What Makes You Dance, Part 2

Whoa! I've been away from my blog for wayyyyy too long. Time goes by too quickly and life interrupts our best intentions. Sorry for the delay, gentle readers.

My most recent posts have been about music. And although I've already written about tunes that make you dance, I want to add to that thread. When I wrote the post back in January I had intended to include a playlist of my favorite dance songs, but I misplaced the list. Preparing for our eldest granddaughters' annual summer visit, I finally found it. Eureka! Always thought dancing around the house would be the best way to exercise, so now maybe I'll get around to creating the actual playlist.

On to What Makes You Dance, Part 2!

I created a list of all the songs I've heard over the years on the radio that make me want to get up and boogie. I just cannot sit still when I hear them, and "I Like to Move It, Move It!" Yes, that's one of them, a song from "Madagascar" I first heard when watching that movie with Jain and Sofia. And when Julianne Hough and Apolo Ohno danced to it on Dancing with the Stars, I wanted to join them!

My playlist is 30-plus songs and growing longer all the time. At the very top of my list is "Twist and Shout" by the Beatles. It's my favorite Beatles song of all time. I love everything about it, and was overjoyed when it was featured in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Made me want to dance on that parade float right alongside Matthew Broderick!

In high school, I learned my very first line dance to "Dizzy" by Tommy Roe, so that song has a special place in my heart. And yes, I still remember the steps to the line dance.

Before music videos were popular, we bought and listened to 45s as teenagers. The positive messages promoted by Sly and the Family Stone went straight to my heart and soul, and "Dance to the Music" probably made me love music more than practicing my piano ever did. "Celebration" by Kool & the Gang, "Stepping Stone" and "I'm a Believer" by the Monkees, "Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance) by The Contours, are but a smattering of the great dance tunes that shaped my teenage years. And please tell me I can't be the only one who wanted to hula to "Wipeout" by The Surfaris, or the theme from Hawaii 5-0!

Movies and early MTV made a huge impact when it came to dance numbers. I still find myself under the spell of "Footloose" by Kenny Loggins, "Mony Mony" by either Billy Idol or Tommy James (for some reason, this song makes me want to be a 60s GoGo dancer!), "Walkin' on Sunshine by Katrina & the Waves, "Macarena" by Los del Rio (Come on! You know you loved it — and knew all the moves!), "YMCA" (ditto), "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor, "You're the One That I Want" from Grease, and last, but certainly not least, "Thriller" by one of the greatest dancers of my generation, the one and only MJ.

Reminiscing over these songs, I can hardly sit still for wanting to get up and dance. Lest I do so, let me finish with more current songs that make me want to trip the light fantastic. Nina Simone — ah, Nina! Who could resist "Feeling Good" with her sweet, soulful sound? This is my favorite song of hers. She was singing long before I discovered her, so for me she is rather current. I so wish she were still around to bless us as only she could. Likewise, Billy Stewart was better known in the ‘60s, but I hadn't heard of him until I turned on the radio in my car about 10 years ago and heard "Summertime." Oh, if you aren't familiar with his version, please do not hesitate to pull it up on YouTube. Guaranteed you'll be astounded! It baffles me how the folks perched on those bales of hay could just sit there. I would have bounced up and danced to this rendition. It. Is. Awesome!

OK, now to get a bit more current. There isn't a whole lot on the radio these days to make me want to dance, but I do have a few. "Gangnam Style" by Psy and "Uptown Funk" by Bruno Mars come immediately to mind. Come on, you know you want to get up and dance right now just thinking about those two songs!

Passing on a love of the arts to your grandchildren is essential to their development as well-rounded individuals, and dancing is truly a key element to this growth. Movement engages both the body and the brain, helping us gain in strength and stamina as well as improving memory by learning dance steps and choreography. Neither Grampy nor I is a seasoned dancer (well, we're seasoned all right, just not as dancers), but dancing with our granddaughters is something we've done since we waltzed them around the living room as babies. We even authored a picture book with them titled Dancing with the Grans. When Jain was little, I remember her bouncing in her car seat to "Hooked on a Feeling (the Ooga Chaka version) by Blue Swede. Today she enjoys moving to "Dance Like Yo Daddy" by Meghan Trainor and "Honey, I'm Good" by Andy Grammer. She and Sofia enjoy their traditional summertime Bon Jovi song "We Got It Goin' On" riding in the car with their auntie each year. It just wouldn't be summer without it as they cruise down the road, windows open, the three of them singing at the top of their lungs.

Both girls enjoy dancing so much, they've choreographed and performed dances to Dexy's Midnight Runners’ "Come On, Eileen" and "Obladi, Oblada" by The Beatles. They rock out to "Dynamite" by Taio Cruz and absolutely love to boogie down to "Alexander Hamilton" from the Broadway play, Hamilton. (Well, Jain's middle name is Hamilton, so what else would we expect?) Are these girls being raised right, or what? I can hardly wait to see what makes them dance next!

In the meantime, dance on, my friends; and as Grampy always says,