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Dancing queens
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Sunday, July 28, 2013

By HOLLY KOZELSKY - Bulletin Accent Editor

Who is that glamorous diva you imagine when you hear Abba’s song “Dancing Queen?”

Is she untouchably beautiful, an amazing and rare combination of top looks, flair, personality and dancing ability? Does she shine above all others?

When you were young and heard “Dancing Queen,” did you pretend to be that girl? Did you close the door, close your eyes and dance with abandon as you let the rhythm rule the movements of your body?

“You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life,” the singers croon. “See that girl, watch that scene, diggin‘ in the dancing queen.”

Then there was “Get Into the Groove” by Madonna. It didn’t distract us with fantasy images of any one queen ruling the dance floor. It got down and basic with the truth of the matter:

“Only when I’m dancing can I feel this free — at night I lock the doors where no one else can see. I get tired of dancing here all by myself. Tonight I wanna dance with someone else.”

Sure, many years down the road, when we all had grown up, Madonna had “Vogue.” Supposedly that song was about dancing (“I know a place where you can get away. It’s on the dance floor.”) However, there was no abandon to it, such as with “Get Into the Groove.” It was about properly cultivated coolness.

“Vogue” traded in that wild desire of youth for the carefully put-together package required to “strike a pose.” It wasn’t about what you really felt behind closed doors but rather the image you presented to others.

Isn’t that what we all evolve to? For most of us, our poses aren’t the cool ones on the dance floor. They are in properly carrying out our duties with family, in work and at church. As adults, we are in control of ourselves. Passions (such as for dance) don’t (usually ...?) carry us away, like they did when we were teenagers.

The teenage years are a time of yearning. It’s a time of feeling that the world is passing you by (you’ll never be the dancing queen but only can envy her).

Then, you grow up and realize that everything you desired really was there, then. Life was great. You were freer then than you ever may be. Friendships were deeper, attractions were stronger and energy was higher.

Recently I saw the Abba video for “Dancing Queen.” The women of Abba were singing happily, smiling, pointing into the audience at a few normal-looking teenage girls dancing their hearts out.

Those girls were not dressed like sirens in skimpy outfits or like princesses in glittery gowns. They weren’t even particularly pretty. There wasn’t a case of one of them stealing the show. They were just regular kids, lost in the moment of the music. The singers seemed happy watching their innocent enjoyment.

Maybe we all were the dancing queens all along.

Here’s to the dancing queen in all of us — the queen we were 10 or 30 or 60 years ago ...

... Or the queen we’ll be the next time a great song comes on the radio and no one’s looking.


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