Remember how we spent our Saturday nights dancing

We'd spend our Saturday nights at the movies and then head to the local dance hall. Photo: Stock

Saturday night at the movies and then the dance.

This was a weekly event, not to be missed.

I lived a good half hour drive from town and, luckily for me, one or the other parent was always willing to drive me into town so I could go to the movies.

My mother would usually attend the movies, just to make sure I was behaving.

Dad, on the other hand, would go and play night bowls at the local bowling green. I could sit with whomever I wished on Dad nights.

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I was always hoping it was Dad who ferried me into town.

There was a boy I liked to sit next to and if Mum came along my plans had to change.

“No boyfriends until 16,” she used to say.

Heck, I was 13, old enough in my eyes anyway.

Dad trusted me.

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Several of my school friends would be at the theatre as well.

They were allowed to sit next to boys.

I disliked my mother immensly at this stage of my life.

Party pooper she was.

Later on I realised that Mum put herself out to take me into town.

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She probably did not like many of the movies let alone all us squarking teens.

At the time though, I felt hard done by.

How embarrassing to have one’s mother sitting in amongst the group.

Later down the track I realised that Mum was the one who suffered, not me.

Many a great movie was seen. West Side Story, Psycho, The Sound of Music, Spartacus and many, many more.

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It was at was at the movies that I had my first kiss…

Obviously on a night when Mum was not in attendance.

How exciting!

I don’t remember talking to the guy but he leant over and gave me a quick kiss.

On the cheek, very discreet.

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My heart was racing and I was overwhelmed by this kiss.

His name was Athol. I will always remember that.

After the movies my friends and I moved on to the Town Hall for the dance.

Mum would drop me off at the Town Hall door and then she would go and visit my grandmother until it was midnight.

Yes, surprisingly the dance ended at midnight.

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There were great local bands pumping out the music. No DJ playing records.

We had the real thing.

Most of the dancing was ballroom style.

Waltzes, foxtrots, Pride of Erin and many more. Everyone knew how to dance.

There was no alcohol allowed and anyone who misbehaved was sent out of the hall.

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The girls would all sit along the wall waiting to be asked to dance. The boys would walk along eyeing us off and then pick someone for that particular dance.

Most times a girl danced with a different partner every dance.

Boys had manners back then. They dressed well and were polite.

Athol always came around to the dance. He would always ask me for the last dance of the night.

If a boy asked you for the last dance, it meant he was a bit keen on you.

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That was our special time.

Not many words were spoken, we just danced. Somehow no dialogue was required.

A girl knew when a boy was keen on her.

Mind you, he never did kiss me again.

In hindsight, I guess he wasn’t really that keen or I would have received more than that one kiss.

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All too soon it would be midnight. Time to go home.

We bade each other farewell and hoped the next week would go by quickly so we could do it all again.

How did you spend your Saturday nights growing up? Did you enjoy going to the dances?

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