It turns out that all that practice dancing Dixie and I had done was not in vain. That December we got to attend our first Christmas dance in the gym. There were two of these each year and they were attended by seventh and eighth graders together. We had dance cards, one of which is pictured above. The ribbons we used to tie the dance cards around our wrists were school colors, blue and gold.
What was a dance card, you might ask if you are younger than I am. In grade school, it was an item worn by each girl that had been filled out by someone(who knew who, certainly not a student!) which listed the ten boys you were to dance with that evening. This took the pressure off the boys, which must have been a relief, because they simply had to respond when girls showed their cards as each numbered dance was announced. The system also guaranteed that every girl would get to dance with at least ten different boys.
But the highlight of the night for me was the dance when an eighth grade boy danced with a seventh grade girl in the evening’s only dance contest. This was not part of the dance card, so it was up to a boy to ask a girl. And,unbelievably, Ralph, a boy I hardly knew, asked me to dance. The tune for the contest was “Good Timin” by Jimmy Jones. Ralph must have been watching American Bandstand, too, because we joined hands and rocked out to that song as if we had been dancing together forever. And much to every popular kid’s amazement, we won the dance contest.
That was the only dance contest I ever entered. As my father always said, “Quit while you’re ahead.” So I did.