“Can We Dance ?”

It was no doubt the level of exposure I had gotten to at that stage of my life.

A total greenhorn I was.

A form 4 student, 14 or 15 years old and there I was attending my very first literary and debating society gig. The guys had always come back on Mondays to relay the exciting gists to the rest of us non performers.

I wasn’t errant in any form, totally compliant, I was to be called a Mummy’s boy by a girlfriend I dated 2 years down the line.

She was gutted, utterly pissed I had to seek Mummy’s permission to do virtually anything and everything.

Back to my gig gist – I had washed and ironed thoroughly my white school uniform the previous night in readiness for the following day.

The plan was to lie my way with Mum.

“We have practical classes” I boldly said, not even blinking.

Anything concerning my education didn’t meet with any resistance from my Mum. I took advantage of that.

I was to do so numerous other times too.

Saturday after Saturday saw me at Maryland Comprehensive High School, Queen’s College, Marywood Grammar School, Holy Child College,  Reagan Memorial Secondary School, Igbobi College, St. Gregory’s College etc.

My first and indeed most memorable as a ‘conqueror’ and student of St. Finbarr’s College is the focus herein.

There we were at Our Lady’s of Apostle Secondary School, classic music of the 70s and 80s blaring to everyone’s delight, waists wriggling, the dance floors vibrating to the shuffles and steps of the experienced and amateurs like me.

It was joyfilled. I was having the fun of my life.

I remember the dances we had, the fashion parades, ‘passing the baskets’, quizzes and other games played to keep the atmosphere electric.

We had little bites and drinks too.

Then . . .

. . . The icing on the cake.

An acknowledgement of all the young ladies present.
It was their turn. Their time to dictate the pace and rotate to the rhtym of the noon.

It was the ‘ladies dance’ – Time for all ladies interested in a dance to ask the guys out for one, any guy of their choice for a dance.
Their spotlight.

A guy you probably have admired all day. Your pick. Your No. 1 draft so to say.

I was glued to my seat on the second row in the beautifully decorated hall, respecting myself, minding my business. No expectations.

Then this lady strolled from across the hall in our direction.

‘Can I have a dance ?’ she had motioned towards me. I looked away as the guy directly in front of me jumped up to acknowledge her.

‘I am sorry, not you’ she said while again beckoning at me.

Wow – I jumped up, excitedly and swaggaliciously.

Perplexed and thoroughly humbled.

I took her hand and walked her to a side of the hall.
We danced and riggled and rolled on the floor for what seemed forever that day.

As a closure, the DJ slotted in a ‘slow’ – Time for the blues.


A man’s got to do what a man’s gotto do.

I slowly but surely stretched my hands to hold her by the waist.

She hung hers on my shoulders too, sometimes holding my neck.

This is what I’d been missing I was thinking.

This is bliss and I wanna do this every weekend I concluded.

Memorable dance it was.

Yeah – I digged it.

No doubt !



24 thoughts on ““Can We Dance ?”

    1. . . . 80s song.

      “Can I have a dance, Rosie ? My frienda are watchin me Rosie.”
      – Blackie.

      Sometimes I shudder at the things I am able to remember. Makes me shiver infact.

      Chaotic. Romantic. Thrilling. Exciting. Murderous.


      Liked by 1 person

  1. AY says:

    Bros, you’re taking me back to ‘Akoka Conquerors’-memory lane. My 1st dance was also at OLA, a Red Cross gig, in ’83 or ’84 and the events leading to ‘the dance’ coincidentally sounds like yours. I was chosen during the ladies dance, also…

    Boy! It’s still etched in my memory!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. . . . Gotcha AY.

      It’s actually a new line of argument you just raised. If I remember well I’m thinking I attended a Red Cross event as my first at OLA too.
      Been trying to remember the guys I went along with but that aspect is so blurry.


      Maybe we should have an anniversary dance.



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