Sixth Grade Dance Contest

The year was 1991.  It was a cool October evening.  I was wearing my blue Bongo jeans with the pastel multicolored pockets that zipped at the ankles, but the zippers were covered by my ginormous white slouchy socks. I wore my high top L.A Gears that were half velcro, half laces(straight player status) and a bright yellow V-neck t-shirt tucked in with the sleeves rolled…twice.  I was feeling it, completely in the zone.  I finished off the look with a half-up side ponytail, neon slap bracelet, and my trusty “Dr. Pepper” Lip Smacker chapstick tucked neatly into my pocket. I gave myself a wink and some duck lips in the mirror, closed up my “Caboodle” and promptly had my mom drive me to the middle school auditorium.

I was ready to bust some serious moves. Kris Kross, Vanilla Ice, Wilson Phillips, Kid N Play, Bell Biv Devoe, and House Of Pain. It was ON! I walked in to meet up with my 6th grade crew and scope out our spot for the night. The dancing began with the “Running Man,” a tried and true classic.

will smith giphy

Not to be outdone of course by the always impressive “Roger Rabbit.”  I threw in the “cabbage patch” to keep em’ guessing

cabbage patch

and then owned the dance floor with my girls by demonstrating the “Kid N Play” before retiring for a much needed water break.

kid n play will smith giphy

Just then the D.J announced that there was going to be a dance contest at the conclusion of the current Keith Sweat jam. DANCE CONTEST?! This is it! I thought to myself. This is my 15 minutes of fame.  I’m gonna win this and show Zach from room 12 that I’m the bomb. The contest was to last one song and the winner’s name would be announced at the end of that tune. I went over my moves in my head, gave myself a pep talk and prepared for the D.J’s cue.  A few seconds of sweet old school record scratching and then the big reveal…the fresh to death beat that could be nothing other than “Poison.” My favorite after school MTV  jam.

I made my way to the front of the group and danced my heart out.  Dripping sweat, out of breath, and daydreaming that this performance was being judged by Bell Biv Devoe themselves.  As if I was to be the winning dancer for their next video, ready to show my stuff in black pumps and a lime green mini skirt. My moves looked something like this.

kid n play giphy

With the song almost over I began to realize that I had failed to apply deodorant which had recently become a necessity in my hygiene regimen and I was in fact quite fragrant…pungent really.  While eyeing the crowd to see if anyone else had smelled my stench, A man in cahoots with the D.J tapped me on the shoulder.  “Young Lady, we like your moves! come up here please” the D.J instructed over the microphone. I ascended the stage steps, my heart pounding. “What is your name?” He asked.  I looked out to the crowd and proudly proclaimed “Sara!” Sara, You are our dance contest winner! Come and pick your prize!”I was S T O K E D!!

britney spear award meme

The prizes were as follows, a Wilson Phillips t-shirt or a Bell Biv Devoe cassette single of “Do me.”   I think it’s obvious what my choice was.  I proudly grasped the “Do me” cassette and excitedly anticipated my weekend Walkman session. In retrospect, this particular prize was incredibly inappropriate for an 11 year old…oh well.

bell biv devoe single


I was given a 1st place ribbon and some sweet recognition. I stepped down from the stage with serious swagger.Within 5 minutes time, guess who got asked to dance for the slow jam? Yep, that would be me. Those pastel butt pockets got a nice first time fondle at the conclusion of my amazing choreography and I made sure to keep my arms as close to my body as possible so as not to offend my partner. Quite the successful evening if I do say so myself.

Dance! Dance when no one is watching! Dance when everyone is watching.

Even if you dance like like this.

elaine danicng giphy


As long as you’re having fun doing it, that’s all that matters. Cut a rug and leave your inhibitions at the door. Just please, don’t forget the deodorant.


Strut your best moves and vote!!


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About the author

Sara Pittman

Sara is from sunny San Diego CA. She is a wife, busy mother of 3 and amateur chef stumbling through organized chaos on a daily basis using sarcasm and humor to soften the blow...that's what she said. She will take any opportunity to demonstrate the running man in public and enjoys being a sarcastic smart ass.


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  • Sara! I love it! You won! OMG you won! so so so cool. Seriously, I could see your adorable sixth grade self in scrunchy socks and an awesome little ‘tude. Huge smiles and thank you so much for linking up with Finish the Sentence Friday!

  • Oh man. This is so great! I am and have ALWAYS been an awful dancer…unless tequila is involved. Then, I’m great! But I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who thinks so…. Hahaha

  • Love the post – especially the visuals:)> I wish I could win a dance contest, but that will never happen. I’m not quite Elaine, but close;)! Curiously, my daughter is an awesome dancer.

  • You had me at L.A Gears! LOVED THIS POST!!! I was right there with you, cheering you on and smellin’ the 11 year old forgot the deodorant pits. This black girl can’t dance but I pulled it off pretty good for the 8th grade prom after having after school lessons from my BFF. The dances were less complicated in 1983.

  • This was awesome. I was not in the sixth grade in 1991 (ahem) but I did rock some waist high Bongo jeans with zippers and I was most definitely jamming’ to Bel Biv Devoe (and other things you hopefully weren’t doing in the sixth grade.) I am a dance contest winner in my mind…but in the small part of my brain where reality lives, I know I dance like Elaine. And I’m cool with that.

  • This definitely brought back so many memories – LA Gear and the running man – oh my! We used to dance to Vanilla Ice at the school dance nights ha hahaha….

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