Thursday, July 3, 2014

Dancing Queen by Ellen Hartman

Do you know what's happening exactly two weeks from tonight? The Harlequin party at the Romance Writers of America national conference. This year, the party is at the Waldorf Astoria hotel. My husband and I took our grandmothers to the Waldorf one time for an overnight trip, but I haven’t been back in years. I literally can’t wait.

I love the Harlequin party. It’s fantastic fun. It’s a celebration of writers and romance and this wonderful world we work in. It’s fancy and full of people who are all kinds of impressive. But the absolute best thing about the party is the packed dance floor.

The Super authors love to boogie. I started to name the people I’ve danced with and the list got about as long as the one off to the side of this blog. One of my favorite memories of Victoria is the year we first met and I wound up dancing next to her to “Living on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi. She didn’t have the same visceral love for that awesome party anthem that I have, but she was getting into it.

I love to dance. I’m a truly horrible dancer, but I don’t care. I hear “Dancing Queen” or “We Are Family” or “Jessie’s Girl” and I can’t leave the dance floor. The only time I sit down all night is when they play (and they ALWAYS do play) "Hot, Hot, Hot." And yes, there’s always a conga line.

What about you? If you're at a wedding, a party, or a club, are you a dancer or do you prefer a spot on the sidelines? What’s the song that never fails to get you on your feet or the one that sends you running for your seat? Can anyone explain the allure of the conga line to me?

I’m giving away three copies of Married by June today. Leave a comment for a chance to win.

Here's a treat to get you all in the dancing mood. Turn up your speakers!



And one more...I couldn't resist.

59 comments:

Ellen Hartman said...

Okay. Having watched the ABBA video, I will say I dance well enough to join their group.

Bon Jovi's moves are beyond me, but maybe if I had a long, leather coat trimmed in fringe I could fake it better.

marybelle said...

I dance shamelessly at every opportunity. I also now have DANCING QUEEN in my head. I am a terrible dancer, but enthusiasm must count for something.

scarlet wilson said...

I can cut a few moves on the dance floor - but when I try and singalong, I could clear the room!

Jeannie Watt said...

Ellen--We met on the dance floor of the Harlequin party, remember? If not, pretend to, okay? That year they did not play Dancing Queen and you kept saying, "Why aren't they playing Dancing Queen?" But I do remember Living on a Prayer. It's now my ringtone for my daughter. She called once when I was in an elevator and the three guys in there with me started dancing. I'm rambling. It's late. Can't wait to dance with you again.

linda s said...

So not a dancer... no rythmn. But my great nephew is getting married in far north rural Saskatchewan and he has promised the teach me the chicken dance. Loved Married by June so don't put my name in your hat.

Ellen Hartman said...

Marybelle--Shameless! That's me, too. Excellent word.

And yes, enthusiasm counts for everything.

Ellen Hartman said...

Scarlet--I admit to the sin of envy when it comes to people who are good dancers. Lucky you!

I can't carry a tune either. Again, I fall back on hoping for credit for enthusiasm. ;-)

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi Jeannie,

I almost included my memory of meeting you on the dance floor, but then I got worried it wasn't true. (My brain is not as foolproof as it used to be.) I do remember waiting for "Dancing Queen." It seems an obvious choice to play at a party full of women.

I love that "Living on a Prayer" is your ringtone for your daughter. I'm smiling right now thinking of the guys dancing. The song is irresistible.

I can't wait to dance with you!

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi Linda--Glad you liked the book!

Your nephew sounds like a great guy. I don't know how they do the Chicken Dance in far north Saskatchewan, but where I'm from in Pennsylvania, no rhythm is required. It's definitely a situation where enthusiasm is the primary qualification. Have a fantastic time at the wedding.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ellen,

I love to dance. I am not great, but I am not horrible (except when trying to Foxtrot!!) My husband is not a dancer, so my daughter is my dance partner. And now I have read all your wonderful books except Married By June - fingers crossed I win - tee hee. And keep writing!!!

Tammy Yenalavitch AKA Anonymous.

Babs said...

Not a dancer...my ballrooom dancing lessons were an exercise in futility. But, if the "Chicken Dance" music is played at a party or reception I have to join it as a nod to all my German friends who swear that no German can resist dancing to that song!

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi Tammy--I love dancing with my boys. They're finally tall enough that it's really dancing. ;-) Glad your daughter is happy to boogie with you.

My husband is an excellent dancer. Much better than me. He doesn't love to dance, though. We have both a talent gap and an enthusiasm gap.

Good luck with the book drawing! ;-)

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi Babs,

I know I've told this story before, but when I was engaged, I scheduled and paid for dancing lessons at the Arthur Murray studio in Scranton. (I was a student there 1994, but the Arthur Murray studio was absolutely vintage. The place opened in 1947 and never changed a thing. It would make a very cool romance novel setting.)

