Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Slam Dancing

Filed under: Personal History,Puttin' On The Ritz — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

The guy at the table behind Mike had a musical ring on his cell phone. We were enjoying our spicy Thai food at Me Kong Cafe in West Jordan and Mike started dancing in his seat to the tune. It was only the notes, but I felt like I could hear the words.

When I’m a-walkin’ I strut my stuff and I’m so strung out. I’m high as a kite. I just might stop to check you out.  – The Violent Femmes, Blister In the Sun, 1983

While the guy answered his phone, Mike whispered the first four words of the next line, “Let me go out…” We laughed together and I remembered my dancing years at The Ritz. Those few notes made me want to Slam Dance in the middle area of the dance floor with all the guys.

Wild flower, I love you every hour
Wild flower, I love you every hour
 – The Cult, Wild Flower, 1987

There was a brief time when Slam Dancing was allowed at The Ritz in the elevated dance floor in the middle of the club. Every time I went out there to Slam Dance with the big punk rock boys, I got hurt. I never blamed the management. It was my own damn fault for knowingly going in that part of the dance floor. It didn’t take long before the sign at the front of the club had an addition: “No Slam Dancing.” The management hired bulky guys with walkie talkies to enforce the new rule for the first few months.

Let’s have a party there’s a full moon in the sky
It’s the hour of the wolf and I don’t want to die
 – Oingo Boingo, No One Lives Forever, 1985

“Blister In The Sun” by The Violent Femmes, “Wild Flower” by The Cult and “No One Lives Forever” by Oingo Boingo are the three songs I remember being “Slam Dance” songs at The Ritz. Of course, as I said, it was only a small window in which Slam Dancing was allowed. If you weren’t there those few months, you wouldn’t have ever seen it.

In fact, Slam Dancing was only around for a slim window before it was renamed “Moshing” and people avoided “The Mosh Pit” instead of “those crazy guys on the middle dance floor.” If you weren’t there for those few years, you wouldn’t have ever seen it. Slam Dancing and Moshing looked exactly the same, by the way. I guess Slam Dancing wasn’t Grunge enough for those Seattle Boys. The bastards had to rename it Moshing. Yeah, that’ll make it cooler.

So okay, I don’t want to be a traitor to my generation and all but I don’t get how guys dress today. I mean, come on, it looks like they just fell out of bed and put on some baggy pants and take their greasy hair – ew – and cover it up with a backwards cap and we’re supposed to swoon? I don’t think so!  – Amy Heckerling, Clueless, 1995

So within a few years, out went the safety pins and in came the flannel. Out went the mohawks and in came the greasy snarled mess. When Cher spouted her traitorous remarks, I agreed fully. I missed those smooth and suave Wavers. Even the Punkers put more effort into their appearance than those Grunge Boys. It was an honor to be slammed up against them instead of a biological hazard.

(Lying my way from you)
No no turning back now
(I wanna be pushed aside so let me go)
No no turning back now
(Let me take back my life. I’d rather be all alone)
No turning back now
(Anywhere on my own cuz I can see)
No no turning back now
(The very worst part of you is me)
 – Lying From You, Linkin Park, 2003

God, I miss Slam Dancing. Where can I go to get that same adrenaline rush? That violent impulse inside of me is still lurking and it cries out for release. Exercise helps some, but miles of endless running just tire it out instead of releasing it. Maybe I need to take one of those kick boxing classes at the gym. The only problem is that you’re just kicking air, not people or things. Nothing broken. Nothing torn. No danger. Maybe I need to take some Karate classes. At least in that class you touch another human being. Maybe I just need to go to a Linkin Park concert. Do you think they’d let me in the Mosh Pit?


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