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Amanda Lamb: Girl power

Posted September 25, 2011

I remember the moment vividly. I was wearing my brown wide whale corduroys and my first pair of high heel clogs. "Another One Bites the Dust" was playing on the turntable in the gym. The girls stood awkwardly whispering in one corner. The boys stood just as awkwardly in the opposite corner.

After about two hours of standing around, one of the girls suggested we dance together in a group instead of waiting for the boys to ask us to dance. So that's exactly what we did. And we finally had some fun just before the dance ended. Even a few of the boys got bold enough and entered the dance floor near us.

Fast forward 30-plus years, and my oldest daughter and her friends are getting ready for their first middle school dance. I hosted a pre-dance pizza party for 15 girls  - all classmates from elementary school. After about an hour of dressing, primping and eating, the girls wanted me to turn some music on so that they could "practice" for the dance. In no time at all, they had formed what amounted to a conga line in my living room with their hands in the air and big smiles on their faces.

The best part was that these girls are all very different. Some wore dresses and skirts, others wore jeans. The styles ranged from sequins to sneakers, but their differences were overshadowed by their common bond.

As the mothers picked the girls up at the dance Friday night, they came out in groups, smiling and laughing, full of stories about what had transpired. Not unlike my first dance experience, the girls reported that there were streamers hanging from the ceiling, soda served and multiple chaperones walking the floor. Some girls had danced with individual boys. But, for the most part, the girls stayed in groups, as did the boys, and they danced the night away as friends.

The looks on their faces told me everything I needed to know. They had a ball. Apparently, they figured out the prescription for fun a whole lot earlier than my generation did, and I'm glad.

Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including two on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.

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  • raysson Sep 27, 2011

    Amanda,
    It is me or I'm just the only guy here responding? From looking at your picture,I thought you came out of high school somewhere around 1982 or 1983. I graduated high school in 1984,so you and I are just about close to the same age. But I do remember this...flashback to 1978,and my awkward years in junior high school,and I fondly remember my first attempt of going to my own middle school dance,and frankly I was forced to go. Really.
    It was on a Friday night during April of 1978,and I was a seventh grader who was 12 at the time,and the annual middle school dance was held in the school cafeteria. But I remember not even getting the chance to dance that night since I had a queasy stomach-ache,and second for fear of being laughed at or embarrassed. The song they played at the middle school dance was a song called "There Will Never Be A Better Love" on the turntables by a R&B group called Switch featuring El DeBarge.

  • DWH4sure Sep 26, 2011

    Wow, this brought back some memories! I remember my first dance all too well, at West Cary Junior High. I remember being sooo nervous to begin with, but just like you said, my friends and I ended up having a fantastic time. So glad your daughter had fun!

  • Zelda Sep 26, 2011

    Love this! Just a tiny pet peeve: old, older, oldest. If you have two daughters, the first one is the older one not the oldest one. Sorry -- I'm showing my age, I'm sure. I always enjoy your blogs. Thanks!