Anyway, we were taking the lessons and the instructor pulled my husband aside and said, "You could really do something with your dancing if you had a different partner."

Ahem...did I mention I was paying the bill for these lessons?

I'm with you on the futility front. ;-)

I didn't know the Chicken Dance was irresistible to Germans. I'll have to keep a watch the next time I hear it played. Maybe Linda can report back from her nephew's wedding.

Bri said...

I LOVE to dance - doesn't really matter where I am, but weddings are Usually the best. And as a Jersey girl, any Bon Jovi songs gets my up on the floor - Living on a Prayer being one of the most popular.

Have a great time at RWA! :)

Mary Brady said...

Hi Ellen, sorry I didn't answer sooner, I was dancing with the videos. And I'm as good as Abba, too. I do love moving to the beat, but I'm unsure those around me consider it dancing, but to heck with them...dip...step…slide... Maybe I'll start every day with dancing.
Thanks!

Jo's Daughter said...

Oh I love to dance but not in the middle of the room/dancefloor with everyone staring at my big bottom hopping round and round. If the lighting is favorable and there are a bunch of people surrounding me I move more freely but I do get selfconcious about it.

So I like to do my more "exotic" if you can call it that moves, only in the comfort of my own home when nobody is staring or shocked.

JV said...

Hi, Ellen! I feel like boogying just from reading your blog!

When there's music going on, I want to dance. I'm not likely to be recruited for the Rockettes or anything, but I was told at a retirement party for my daughter's elementary school principal that I've "still got it!"

As cheesy as it may be (and I'm soooo not above cheesy), I will always get up on the floor when the Electric Slide or the Macarena comes on. At the annual Family Sweetheart Dance held during my daughter's elementary years, a bunch of us always did the rockette-style kicks to "New York, New York".

I love to dance. Unfortunately, my hubby doesn't love to dance (and, other than slow songs, isn't going to win any prizes at it), so my opportunities are far fewer now than in my youth, when I used to go out occasionally with some of my gay male friends on the weekends. (Now, you talk about good dancers!)

I suspect people are often more than a little bit surprised when a graying, overweight, middle-aged woman steps on the dance floor to cut a rug to It's Raining Men or Black Betty or I Love Rock and Roll, Don't Cry for Me Argentina (disco-version) or any number of others. Who cares, though? It's a lot of fun, and it's good for you.

I used to love to do the slow dances with my dad, who could slow dance with the best of them, doing all the dipping and so forth, but couldn't fast dance for beans.

And, as a self-appointed connoiseur, I must protest calling it the Chicken Dance. It's the Duck Dance. You make a bill with your fingers, flap your wings, and shake your tail feathers --just like a duck! The oompah band that plays at Oktoberfest always knows it's the Duck Dance. I will never understand how it got to be called the Chicken Dance.

Helen Brenna said...

I used to love to dance. Not sure what happened with that. Old age and a bad back?

msullivan said...

Ellen, what a great perk to find on the Super blog--dance music! I'm so sorry I can't make it to National this year. I'll miss the Harlequin party and the dancing. I usually jump on the dance floor for songs like "Beat it" and "Freeway of Love" ;-) I'm a lot more self-conscious about it than I use to be, but not so much at the Harlequin party because the floor is crowded and EVERYONE is having a blast.

Beth Andrews said...

I love to dance, Ellen, and though I'm not a great dancer, I have no problem being the first one out on the dance floor *g*

The only song that sends me to my chair is Old Time Rock and Roll - which is a shame because I do love Bob Seger :-)

Looking forward to the party!

JV said...

I've gotta say that Jon Bon Jovi has aged well. I think he's much more handsome now than in this video.

As for ABBA, I much prefer their song "The Visitors" to "Dancing Queen" because it was so unlike most of their music. You can hear it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvQOA0fznrA

Virginia said...

I am not a dancer at all. The one song that might get me up if I have had a few drinks would be Bob Segar's Old Time Rock and Roll. I would have to be about half drunk to get up then.

Rula Sinara said...

If I make it onto a dance floor, it's usually because someone dragged me there, LOL. I love music and dancing, but I'm a bit shy about it and not that great. I never learned how to dance with a partner. That's probably why I like watching Dancing with the Stars ;).

And I looove ABBA, but that video...I'm still laughing. For some reason, I'm thinking Saturday Night Live spoof.

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi Bri--I'm not a Jersey girl, but I think Scranton girls have a lot in common with our Jersey sisters. I have such fun dancing at weddings with all of my cousins.

When I saw the scene on the dance floor at my first HQ party with all the women fist pumping along to Bon Jovi, I knew I wanted to write that in a book. I got it into His Secret Past, and I'm not-so-secretly proud of that. ;-)

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi Mary--Congrats on your dance skills. If you're as good as ABBA, clearly you are ready for the stage.

