If you write middle grade or YA, these notes might be helpful. We live in a very small town, and belong to a tiny school district, so I'm not sure how these scene details will compare to a big city. But some things in middle school never change!
- Multi-purpose room, overhead fluorescent lights turned off. Strings of red and white lights hung along each wall.
- Photo op corner--red plastic draping the corner walls, decorated with paper hearts. Spotlight overhead. Mom with a camera ready to shoot pictures of couples and best friends.
- Food and drink section cordoned off to the side, with moms serving snacks such as candy Kisses, grapes, and cookies. High schoolers filling Dixie cups with water & lemonade.
- DJ crew set up on stage.
- Folding chairs set up around the perimeter of the room.
- Thumping dance music.
- Sixth grade girls wore cute "party dresses," with either flat shoes or Converse-style sneakers.
- Some 7th and 8th grade girls wore party dresses & higher heels, but most wore jeans with blousy tops.
- Some boys wore button-up shirts and dress slacks, but most wore regular school clothes (jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers).
- DJ team consisted of three mid-20's guys. One spun the tunes, and the other two worked the crowd. They taught dance moves from the stage, and jumped down on the floor and got the kids involved.
- Kids stood in clusters. Some remained right below the stage, following the DJ's lead in dances. Others danced in their own circles. Some mixed boys with girls, others were all boys or all girls. (Memories, anyone?)
- Boys with damp hair and sweat running down their faces. Girls with curled hair that grew limp as the night wore on.
- Some girls taller than boys.
- Conga lines.
- At the end of the dance, parents gathered at the double doors, taking it all in.
- A girl crying in the bathroom, with several of her friends circling her & asking what was wrong.
- Pairs of kids, boys and/or girls, walking across the dance floor, always looking for someone.
- When the one slow song came on...OMG, the mood in the whole place changed. Most kids scattered to the four corners of the MPR, but a few brave couples paired up and slow danced. Girls' hands on the guys' shoulders, guys' hands on the girls' waists. They swayed back and forth to the music, with a foot of space between them. Instead of looking at each other, they watched their friends through the entire dance.
How does this compare to dances at your local schools? What's your most vivid middle school dance memory, good or bad? Please share!
Happy Valentine's Day!