With modern nights out consisting of expressive freedom on the dancefloor spoiled by idiots and clumsy fools, Debbie Read takes us to a beautifully formal yesteryear… the 1920s… when men were real men, dammit, and women had a dance-card…
Usually a night out consists of us getting ready over a bottle (or two) of wine, music on, dancing around in varying stages of undress with hairbrush in hand and then going to a club destination in a taxi without a care in the world.
We’re OK, because we know how to shake our asses to even the most horrific tunes (my personal best being to the birdy song – it’s hard to look sexy to that one but I stepped up and managed it… just…) wearing heels and short skirts and yet still managing to keep most of our dignity and grace intact, unlike Paris Hilton (who recently replaced her short skirts for a lovely orange jumpsuit. Justice has been served).
But there’s always that grim moment when a random hottie comes up to dance. He’s slightly tipsy and not sure what to do with you now that he has your attention. It doesn’t help that you’re getting jostled by clumsy dancers on all sides and someone’s just spilled their pint down you.
Which, girlies, is why I can’t help but to turn my attention to the ways of the past.
Recent artists such as Christina Aguilera and Amy Winehouse have turned their musical attentions to simpler times, as reflected in their latest albums. And who can blame them? The 1920s really knew how to do it when it came to having a good night out. There was no awkward fumbling on the dance floor, no jostling… it was all very sophisticated.
For a start, everyone knew how to dance. Dancing was taught in schools (and you thought PE was bad!) so when one attended a dance, one knew exactly what to do.
Secondly, they were organised enough to give the girls dance cards, so that one could organise one’s dancing schedule for the night. All the young gents (because they were all gentlemen in those days, you understand…) would simply ask if they could mark the girl’s card for a certain dance. What a great approach to a woman. So much better than ‘grab your coat love, you’ve pulled.’ Or ‘Last one to the chippie pays!’ My only concern is… what if there was a time when no-one marked your dance card, and what would you do in such circumstances? How terribly embarrassing for everyone involved!
And finally no alcohol was served, at least at a certain sort of party (I’m not sure that’s a good or bad thing? Dutch courage, and all…) so there was no pint spillage of any sort. Of course, in those days smoking was thought to be good for you, so I suppose we’ve just switched one evil for another.
How exciting a 1920s night out be though, knowing that you would be properly dancing with someone – what a sense of achievement you’d have at the end of the night!
Then again, maybe I should stick with the evil pint-spillers and the horrors of the Birdy Song. Because in the strictly formal 1920s partnered dances there’s no creative freedom or-ass shakage, which is just a waste of a good ass really, isn’t it?