I love your attitude. I dance at home a lot. When we have all the kids together at the beach, we like to have a dance party. Such good times!

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi Jo's Daughter! (I like your name.)

I am a much better dancer in the dark and when surrounded by the protective cover of other dancers. I think we all need to lighten up on ourselves and just enjoy. :-)

What's Mary's move...step, dip, slide? I can do that!

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi JV,

I never heard that about the Duck Dance, but as soon as you listed the reasoning, I absolutely got it. Yes. We've been doing the Duck Dance all this time and didn't realize it.

Off topic: Do you watch Glee? They did a move in the Barbara-vention scene that I suspect MUST be called the Rooster. Very funny.

I'm so glad you've still got it and aren't afraid to flaunt it! That's awesome.

"It's Raining Men" brings down the house at the HQ party, as you can well imagine. :-)

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi Helen--Ugh. Back issues are the worst. (I'm ignoring the question of age. La la la.)

Perhaps if you're not dancing this year, you'd like to get up on stage and sing along. I seem to remember that the DJ sometimes allows guests to take the spotlight. What do you think? :-)

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi Mary--glad you liked the videos. I was so excited to find a legal source for "Living on a Prayer" and they even let me embed them! Maybe we should include music on our Friday tip blogs?

I agree that the crowd at the HQ party makes it easy to join in! Like a big, fun, family wedding.

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi Beth--we all need someone to be first on the dance floor. Glad you're not afraid to get out there and kick things off.

So what is it about Old Time Rock and Roll that sends you to your seat? Visions of Tom Cruise?

Ellen Hartman said...

JV!! I had the same thought about Jon when I watched that video. So funny.

I'm going to look at the ABBA one later when I'm home from work. Thanks for the tip.

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi Virginia--Funny you and Beth would be passing each other when the Bob Seger music started. :-)

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi Rula--I'm much better as a solo dance artist as well. I love watching the Dancing with the Stars performances. Some of the stars really loosen up and become good dancers as the season goes on. It always gives me hope that if I find the right teacher...someday I might discover hidden dance talents.

crystalgb said...

I love to dance even though I am horrible at it. The songs that make me leave the dance floor are those that require you to do a specific dance with complicated steps.

ClaudiaGC said...

Well, I'm not a vwery good dancer but I still love to! :) Especially to Abba music! I think their music is just right to have a good time and enjoy yourself. I also enjoy watching others dance (like on TV shows and such). I think there is something so relaxing and entertaining about that.
As for the Germans can't resist doing the chicken dance, well, I'm German and I've resisted pretty fine so far as have all the people I know. ;)

Debra Salonen said...

My favorite Harlequin Dance Party song is: It's Raining Men by the WeatherGirls. I make a total fool of myself every time. Think of me when you're dancing to it this year, okay?

Deb

autumnmacarthur.com said...

Oh, Deb, I just tried to post a comment on that song, but Blogger disappeared it! I have to sing along too, of course. And to think up until my mid-thirties I was painfully shy and would only dance if the dance florr was dark and crowded enough for me to feel invisible. Now I have no problem being first up.

Also Mustang Sally, and anything by ABBA are guaranteed to get me up and moving. Love to sing and dance along to the film of Mamma Mia!

Kaelee said...

Hi Ellen ~ I love to dance but I'm married to a non dancer so I mostly dance at home. I can usually get him on the dance floor once or twice whenever we attend a wedding. The very first cat that lived with us was my constant dancing partner. None of the other six cats has cooperated though. I love Hot Hot Hot. My husband and I danced through the streets of Nassau, Bahamas to that song so it has many happy connotations. As for the Duck/Chicken dance I call it the chicken dance. Sorry JV. I just looked both names up and the internet is split on it as well.

I just had to look up It's Raining Men. Wow what a video. Here's a link; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGLZqDXau98

The song that always gets me to my feet is It's Now or Never followed closely by Let's Twist Again. I'm showing my age. Do you Think I'm Sexy can get me hopping as well. I love to polka but must do it all by myself.

I loved Married by June so please don't include my name in the draw.

Jane said...

I'm usually on the sidelines unless I've had a few drinks to loosen me up. I like dancing, but sometimes I need a little liquid courage.

Marcie said...

If I hear the beginning notes for Electric Slide, Booty Call, or Charlie Brown I am out on the floor! Those are about the only line dances I know.

Rula Sinara said...

I forgot to mention that I already have Married by June, so leave me out of the drawing. Whoever wins is going to love it!

It's Raining Men didn't ring a bell, so I watched the video. What a hoot!

Laura Russell said...

Ellen,
Dancing, dancing, dancing! Your post is making me happy.

