If you believe that mixed dancing is the end of Jewish civilization as we know it, and yea, verily, even the demise of any remaining vestiges of morality and propriety in an increasingly corrupt society, you’d better sit this story out.
When you pass it on Lexington Avenue,
Mos Eisley Spaceport the 92nd Street Y looks like just a building. You’d never know that evil lurks within. In fact, on Wednesday nights, you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.
Just listen to a few of these disembodied phrases, and you will understand the true danger that simmers just below the surface:
“a sense of comfortable chaos prevails”
“greeting each other with kisses on both cheeks”
“it can take over your life if you’re not careful”
“20- and 30-somethings looking for love, aging hippies reliving their kibbutz days, white-haired bubbes staying spry, and 40-something women showing a lot of skin”
“seemingly single women, their legs swinging from the stage”
“dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria!”
(OK, one of those quotes may be from Ghostbusters. But you get the picture.)
The Jewish Week reports bravely on the phenomenon of the Israeli dancing program at the 92nd Street Y, which draws hundreds each week to dance their days and political differences away. Apparently today’s dances are less folky and more pop-oriented. (This means a likely reduction in the only Israeli dance step I’ve really mastered other than the “mayim” and the “reverse mayim”: the “chirkeziah.”)
For those in or visiting New York, the folk dancing begins every Wednesday at the Y with an instructional session from 7-8; then an open dancing session until 12:45 am. (Yes, on a school night. No, I won’t write you a note.)