The gym was dark with the DJ set up, which these days is just a lap top attached to some speakers. The first student I saw when I walked in was one of my 7th grade girls hula hooping with the hoop she brought from home. Can we say “future music festie” or what?! She was really good, too!
Then there’s always the wall flowers and the kids snacking at the pizza, chips and pop leftovers. As long as they have each other or a nice teacher to chat with, I don’t feel bad for them. That’s just how they party. Not everyone is an extrovert.
It’s fun watching everyone interact. Looking in from the outside at all of the emotions: the self-conscious, flirtatious, nervous, enamored, annoyed, bored, excited, spastic, dramatic, smiley, humiliated, jealous, free, etc. It’s all there and more. All crowded around together, energy rippling through the conga line to the cha cha slide to the dance circle with a few brave souls getting down in the middle not caring who’s watching! Everyone else is definitely watching and hoping nobody pushes them into the middle!
Then, there’s that moment when you see about 10 eighth graders (a few who you wouldn’t peg as friends in this mix) all jumping around, dancing and singing to Taylor Swift’s positive pop hit, “Shake It Off” together. No judgement, no egos. Just pure, young, healthy, joyful, pop music fun! They were happy and that made me happy. That’s why I was there. Mission accomplished.