no tie, a lot of chest, chains and even tattoos. Unlike today’s techno, we had movements and movements were everything. My girlfriend and I practice the best moves with each other, and our weekend draws: gold lame, leopard skin, sequined bandeau tops, chunky belts, stretchy halter jumpsuits, and lots of sparkly white glitter that sparkled under the lights. .

The door guard policies of the time added that last element of excitement: Being turned away at the door would be the total failure of an entire work week. Better to be a pretty and well dressed model. Disco wear was never acceptable for the day, but for the evening it was the only possible way to be part of the action, and the baudy, crazy, busty, and gleaming the better. A man’s white satin jacket and medallion that rested on a tanned chest with an open-necked shirt and turned-up collar, now vile and de rigueur, was considered hot.

In those days, “Starbuck” was still just a figment of Charles Dickens’ imagination, an ATM was probably a sex toy, the concept of “Internet” probably lived in the bowels of some underground government cavern. An “i-pod” would have been the definition of something botanical, “Twitter” would certainly be something that describes post-orgasm movements, “Facebook” would have been a magazine, and research was still done in a library. (I had to learn the Dewey Decimal System – WHAT?) If we wanted to “connect” we had to call our friends on a landline, and even wait until the phone was not “busy”. Public telephones were actually a great convenience and not the outdated relics that they are today.

Barnes and Noble had a store in Greeenwich Village. Crazy Eddie on Greenwhich Ave. was the best place to buy a TV in New York City. And the idea of ​​a superstore like Circuit City, Best Buy, or Comp USA (two of which have now failed) were all the conveniences of shopping malls; If you had asked any of us, we would have bet money that you would never have seen one of those in New York City. The subways were dirty and slow, the windows cracked, the walls covered in graffiti and full of the stench of the homeless (now that I think about it, where did all those homeless people go?)

For us who grew up loving the Monkees and Mike Connor in Mannix and thought Isaac Hayes had the sexiest voice on the planet, we cut our long hair in layers and blew it into neatly pulled bonnets with that perfect twist back to give it a I touched. Farah Fawcett’s look. Charlie’s Angels were hot, Brooke Sheilds made her beautiful entrance as nothing stood between her and her “Calvins”. Cher was still the most “slutty” thing there was (when was the last time you heard that word?) In her Bob Macky dresses, Washington Square Park (where I lived) was the center of the drug world and of the whole world as far as I was concerned. Soho was great and where the artists hung out and where we went to shop in the shops and eat in the fancy restaurants.

Sam Shepard was the exciting new young playwright. Stephen Sondheim was doing his thing … Star Wars, The Deer Hunter, Annie Hall and Sophie’s Choice were the Oscar contenders and a young actress named Meryl Streep was being discovered. We didn’t have seven screens in a house, we had one, and even if our televisions were big and bulky and black and white, we all knew where we were when President Kennedy was shot … and we all made sure we had a television on the day that MTV He launched. The first cable systems were transmitted by large antennas: there were no satellites or satellite radio. A walkie talkie was the closest thing to a cell phone any of us could get and those were reserved for skiers or kids. If someone had been sitting next to me in a bar in the mid-seventies and described my life tied to a Blackberry, I would have asked that person what drugs they had in their drink, how could a fruit have given me instant connectivity over all aspects of my drink. life? By the time I graduated from college, Jennifer Beals was the sexiest woman on the planet in Flashdance, in those off the shoulder sweatshirts and leg warmers … and then she was an adult lesbian in the L word … go figure. … kind …

I remember my first sushi date and my friend told me about the Wasabi tasting, a trip that would change my life …

Blondie was the hot entry into the punk scene with Max’s former Kansas City waitress Debra Harry, considered one of the sexiest women on the music scene. Debra Harry is now 64 years old. Betsy Johnson is 68 years old and almost mainstream and Patricia Feld dressed the girls from Sex in The City.

Even if I was drinking and getting high and getting sexy … I had to go to work every day and yet have a decent work ethic. I can still see how Jane Fonda’s burn contributed to my higher good, as it did in those classic exercise videos. And so when Dancing Queen here, get on those machines, the disco ball might have crashed a long time ago, but I know, despite the fact that I obsess and fantasize about all the body changes that could make any surgeon rich. plastic. , my generation is the richest, the healthiest and the most capable of changing the world … We gave more than 100 billion dollars to charities last year, and that even with all the “threatening” and provoking things anxiety in the world, I’m a part of all goodness. I have NO complaints, and even if I look ridiculous in the gym, I love my i-pod, I love life, and my neighbors who can see me through their windows will tell you: I’m still dancing.

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