Residence: USC, from Los Angeles, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/28/15
Primary Language: English
Informant: What about dance parties?
Interviewer: What about dance parties?
Informant: We used to have them, as a kid. When I was younger. Would they count as folklore?
Interviewer: What do you mean?
Informant: Well it was like this thing. Like whenever it was late and it was bedtime, but we couldn’t go to sleep, we would have dance parties.
Informant: Well it would be like when we had been staying up talking to my mom, and then she would tell us to go to bed. But we weren’t tired. So she would throw a mini-dance party for my brothers and me.
Interviewer: Was there a specific song you would listen to?
Informant: Yeah! What was it? I know it. If you heard it, you would know it. (After Googling something) “Moondance” by Van Morrison. My aunt gave her like a mix CD from her high school reunion and that was on it. We would always listen to that song.
Interviewer: And dance?
Informant: Yeah. Until we got tired, then we would crash out and go to sleep.
I feel like every parent must have a trick to get their kids to go to sleep, and this one sounds like a fun one that will easily tire the kids out. Kids, generally speaking, do not like to miss out on time with the adults and do not feel like they are missing out, so it makes sense that this informant’s mother would initiate the dance parties often when the informant and her siblings were up talking to the mother. When she said it was time to go to sleep, they probably groaned. So she made a game out of it.
I like the addition that it was one particular song, “Moondance”. That to me made it a ritual. That when they heard the words dance party, they knew exactly what music would played. It is also interesting that the music was passed along by another family member. That does not necessarily mean anything, but it is very folkloric to have all the elements passed down or along by other people. Her mother did not pick “Moondance” arbitrarily, it was on a CD her sister gave her. That just feels more special for the entire process and dance party.