The year is 2009. I work as an elementary school teacher’s assistant. In the work room, there is a table that holds a treasure trove of lost gems–things hidden in the back of storage cabinets and closets for ages, or things that simply have outlived their classroom usefulness. That table is the heralded FREE TABLE.
In my time working at the elementary school, I found many a treasure on the (in)famous FREE TABLE, notably a wrapped VHS copy of Nickelodeon’s The Amanda Show and another VHS copy of another relic of early 1990s Nickelodeon, SNICK! But that day, I found my favorite treasure of all. I found a copy of Dance Party–The Dance Craze Game of the ’90s!.
What is Dance Party, you say? Dance Party is everything you want from the early ’90s, which is essentially the residuals of the ’80s warmed over in your mom’s tupperware dish. If one wishes to play Dance Party–The Dance Craze Game of the ’90s, one only need at least 2 friends, your favorite retro tunes, and a dance floor. Why don’t I let the commercial explain how to play?
Not only are you and your dance partner trying to do 4 different dance moves to your favorite tune, you also have to do a certain action WHILE completing the dance moves, such as holding hands, lying on the floor, or performing the dance moves back-to-back with your partner, etc. Those that are not participating in the dance will vote on who performed the dance moves the best. That person will get a charm for their dance bracelet. The first two players to fill their bracelet will go on to the DANCE OFF! All other players will vote at the end to determine the winner.
Sounds silly right? It’s much sillier when you’re playing this in your mid-twenties with your best friend and your cousin. The day I found Dance Party was also the same day I’d planned to drive with my best friend, Stephanie, to go visit one of our best friends, that also happens to be my cousin, Brickey. I saw it and knew that it had to come with us on our trip. When The Trio of Laughter and Good Times, as we style ourselves, get together, we always get up to something absurd. This trip included a game of Dance Party. We laughed ourselves silly, playing Dance Party late into the evening to our favorite tunes from the 80s.
What I’ll never forget about this inaugural game of Dance Party was the final Dance Off. Brickey and I made it to the last round. We had to perform our dance moves while lying on the floor. While I don’t remember our all of our specific moves, I do remember that one was “The Jitters,” which involved us flopping around on the ground like a couple strips of bacon, and then the next move was a spin, which immediately had us flip over to the other side. It might as well been an interpretive dance about breakfast! Upon completing our moves, we stood up, but the music was too good. Our first game of Dance Party ended in just that, a full group dance party where Stephanie joined us in cutting a rug around Brickey’s living room.
We’ve played several more games of Dance Party over the years, but I confess it’s been a while since our last one. While there are several other memories of Dance Party that still bring me laughter today, I look back on that first one with the most fondness, especially the final Dance Off that concluded in one big group dance with my best friends.
So next time you’re at a yard sale, or a teacher cleans out their storage cabinet, watch the FREE TABLE for Dance Party. It’s a great game to pull out for some big time retro fun.