Childhood Favorites: The Junior High Dance Edition

Most of us have been to at least one Junior High dance in our lifetime - maybe you went because your girlfriend/boyfriend dragged you, or because you promised your friend you'd be their middle school "wingman," or because your Mom said you needed to be more social. Or, hell, maybe you went to school dances because you actually enjoyed them. I personally didn't go to many dances while in Junior High. Why? Well, for starters, I had acne on my forehead, and the only way I could cover it up was to sport a giant wall of bangs. I also had a retainer that I was still getting used to, so I sometimes made the mistake of spitting when I spoke to people. I was also pretty tall, and a lot of the boys hadn't caught up to me height-wise yet. In short, no one wanted to ask Jolly Green Giant-bad bangs-acne face-"say it don't spray it"- E-Claire to the dance. Anyway, enough about my awkward adolescent years (I'll save the rest for my therapist)...The point I want to make it that when you went to school dances, you could usually count on hearing certain songs. So I polled the Pomp Culture Collective on the songs they always heard at their Junior High Dances, and here are some of the highlights...

C'mon N' Ride It (The Train) - Quad City DJs. The minute this song came on, naturally, everyone would form a train and start parading around the auditorium (or gym, or wherever the dance was being held). However, about a minute into the song, a chaperone would get on the mic and say "Excuse me! Please break up the train!" From what I remember, they thought forming a giant train was considered too "rowdy." Not quite sure why dancing around with your hands on someone else's shoulders was considered "rowdy," but whatever.

Macarena - Los del Rio. Even an uncoordinated jackass like me could do the dance that went along with this song. From what I remember, you basically moved your arms around and did a quarter turn when you heard "Eehhhh Macarena!"

Friends In Low Places - Garth Brooks. This was usually played to appease the country fans. However, since it starts out kind of slow, people would always assume it was a slow dance and grab their dates - only to be disappointed when it sped up. Suckers! (Side note: If you sing the opening lines of this song in front of Daft Funk, he'll get really irritated. It's kind of funny. I did it just now, and his response was "Oh my God I hate that fucking song!").

Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye. Is this really the message you want to send to a bunch of 12 and 13-year-olds with raging hormones?

I Swear - All-4-One. This song was usually preceded with something like "Ok - I've got one for all the couples out there..."

Mambo No. 5 - Lou Bega. In this sassy little number, the chorus basically consists of Lou Bega listing a bunch of girls' names. And at the dances that I went to, if you happened to be near a girl who had one of those names, they'd usually go ape shit. "Ohmigod! He said "a little bit of Erica by my side"and my name's Erica! Ahhhhhh!!!" Whatever, Lou. You didn't use my name.

Tubthumping - Chumbawamba. Holy smokes, if you wanted to get the dudes on the dance floor, this was the song that would usually do it. And who knew you could sing the words "Pissing the night away" so beautifully?

This Is How We Do It - Montell Jordan. I like how Montell Jordan takes time to "designate a driver" in this song. That's very safe and responsible. Good job, Montell.

End Of The Road/I'll Make Love To You/It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday - Boyz II Men. I bet these songs are still played at school dances.

More Than Words - Extreme. My friend and I tried to sing/learn this song on the guitar. We harmonized and everything. It was pretty awful.

Free Fallin' - Tom Petty. John Mayer has no business covering this song.

Blame It On The Rain - Milli Vanilli. Little did you know at the time that as you were lip-synching along to this song on the dance floor, so was Milli Vanilli.

Informer - Snow. This is what I used to hear when this song came on: Informer! kdlsflsjfksjfksdj sdjaskdjaskdjg...licky boom boom down!" However, I have a much clearer picture of the lyrics now that I've found this.

Lyrical Gangsta - Ini Kamoze. The chorus of this song went something like this: "Nah na na na nah...Nah na na nah na na na nah na na...Nah na na nah." Hmm...That might've been one too many "nahs"...

Summertime - DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. I don't think this song needs an explanation.

Ice Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice. Whenever I threaten to "wax a chump like a candle," I usually just get a funny look...

Humpty Dance - Digital Underground. I, too, like my oatmeal lumpy. (unless that's some kind of euphamism...If that's the case, maybe I don't like lumpy oatmeal).

Everybody Dance Now - C+C Music Factory. Dancing to this song usually made me tired.

Poison - Bel Biv DeVoe. Situation is serrrriiiioouuuuusssssss.....

I'm Too Sexy - Right Said Fred. The video for this song made mesh shirts hip again.

Anything by MC Hammer - Who could forget this classic? Or this one? And the hits didn't stop after "Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em!" After that, he became just "Hammer," and did 2 Legit 2 Quit. I could never do the damn hand movements that went along with that song. And just for fun, I'll throw in this song.

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