Catherine’s spontaneous backyard dance party weekend

Women dancing in a lit backyard in the evening.

This weekend in New England, fall is letting us know it’s here. But it’s doing so gently and nicely. We’re enjoying blue skies and autumn sun and delightful daytime temps (low-mid 70s/22–24C), with sweater and jacket temps at night.

Friday evening I went to a bookclub backyard birthday party for my friend Lisa. There was good food, fire pit conversation, rousing singing when the cake came out, and then…


It wasn’t planned. Someone said, “hey– let’s do some dancing!” So we did. Hostess Michele was our DJ, playing mostly hits from the 70s through 90s. Being socially bossy, I made everyone set up to do a Soul Train dance line. If you’re unfamiliar with this, here’s what it looks like:

Of course, these people are the acme of cool (in my view). We were not. But we did attract the attention of the neighbors, who were trying not to gawk at us (according to Michele).

It was the most fun I’ve had in a while. The joy of dancing combined with the joy of celebrating and moving and singing and shouting (sorry, Michele’s neighbors) in a group of people I care about– what’s not to love? I highly recommend this.

But wait, there’s more…

This weekend also marked the Porchfest festival in my town. Do a lot of towns do this? People sign up to play music on their front porches (or yards), and everyone walks or bikes or drives to different locations (there’s even a map) to listen, hang out with neighbors, dance and maybe sing along.

On Saturday, while doing dishes, I heard the sounds of a jazz standard, coming from my back porch. Investigating, it was neighbors from the next street, playing “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore”. Leaving my chores behind, I headed to my porch to listen. They were really good– swinging the tempo, playing great solos, and improvising lyrics in fun ways.

Before I knew it, I was dancing again. For the second day in a row! This time it was solo, on my back porch, mellower than the night before. But oh so satisfying.

I gotta pull out my tap shoes and take a class again soon. In the meantime, enjoy this dancing by Syncopated Ladies:

Hey readers– when was the last time you danced? Have you done any backyard dance partying this summer? Tell us about it.

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