It was 1982.
The dancing world was shedding the “Disco Era” (finally, some would say) and moving into New Wave music.
Men Without Hats came out with this new dance anthem, “Safety Dance.”
I remember it well.
At the time, I was a student at the University of Cincinnati. And there was an alternative dance club I’d visit all the time… Cooter’s.
As soon as this song would play, we’d be bouncing up and down like we were on a pogo stick.
(In fact, this might be why my knees are giving me such issues now…)
The song was actually written in protest of club bouncers who would stop the “pogoers” from dancing their weird little dance.
That bouncing up and down was a far cry from John Travolta’s smooth moves in “Saturday Night Fever,” the popular disco dance movie.
But the Safety Dance did more than introduce a “new wave” of dancing.
It introduced a new way of thinking.
There was such creativity and experimentation that went on during that time that I believe it led to even more new ideas being released into our culture.
For instance, it was during those days I learned about individuality through a very cool weekly event at Cooter’s.
It was the Sunday Night Fashion Show.
It was a strange night to do a fashion show, but it was nevertheless awesome.
A local thrift store, Savannah’s Closet, donated their clothes to be showcased by the models. Every model pulled together a “look” that was as unique as their own thumbprint.
I fell in love.
Because I instinctively knew I was witnessing something real.
Something that didn’t happen all the time.
I started to visit Savannah’s Closet on my own, experimenting with my own sense of style.
Although my parents didn’t understand, they shrugged their shoulders and said after all, I was “the artist” in the family.
Being seen as “the artist” can allow you to do some pretty goofy things.
But it can also give you the freedom to make some profound discoveries.
What unfortunately happens is that many graduate from high school or college, enter into “the real world” and stop experimenting.
And I think this is part of the reason why I think marketing is da bomb.
Because it’s all about experimentation.
Testing new ideas… trying new things… Seeing what gels and what doesn’t.
It takes time. But you can dance if you want to… while you wait.