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We're Fools Whether We Dance Or Not, So We Might As Well Dance

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After I pass my ticket to the chaperone and highlight my name off the attendance sheet, I enter the darkly lit cafeteria. My ears are getting acclimated to the deafening music. When I find my friends, we try to hear each other over the music. After most of the boys arrive, our pack splits up to go get drinks or to dance. I hurriedly move to the refreshment table to avoid Blake, an eighth grader who is the first one to dance. This enthusiastic kid is extremely good at break-dancing, and he usually wants me to try it. It's like a ritual for Blake to ask me. At every dance, Blake finds me and insists that I dance.


While finishing my drink, my peripheral vision is on Blake. Then I begin to move constantly between the different groups of chattering teens. When I get close to the booming stereos so I can hear the rhythm and beat, I see kids requesting their favorite songs on the DJ's notebook. Some of the girls are rushing to the bathroom crying about breakups while everyone else keeps dancing. When a slow dance starts, students pair up. After finding partners, some of the eighth graders try to be invisible by moving out of range of the multicolored strobe lights and into the shadows of the dark room. A couple of slow dances later, some of the eighth grade boys are so exhausted that they sit in either the chairs that are against the wall or on the floor. This does not stop the ready and eager Blake. He knows that I am not the one who usually gets tired of dancing. Before he tries to corner me, I walk confidently to him while my mind is racing. I have successfully avoided him and his traps before. It is time to get it over and done with. If I try break dancing even just for a minute, Blake will be satisfied that I made an attempt. When Blake sees me walking towards him, he rushes forward to meet me. Before I can get a breath of air, he says "Hey everyone! Come and see me and Paul break dance."


Then the crowd forms around Blake and me, and the only thing I can hear is the music. Unfortunately, Blake wants me to begin first. It seems that everyone is holding their breath and focusing their eyes on only me. Blake realizes that I don't know the steps, so he starts to show me. After getting into a crab walk position and lifting his feet to crisscross in the air, he gives me a look meaning that it is my turn. I just want to get it over with so I get on the floor. I feel stupid, but I am surprised that no one is laughing even when I mess up. So I keep on dancing. When I finish and get back up, everyone claps. Then the circle breaks apart, and we continue to dance normally. The moral of this story according to a Japanese proverb is "We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance."





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