In Sixth Grade, I Wanted to Be a Go-Go Dancer

Welcome to Melodic Monday where I share relatable life moments linked by song.

I recently reconnected, on Facebook, with my best friend from third through sixth grade.  The day before I’d been thinking about fifth grade and the horrific Preppy Handbook phase that made me change my name to Barbi and cap the lower case letter I with hearts.  I’m so not a “Barbi.”  If I wore any plaid at the time though, it was leftover remnants from the 70s. 

Flickr image by talblesalt

Still shaking my head about that brief lapse of identity, my phone buzzed with the alert from FB and there was her message.  We’ve caught up a bit with her reminding me of our secret code society, my “spy” name Olive Oyl and us sharing what we are up to now.  We lost track of each other sometime around eighth grade, yet messaging with her flashed me back almost three decades as if we’d just chatted last week. 

I thought about some of our dreams like for our pets (we both had cats) to be with us forever.  Or to adopt kids because the video on where babies came from didn’t make natural childbirth look like much fun (ironically she is now a nurse midwife and mother of two).  Or to be go-go dancers because we loved to perform and back then our concept of the dancing was from 60s reruns with discotheques, platform boots and fringe dresses.

Okay, so I admit that maybe some of–well a lot of–the go-go moves would not have been appropriate for us to do in public let alone wearing the short minis, but our creative intent was pure.  We would grab our t-shirts from the bottom and pull them up through the neck and back down toward our belly buttons.  The result would be a Daisy Duke looking top.  Pair that with our best designer jeans and ballet or jazz shoes and we were ready to shake for hours.  You couldn’t tell us that being a dancer up on a platform like Goldie Hawn on “Laugh-In” wasn’t a viable career.     

Now go-go fun has evolved to include pasties paired with poles.  The fringe dresses of the past and even our t-shirt and jeans ensembles would make us overdressed, and the moves would be more bump-n-grind than peppy shimmies.  Yet I never fully let that dream go and in my closet you can find a pair of black and a pair of white fringed boots.  And I rock some of my best shimmies each morning as I get ready for work.

So tell me, what were some of your childhood dreams?

Do you still hold on to pieces of them today?

Are you still in touch with any of your childhood friends?

Did you want to be a go-go dancer? (We can’t be the only ones.)     

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28 Responses to In Sixth Grade, I Wanted to Be a Go-Go Dancer

  1. Hartford says:

    LOVED this! I used to dance around in my living room for hours and sing at the top of my lungs into my hair brush microphone as I regaled my imagined thousands of cheering fans through the picture window. What I love about thinking back to that time was the true abandonment in which we danced and lived. Back then, our mind wasn’t cluttered with doubt or insecurities; anything was possible. I was convinced I was the next Barbra Streisand. I think one of the most powerful gifts from remember back to those times is to reconnect with our true sense of freedom and limitless potential – and our fearlessness.

    • You are so right about “true abandonment” Natalie. I remember going to clubs as a teenager to just dance. We would get past the door guards, head for the dance floor and stay there all night without a care about sweating or trying to keep looking cute. It was movement for the joy of movement and freedom of expression without fear. I had a microphone brush as well. 🙂

  2. Jillian Dodd - Glitter, Bliss and Perfect Chaos says:

    You know go go dancing is coming back at clubs these days, they dress in slightly less clothes, but they are wearing the boots. Maybe you can still be one 🙂 I had a pair of white go go boots in fifth grade, but my mom wouldn’t let me get the kind with the big platforms, so I’ve always wanted a pair. Add that to my mid life crisis to buy list!! Great, fun post. Brought back lots of memories!

    • You are right about the less clothes Jillian! I consider myself to be pretty open, but some of the outfits don’t look like any movement would be comfortable. I still buy platform, chunky heels when I can find them and have never met a pair of clogs I didn’t like.

  3. Linda Burke says:

    I wanted to be a fashion designer, an astronaut, or a spy. Thanks for bringing back the memories.

    • I love it Linda! All three are very cool dreams. The astronaut one brings back memories of how much space exploration seemed to mean to everyone back then. I remember the wonder and awe we had.

  4. I wanted to be a rock star!!!! My BBF and I got all decked out in some crazy outfits and did the whole air guitar thing! Too bad we didn’t have any video of it. That would have been hilarious!!!!!

    • Well Diana reality TV has made it that you can still be a rock star. I’ll admit to considering auditioning for a few. 😉 And I bet you played a mean air guitar. I wish I had some video as well. I can imagine how funny we looked boogying like we were at Studio 54.

