I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can

Lately, I seem to be in the groove. I even mosh-pitted!
Boogie on, friends 😉

My feet are tired. Lately, I’ve been dancing as fast as I can.

In early October, friends Craig Heimbigner and Karyn Christner offered us tickets to see Arrival From Sweden, an Abba tribute band.

The music of Abba dominated my middle school years. The fact that their songs still get continued radio play shows the staying power of classics like “Dancing Queen” and “Take a Chance on Me.” In fact, I’ll wager you’re humming those songs as you read.

The Broadway musical “Mama Mia” and the movie that followed means new generations have been exposed to the music of the Swedish band that broke up in 1982.

That multi-generational impact was visible on October 7, as I scanned the crowd packed into the Coeur d’ Alene Resort. Rows and rows of gray-haired folks sipped their drinks as we waited for the show to begin.

“Oh my goodness,” I whispered to my husband. “Do they know this is a rock concert?”

He stared at me.

“This is not a rock concert,” he informed me. “This is a pop concert or a disco concert, but is absolutely, positively, definitely not a rock concert.”

Whatever.

Then I did some mental math, not my strong suit I admit, and figured those gray-haired folks were probably around for the heyday of rock-n-roll and could certainly handle the raucous strains of “Knowing Me Knowing You.”

As the band worked its way through the Abba oeuvre, dancing broke out across the room– most notably in front of the stage, the area cleared for such moves.

“I’m going to the mosh pit,” I hollered at Derek as the crowd swept me away.

“That is not a mosh pit!” he yelled.

I don’t care what my husband or the features editor of this newspaper say, I most definitely mosh-pitted that night.

By the time the band concluded with “Dancing Queen” we were packed together tighter than an unopened roll of Life Savors. I had a great time, even though I didn’t feel “young and sweet, only 17,” the next morning.

Thankfully my dancing shoes got a break before the Spokane Public Library Trivia Championship on October 19. That’s when Linn Parish, deputy editor at Spokane Journal of Business, and I resumed our roles as dancing scorekeepers for the event.

I must point out that when Sarah Bain, director of development for the Spokane Public Library Foundation, asked me to do this for the inaugural competition; there was no dancing in the description of scorekeeping duties.

Believing no journalist should do math alone, I convinced Linn to share the scorekeeping stage with me. Our responsibilities involved making hash marks on a white board and knowing how to count to 10. The dancing came about because Sarah instructed us to make scorekeeping “not boring.”

Making math “fun” and “exciting” can be hard on your dancing shoes.

This year, Sarah lobbied hard for costume changes and feather boas. Linn and I declined to stoop to such silliness, and shimmied and shook our way featherless to the final round.

In the end, The Spokesman Review team triumphed, proving beyond all doubt that journalistic knowledge remains trivial.

My toes got a bit of a break before a concert billed as “Hot Rockin’ Blues” at the Bing on October 22.

When Derek saw the opening act was Peter Rivera, he snapped up tickets for the whole family. We are huge Peter Rivera fans and the headliner, Paul Nelson, was the longtime guitarist and friend of legendary blues musician Johnny Winter. We love blues and Johnny Winter, so we eagerly anticipated this concert.

As always, Rivera didn’t disappoint. The 72-year-old former Rare Earth singer/percussionist was in rare form. His energy, showmanship and skills had us on our feet. Well, Derek and me anyway. Our sons are not fond of dancing with their parents in public. Go figure.

I wish I could say the Paul Nelson Band followed Rivera’s dynamic lead, but they didn’t. The group may have been rockin’ but they were not hot, nor did they play blues. Unless you consider a rather horrific version of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” blues music. While some of the crowd stayed up front to dance, many people voted with their feet by leaving the venue after a few songs.

So, October has boogied on by and I’ve returned my dancing shoes to their box on the top of my closet shelf. When I complained about the lack of winter grooving opportunities to a friend, she said, “Well, there’s always ice dancing.”

My heart leapt. I’ve always wanted to wear one of those glittery costumes and glide across the ice! I mean, I’ve never actually ice skated on purpose or anything, but suddenly winter seems to sparkle with possibilities.

Contact Cindy Hval at dchval@juno.com. She is the author of “War Bonds: Love Stories From the Greatest Generation.” You can listen to her podcast “Life, Love and Raising Sons” at SpokaneTalksOnline.com. Her previous columns are available online at spokesman.com/ columnists. Follow her on Twitter at @CindyHval.

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One thought on “I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can

  1. As long as you dance, with grace, Cindy, speed does not matter, but even when I was in Malmo,
    I never saw ABBA. Though, I, too, am 72, I’m more amateur musician, than I am a showman.

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