“Yesterday the group surprised me by throwing me a surprise dance party. Everyone had a really good time, and everybody danced. There was our whole school group and most of our family’s that showed up and some friends from around our town. Amanda and Elena gave me gorgeous flowers, earrings, and chocolate. Zacarías busted out some amazing dance moves. And Annika and Felix made all of us double over laughing when the created crazy dance routines. The whole night was great and I enjoyed spending my birthday with all these great,and hilarious amigos.” -Estrella/Gwen
“Dress formal and get there by 6. It’s a surprise”
That is all we knew. By the time we were at the meeting place, people were freaking out. Not knowing is almost worse than knowing that you are about to have to strip naked in front of the town, everything is left up to your imagination.
“Everyone come except Estrella (Gwen)”
“They usually take cows to the slaughter one at a time”
Down a small flight of stairs into a medium sized, partly lit, white room. We look back and there’s a piece of cardboard with the words “Feliz cumpleaños Estrella” Written on it. A surprise party.
“When Estrella comes in dance”.
At any public dance event with teens, there is this hump that people need to get over before they let themselves dance. So this was completely unnatural. Some electronic song came on, Gwen came in and we didn’t don’t have a choice. It’s her birthday, one of those times you have to act happy no matter how miserable you are.
At request from Amanda the music took a more traditional twist. Just like the dress requirements for this trip, and like the dress requirements, the music wasn’t very reflective of the current local tastes. People still danced, people still had fun and some people ended up in their first partner dance to a fast paced song. Eventually though, in an attempt from the D.J. to get more people dancing, the music modernized.
More people did dance, or at least I think they did. I had stopped paying too much attention. Dancing to the more traditional music was fun and all, but I just don’t consider fast paced music with little variation worth the energy. I had fun just dancing, after the shift it was pretty much all I did. A particularly energetic song came on and I rose to match. It took me about fifteen seconds to realize I was the only one dancing.
Apparently I did pretty well, I still haven’t watched the video. The rest of the dance for me was just that, dancing, and when the music ended, I was excused. It was time to clean up and the D.J. put on All Star and pretty much everyone knew the lyrics, even those who didn’t speak much English.
“That party was poppin’… Well at least how poppin’ Bulan gets.” Zacarías