Glow Stick Dance Party!


Image from, glow from within, man…

I was young and childless in the days of the rave. Back when the kids were going off their nuts on ecstasy and house music and ending up in all kinds of quirky entanglements – not like the bath salts of today where they’re actively trying to chew people’s faces off.

(Make America Great Again!)

That’s when the glow stick became not just for campers anymore. Along with the pacifier, it became a dance accessory!

Fast forward a few years. Like 15, 17 tops… you don’t want to know how many years, when I found myself in a stinky, enclosed space with strobe lights and pounding music, and glow sticks. Lots and lots of glow sticks in every configuration.

It’s the K-4 Glow Dance Party, y’all!

So off the chain, my kid puked OUTSIDE. Yeah, that’s right, she threw up on the way in as we were crossing the parking lot, because she’s a trendsetter. Did we go home? Hell’s to the NO.


It’s party time, it’s excellent…

We said, “Watch out, someone threw up here,” and proceeded to party.

Hang up those coats, little minions, and choose ONE sugary snack. You’ve got a bucket of candy at home.

When we stepped into the gym, we found: kids lolling on the floor in head-to-toe glow gear, kids crying and dancing at the same time, a Second Skin Rainbow suit kid pulling a Kai Lo Ren around by the arm (wouldn’t happen in real life, just saying), and – I KID YOU NOT – a fifty-something dude with a gut wearing giant DJ headphones and nodding like a high priest presiding over it ALL.

It was Kindergarten-4th Grade, and nobody was wearing deodorant, so the whole place smelled like Skittles and funk. My own little monsters disappeared into the undulating sea of arms and whipping hair as I joined the protective ring of parents watching for a collision or a glowstick to the eye.

They say youth is wasted on the young, but I disagree. As much as I love the hits of the Frozen soundtrack and Silento, I wanted to go home shortly after the Chicken Dance Remix, and harbored absolutely zero romantic notions of what I was missing. My fuddy-duddy kids agreed. We lasted 84 minutes.

“It smelled like Domino’s in there,” my son complained, unaware he was just as ripe as anyone else. Halfway home, he asked if the dance was over.

“It goes till nine,” I said.

“You mean they’re going to be there ALL NIGHT?!”

We came, we saw, we left early. Next year, maybe we’ll try to pace ourselves.

Images from and Wayne’s World, Paramount Pictures 1992

Copyright Lynn van Lier 2016


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