I am always amused by the spectacle that is “The Electric Slide.” Whenever it is played at an event, whether it be a wedding reception, a class reunion, or in this case, a high school graduation party, the dance floor becomes the domain of a particular type of dancers. Those not participating are unable to turn their eyes away from the action on the floor.
Nearly always, the dancers are all women. In all my years of wedding receptions and company holiday parties, when “The Electric Slide” starts to play, I have seen dance floors full of women with one or two men only now and then in a blue moon. It’s a ladies thing. I will add that it is typically a thing enjoyed by ladies of a certain age. They are often wearing capri pants. Ladies of the capri-pants-wearing age.
But I don’t know if they really “enjoy” this dance. They either look dead serious about getting the moves right or they slide into an expression that says, “Don’t look at me, but look at me.” They also tend to either look down at their own bodies with glints of admiration in their eyes or they set their gaze somewhere off in the distance. They don’t ever make eye contact with the audience.
As for those of us in the audience, we root for them to get the moves right. It’s gratifying to witness several rows of women cross step right, cross step left, step back, clap, bend down, turn 90 degrees. We watch them with envy wishing we had the courage to get out there and do it. It’s the same way we feel about taking a Zumba class. We wish we could be part of the synchronized spectacular on the floor rather than the mob of dimly lit faces on the periphery of the dance floor flood lights. We are here without a purpose. Those dancers are going somewhere.
But then the song is over and “Sweet Caroline” starts revving up. We all participate like a unified congregation and sing, “Oh! Oh! Oh!” along with Mr. Diamond and we feel like we belong and we are all equal.
Yet, somewhere in the back of our minds, we know that there are those among us who can do “The Electric Slide” and those who can’t. “Boogie-Oogie-Oogie” trumps “Oh! Oh! Oh!” It always will.