Joan Kilby said...

Ellen, I so wish I was going to the Waldorf Astoria! You have to dance at the Harlequin party because the music is too loud to talk. I love dancing and don't get enough opportunities these days. However I've been known to rock out all by myself to Bruce Springsteen while doing housework. My kids get so embarrassed, lol. Deb, I seem to remember It's Raining Men at the party in Dallas. Love that song.

JV said...

Kaelee, I know that many, if not most, people call it the chicken dance, but I must insist. If it looks like a duck, it walks like a duck, it quacks like a duck, and it shakes its tailfeathers like a duck, it's a duck dance. LOL!

Anonymous said...

I never did understand that chicken/duck dance. They have played it at almost every wedding reception I've ever been too.

Can't say as I've ever really had the urge to get up and dance. :) I have danced, but not much. My husband and I have never danced or gone to any dances. At parties I usually like to talk and catch up with friends and family. :)

Snookie

Kaelee said...

Oops! I need to add. I hope everyone going to New York has a wonderful time and may you all be Dancing Queens. Business conventions are such a wonderful way to connect with like minded people and refill your well. Have a blast!!!

Tammy Yenalavitch said...

Hello again Ellen,

Back as me. As a Girl Scout Leader, I learned all the group dances. I can Macarena, Electric Slide, Cha Cha Slide and more. Dancing fills my heart with joy. And I love going to concerts to dance. I saw Bob Seeger and had a great time dancing. My husband just sits in his seat and watches. I am going to see Def Leppard and Heart next week with a friend and then Elvis Costello in July. Lots of dancing ahead,

Rogenna Brewer said...

I can't wait!

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi Crystal--complicated steps send me off the dance floor, too. I used to go line dancing sometimes with a friend and I was always facing the wrong way.

On the other hand I used to go to a ceili dance night at an Irish bar when I lived in Seattle and I didn't have any trouble. Maybe I'm a natural because of my heritage, but I think it was more likely a combination of Harp and the fact that a lot of the dances involved men grabbing you by the waist and twirling.

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi Claudia--your post cracked me up.

I imagine you're not the only one who resists the chicken dance. ;-)

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi Deb--you know we'll be missing you on the dance floor. I hope we'll meet up again next year!

Autumn--it's fantastic that you've gotten bolder and more confident. Way to go! Also, Mustang Sally is one of my favorites.

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi Kaelee--When we were kids, my brother was always bugging my mom to buy him products he saw on TV like the Pocket Fisherman or the Kinsu knife set. She finally told him he could order something because she thought it would teach him a lesson about how terrible the stuff was. He bought a big multi-record set of Elvis music and we LOVED that thing. Our whole family listened to it over and over.

If I hear "It's Now or Never," the cover of that set comes right to mind.

As you can imagine, in NE PA where I grew up, there was a lot of polka music. My husband will watch a polka show on TV any time. He loves it.

Glad you liked the book. :-)

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi Jane--the HQ party usually features some kind of fancy cocktail. My first year they were serving Cosmos. I had never had one before. The last two times I went, I think I was too busy dancing to stop for a drink. I wonder what they'll have this year?

Marcie--I admire anyone who's good at line dances. I'm left/right challenged, rhythm challenged, and bad at following spoken directions. You can see why line dances aren't my strong suit?

Ellen Hartman said...

Laura--glad the post made you smile. I was thrilled when I found the video links!

Joan--the heroine of my first book rocked out to Bruce while she was cleaning her house. Guess what made me think of that idea? Actually, when I was writing my rock star hero, I repeatedly watched a video of Bruce playing "Rosalita" (one of my all-time favorites) in London. His energy was exactly how I imagined my rock guy acting in stage.

Ellen Hartman said...

JV--you're too funny. ;-)

Snookie--I think sometimes they play the Chicken Dance because it's kind of universal. Anyone can manage to dance to it. We didn't have it at my wedding though. :-)

Ellen Hartman said...

Tammy--I love the Cha Cha Slide! The elementary school my boys attended used to have roller skating parties and they always played that song. Watching the kids dance to it was the best part of the parties, in my opinion.

Hi Ro!! I was inspired to post videos because I remembered you had done it. Thanks!

Ellen Hartman said...

Thanks to everyone who stopped by today!

I just showed my son the Bon Jovi video and we realized our poodle mix puppy has a hairdo that would fit right in with the band. We didn't know she was a rock and roll poodle!

Anonymous said...

How did I miss this post?

Yes, I love to dance, and the Harlequin party was the most fun I've had since college. But I need to get in shape. I'm pretty sure I sweated buckets and pulled something.

I've got my dancing shoes ready...until I pull them off to dance barefoot.

Liz Talley

Colleen C. said...

I like to dance for myself... not much of a dancer in public... more of a wallflower.

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