Chicken dancin’ the night away

Swing your partner round and round …
There’s a barn dance on Saturday night of the county fair. Every year young, old and in-betweens head down to the metal barn for a rip-roaring good time in the sawdust. Can’t dance? No problem. Don’t know how to allemande left? No worries — someone will grab you and spin you in the right direction.


You’re lookin’ at the dancing queens. After a hearty meal of pizza and only-because-it’s-the-last-night-of-the-fair Mountain Dew, they headed for the music, bright lights and big crowd.


This is the dancin’ king and he can bust a move. He was spinning and twirling and side-steppin’ with the best of the them — pure and exhausted joy on his filthy, sweaty, five year-old cheeks.


The barn dance is one of those things. Animal exhibitors, 4-Hers, FFA kids, alumni, parents and grandparents, and kids from neighboring counties attend.

Outside those doors and south of the barns there’s a fair going on. A show in the grandstand, perhaps. People screaming on rides and buying funnel cakes. In here, though, are people who’ve been doing this for years and years. And it doesn’t matter if you’re sitting on the bleachers or kicking up dust, there’s a camaraderie here … laughing, happy people paying homage to good old-fashioned fun and tradition.


And so what if you don’t know the Electric Slide. There’s a Chicken Dance for everyone!


When you’re little, this is the place to go crazy and expel energy until you crash on your mama’s lap. When you’re young, this is the place to meet, greet and smile pretty. You might even garner a slow dance or two from someone you’ve had your eye on. You’ll return here when you’re a slightly older, becoming-worldly-wise young adult who doesn’t quite realize how pivotal this event is in your personal history.

And then, when you’re even older and becoming wiser [I think] like me, you’ll return to watch your little kids catch the dancin’ fever. And you’ll sit on the bleachers and remember the good ol’ days. You’ll burn the hours in your memories and tuck the smiles away in your heart, wishing this could be how the world turns.

And then a handsome, blue-eyed guy will break his code of never again and ask you to dance.


And that puts a smile on every face.

Go exploring! You may enjoy these previous posts.


  • comment-avatar
    Sal July 26, 2011 (8:00 am)

    You captured the essence of the Saturday night barn dance! Looks like your son will always enjoy this activity. Hope you did too!

  • comment-avatar
    Susan July 26, 2011 (8:05 am)

    Oh, man, you got me at the end and I had to swallow hard. Thanks for sharing the memories.

  • comment-avatar
    Jane July 26, 2011 (8:20 am)

    Too cute! 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Bill July 26, 2011 (3:11 pm)

    Hit it on the head and oh so eloquently. Our dancing was at the 103rd OVI campgrounds in Sheffield Lake, where our great great grandfathers returned from the Civil War and reunited every year. Each August the direct decedents return to the OVI and after dinner and flag lowering, including a bugle and the cannon being fired, the dance hall is alive. This is where I met my beautiful Marylynn some 50 years ago. Met her at the dance hall on the porch. Ah the sounds of Elsie pounding on the piano and her husband George on the drums, ” First couple lead to the right circle round and round” The smile on her beautiful over heated red cheeks as we did the alamand left and as our hands touched. Soon I was watching my girls learn the dances and grow and now my grand kids love that place. You hit it right on the head my friend. God bless you

    • comment-avatar
      Farmgirl July 26, 2011 (3:27 pm)

      And God bless you, my friend! 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Susan July 27, 2011 (11:52 am)

    And this post prompted one of my own (although my kids are now grown…). Thanks for the inspiration.