• Mark J. Keenan

Dancing In The Aisles


'I saw you dancing along,' she said, when I arrived at the entry to the pasta aisle.


'It's good to dance', I replied, laughing.


I had enjoyed a bit of a jig to the store music as I walked past the cheese and yoghurt.


Taking the trolley, I entered the aisle, skipping every so often as I walked along next to Karen.


There are many wonderful things to get from this little story.


Firstly, of course, I like to dance. I'm not good at it, but I enjoy it. As this photo from my Year 10 disco clearly shows. Okay, maybe the picture doesn't really capture my enthusiasm. Especially since I refused to smile all that year due to the metal in my mouth. However, I can assure you, either before or after this was taken, I performed a breakdance routine with my mate, Steve, in front of the whole room. And I am glad I did.


Of course, there was no internet, smart phones, or Youtube, in the mid-80s. And we were living in a northwest Australian country town. So, the only way we could learn was by sitting in front of the TV and pushing pause and rewind on the VCR, over and over, hoping our mums didn't walk in while we were trying out some new move. Then we'd meet up, show what we thought we knew how to do, and try to put together something.


Steve and I used to practice up at the hall near my house on Brown's Range in Carnarvon. We had a mixtape of tunes we would play on my portable tape-deck. I'd love to call it a ghetto-blaster, but it was a little pathetic for that title, even though I did paint the speakers once.


The hall was a good place to go as it was hardly ever used, and it had a nice smooth floor. Perfect for those backspins and moonwalks. And the windmill, even though I could never do it, Steve could. I feel my version of the worm was acceptable though.

The point, I guess, is you don't need to be "good" at something to enjoy it. You just need to do it. And keep doing it, even when you are fifty-one years old and in a crowded supermarket.


Secondly, Karen's response to my shoe-shuffling past the dairy section is a perfect example of how she accepts me, for me. If she is embarrassed, she never shows it. If she thinks I'm weird, she never tells me. And it's just one of many reasons she's so awesome.


Sure, some people who see me singing or dancing in odd places such as shopping centres, bowling alleys, and the like, might think I'm strange. They might even "judge" me, whatever that means. So, what. An equal number of people will smile, or get a spring in their own step, and that's pretty cool.


Of course, you may not want to dance or sing. You may not even want to do it when you are by yourself at home and your favourite piece of music comes on. That's perfectly fine. But, if you do feel like letting loose, even a little, then I highly recommend it. In the meantime, enjoy this clip from one of my favourite all-time movies, Beat Street.