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Dancing in the City

I was talking to a good friend, Mike Tewes, who dates back 25 years ago, and we were reminiscing about our days when we used to go dancing in Belize City while we were going to high school and then dancing in San Pedro while we were on vacations. It was fun looking back at these good old days.

Dancing in Belize City used to be done with very little lighting. The dance hall used to be quite dark, and therefore the loving couples chose to dance at the corners of the dance hall because the little lighting that there was was at the center of the hall. On the contrary, in San Pedro the loving couples chose to dance at the middle of the dance hall because of the many mothers and relatives that frequented the dance to chaperone their daughters. So the couples, who wanted to dance tight and romantically, kind of hid in the middle of the dance hall.

Dances in Belize City were only attended by the party revelers. Only the teenagers, boys and girls, went to these parties held at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall. This was the number one place to party. On the contrary, dances held in San Pedro at Marino’s Club or Daddy’s Club were frequented by an equal number of young girls and older ladies. All young ladies were chaperoned to the dance by either mom or some aunt or relative. It is not that the mothers did not trust their daughters. No, it was just the style. You have to understand that back then in San Pedro there was very little entertainment and only an occasional dance, so when there was one, even the older ladies attended because it was entertainment time.

In Belize City the ladies congregated outside the dance hall. There they would chat with one another and the boys would hang around looking for a dancing partner. When the music started, you called your girl and you entered the dark hall to enjoy yourself. In San Pedro the girls all sat inside the dance hall on benches along the four walls. If you were very close to a girl, you could sit along with her. Otherwise they boys were outside and when the music started, they rushed inside to pick the girl of their choice. Now in the City, if the girls had sat inside, one would have never been able to locate them in the darkness of the dance hall. Quite a contrast, right?

While dancing in San Pedro in the 1960’s, the boy held the girl by her hands while they danced. In the City, the boy would hold her around her neck, or around her waist or at times even lower than the waist. Now that was quite a contrast too. To dance in the city we paid two dollars if it was a band and 50 cents if a record player was used. To dance in San Pedro we paid 5 dollars if it was a band and nothing if a record player was used at a birthday party. But let me conclude this dancing episode. Mike Tewes loved dancing in San Pedro but married a Belize City girl. I loved dancing in Belize City and married a San Pedro girl. I don’t think dancing had anything to do with it, right Mike?

Photo Caption: Dancing at Daddy’s Club.

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