#5: Family dance parties

Kick up your heels and kick out the jams. Family dance parties are hands down one of the best parts of being a parent.

By Jes Watson
#5: Family dance parties

photo: kellenjacob/

It starts with the drum pounding through our living room stereo.

The bass kicks in, and my husband starts to bounce his knee slowly to the rhythm. I’m standing on the sidelines in my yoga pants, swaying back and forth as our two-year-old daughter shimmies across the carpet.

The guitar line and vocals weave their way into melody. Suddenly, Adelaide is jumping like hot oil in a pan. Ned is Mick Jagger in dad pants. I do my best to keep up, trying to remind my body of how I used to move when the dance floor wasn’t a cramped living room with the furniture set aside.

Long before Adelaide was born, Ned and I would listen to this song together. We had heard it at some raucous party we had been to; had sweat to it in a packed bar wearing clothes that were cooler and tighter than the ones we don now.  We bought the album and played it over and over again until it the music sank into our bones, became a part of us.

I look at Ned as he holds our daughter in his arms and bounces to the song. She reaches her arms out to me, and I take her and spin her in circles until we’re both dizzy, the smile spreading across her face as we turn. I put her down and she moves with abandon, without an inkling of self-consciousness, bopping on bendy knees and leaping  fearlessly into the air. We reach a crescendo, dancing together, and I can’t help but feel just a little bit sorry for our neighbour downstairs.

The song is old, beaten in and as comfy as an old pair of jeans. But now, as we dance to it together, it’s all new.

The last riffs shrink into silence. Ned flops onto the couch, exhausted. I exhale loudly and stretch my arms in the air, thinking it must be bath time by now. But Adelaide flings her arms around my legs and looks up at me with her wide, clear blue eyes.

“Again.” she says. “Again.”

What's your favourite spontaneous thing to do as a family? If it's a dance party, what's your favourite song to jam to?

This article was originally published on May 17, 2012

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