  5. Lesann says:

    This was such a wonderful expose of your childhood. I never had aspirations to be a go-go dancer but I sure can remember Goldie Hawn shimmying and always admired her smiling innocence (ridiculous as that seems now). I’m in contact with only one true childhood friend – we catch up intermittently. Our lives have gone such terrifically different directions we have little to talk about. Most of my oldest friends now are the ones I acquired in high school and, oddly enough, I’ve kept most of them all these years.

    I always wanted to be a writer (no specifics were involved regarding style, genre, length…just a writer) but life got in the way of that untl little more than a year ago when I began to actively reposition my life to embrace the idea for real. When I finally admitted what I was doing to one of my best (and oldest) friends, her response was: about damn time.

    And it was.

    Lovely post.

    • Thanks Lesann! Yes, Goldie’s “smiling innocence” is a great way to put it. She was loving every second. Your high school friends sound great. I also have a core circle of people I’ve been close with for 20 years or more. And yea for you getting back to your dream of being a writer. I love it when life brings us back around to where we should be.

  6. kristal lee says:

    I wanted to be a photojournalist. Not sure why I took a different path, but every time I pick up a camera I wonder what it would’ve been like if I had pursued that career.

    I still have my Star Wars board game and Star Wars watch. Except for my first teddy bears, those are the only toys to make it through all my moving adventures.

    • I would love to see pics of your Star Wars game and watch. That is way cool! I think about my Holly Hobby dolls and lunch box and still wish I had them. I do have my stuffed bunny (got that instead of a teddy bear) and rubber ducky. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. I wanted to be a veterinarian. At some point I realized it wasn’t all fluffy kittens and cute puppies.

    I’ve known my best friend since we were in Moms & Tots together. We haven’t always been friends, though. We went through a couple phases of being friends, of not being friends, to friends again. Hehe, I’m happy to say we’re back in the close friend stage, and I don’t see that changing.

    • Yes, Angela. I have a few friends who wanted to be vets too until they learned some of the sad parts. Glad your relationship with your best friend has evolved back to a good place. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Angela, I wanted to be a vet too, until I read, ‘All Creatures Great and Small’. I nearly passed out from all the gore.

    Great post Barbara! Made me think back to when I was young and free like Natalie said, without inhibitions or limitations.

    I had the most rockin’ pair of go-go boots. All three of us girls got them one year for Christmas, as well as pogo sticks. My mom has a hilarious picture of us wearing our boots on the pogo sticks. We were such goofs.

    Ah, good times.

  9. In the sixth grade I wanted to be a nurse and a writer. I used to be a nurse, and I’m a writer, Cool, huh? We won’t talk about my love for dance, and a strong desire to be a ballerina. I loved the go-go dancing too. I just love dance 🙂

    • That is cool Cheryel. Glad you have gotten to move your dreams into reality. As for dancing, I will dance just about anywhere and get some steps and moves in every day. Go-go moves are still my faves. 🙂

  10. Ali Dent says:

    This post is lovely. I cant remember specific dreams when I was a child but I can’t remember when I didn’t want to write and tell the gospel.

    Thanks for bringing so much validity to our childhood.

    • Thanks for sharing that Ali. Yes our childhoods are an integrated part of who we are now. Stuff that was fun, stuff that caused pain, stuff we learned from and even stuff we keep doing again and again.

  11. Elena Aitken says:

    What a great post!
    It totally brought me back to my BFF in childhood. We used to live next door and have a little bucket where we left each other notes. GREAT memory.
    And then…we lost touch over the years and also reconnected on facebook.
    Yet another use for social media.
    Thanks for the memories. 🙂

  12. That was a lot of fun! I suspect most of us (of a certain age, anyway) are lapsed go go dancers. I love hearing stories of how old friends have reunited through Facebook. As much as it drives some of us crazy at times, there is definitely a good side and you just proved that!

    • I took the longest to join FB because I thought it was just people making random babble posts and playing games all day. Then I joined and after spending a few weeks making babble posts and playing games (ha ha), started figuring out how to make it work for me. What a great tool for virtual connections.

  13. Ame Kole says:

    I loved reading your post. Forgot about the adoption thing… too funny. I think I still have some old letters from the S.C.C. (Secret Code Society). I’ll have to look next time I’m in storage. I remember us dancing/performing to Macavity from Cats. I distinctly remember working a backbend into the routine. I think we did it in front of our whole class. We were awesome! -aka Prince Alan.

    • Yep we were Cats fanatics (I still am) and I remember leotards and created tails. It was in front of our class and a blast. They thought we were cool to have guts to perform like that. I couldn’t imagine not performing. Ooo…I think we did cat makeup as well. 🙂

  14. Pingback: Life Can Be So Random – 10 Things About Me | Barbara McDowell's Blog

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