From Our Readers Middle School Dilemmas From Our Readers

I still remember it like it was yesterday. The smell of Adidas cologne still lingering in my nostrils. The constant need to fit in. Yes, I’m talking about middle school.

By age 13, I hadn’t matured as fast as the rest of the group. My voice still sounded like a muppet, I didn’t even need a training bra yet, and a fun Saturday night was putting on newscasts that my mother would videotape for me. In my town, organized dance functions started in 6th grade and they were all the rage. As awkward as I was, I definitely wanted to experience what this world was like but one thing was holding me back; I didn’t know how to “freak” dance.

I knew I had to learn but I also knew I couldn’t tell anyone that I never had danced with a boy before. So I did what any pre-teen would do; download ‘Hot In Here’ and get to work.

So there I stood in front of my mirror. The music soft enough that my parents couldn’t hear but loud enough that I could feel like I was really in the moment. Moving back and forth to the beat, I realized I actually had to do this in public and I definitely needed more work. Also, ‘Hot In Here’ couldn’t be the only freak dance song in my repertoire. Ugh, so much pressure.

Weeks later, I felt confident enough from what I had seen in my bathroom mirror. The dance was on Friday and I was ready. I invited all of my friends over, straightened the frizz out of my hair, and put on my best Hollister shirt. “Here we go,” I thought, “Now I just have to get a guy to ask me to dance.”

Well, it happened. His name was Brian and the song was ‘I Like The Way You Move’ by Outkast. Damn it! I hadn’t practiced that one. Moving to the same beat, I fell in love. I realized from that moment on that I was no longer awkward Courtney, I was just semi-awkward Courtney with more dance experience.

Thanks, Brian. Thanks for everything you did for me!

You can read more from Courtney Cohen on her blog.

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