Whatever Paradise: a pop-up dance party

When I was in Grade 3, one summer afternoon, I invited one of my classmates over to my house to play with her after school. Though she lived in the same school district, her house was a little far from mine, so whenever we arranged to play together at my place, her mother brought her by car and came again a few hours later to pick her up.

That day, the weather wasn’t great, so we decided to play inside the house. I don’t remember what we did for the first half of our time together. But at some point, we were sitting in the most empty room upstairs and that’s when we suddenly started to dance.

There was no music playing in the back. We first started singing randomly. Then, as we sang, we started moving our bodies, and we were soon captured by the fun of it. The song lasted for a long time as we created one verse after another, and our movement became more and more dynamic. We waived our arms around, kicked the air with our feet, and turned and twirled in the small room with all our forces.

In my hand I carried a tiny empty jar that had once contained cooking rum. I liked its shape and was hoping to use it while we played together. As we danced around the room, singing at the top of our voices, I felt so good that I tried standing on the empty glass jar. Its flat shape fitted perfectly under my right foot, and its smooth glass surface made me slide on the floor as if I were skating.

“Whoo-hoo! I’m skating, I’m skating!”

My friend also picked up a cardboard cylinder from the floor which used to hold a cling wrap in the kitchen and was now part of my arts and crafts collection. She started waiving it around like a baton.

“Whatever, whatever, whatever paradise…”

We sang and sang as I skated around the room and my friend span the baton in her hand. We were both sweating heavily and had forgot about everything else in the world when the room door suddenly opened and our mothers appeared.

“What on earth…?!”

They were shocked by the way we were sweating and how the air was stuffy in the room. We were told to come downstairs immediately because it was time for my friend to go home.

“That was SO fun!!”

My friend and I grinned at each other as we came out of the house and stood on the porch next to our mothers. It had started raining while we lost ourselves in the dance party madness.

“Oh, what’s this?”

Suddenly, my friend discovered a patch of red rash on her arm. When her mother saw it, she said that it must be due to the sweat.

“What have you been doing up there? You girls are sweating like crazy for sure!”

She shook her head and motioned my friend to hop on the car.

After seeing them off, I checked my own arms to see if there was any rash, but my arms were intact. Still, that dance party had happened for real, I thought to myself, it was amazing.

The memory of that dance party madness never fades in me. Even now, as I think back on the day, I can feel the heat and sweat of our epic dance party like yesterday.