Thursday, April 14, 2011

Make mine a bluelight

No, not redlight, bluelight.

Did you ever go to a Bluelight?  Bluelight disco that is.  So named because it is run and organised by the Police Service.  

Targetted at teenagers, a Bluelight was the place to be when I was in high school.  Though meant to be alcohol-and-drug-free,  - one glance at the abnormally high number of brought-from-home-Mt-Franklin-water-bottles that you knew weren't filled with water indicated the blatant disregard for little rules like underage drinking!  Likewise, the number of kids sitting/lying on the dancefloor or being escorted out of the hall by a person in charge hinted at the consumption of some form of mood-altering substance!

Though technically a 'disco', at a Bluelight teenagers from all around the district would stand around the edge of a large community hall in groups, ignoring each other rather than dance to the latest pop music which blasted from speakers at the front of the room.  Strobe lights would be giving off a surreal, robotic feel and a smoke machine would be working overtime in the corner pumping throat-tightening vapours into the air to be recycled by the air-conditioning for the next few hours.  All while the cool kids stood in their groups being cool.

Me, I was one of the die-hard Bluelight-ers who actually went along to dance.  I was the one in the middle of the dancefloor busting a move, all night long, dancing with whoever was there.  Water and toilet breaks were a sign of weakness.  I came to dance and dance I did.  Cutting a rug in a swing top*, crushed velvet skirt (waistband rolled up to make it shorter - the shorter the better), black stockings, pointy toe shoes (with small heel - stylish to the max!) and hair that was teased within an inch of its life and hair-sprayed like there was no tomorrow.  There was to be no fringe-moving on my watch -  no matter the vigor of my moves (super, super-hold hairspray was the hottest hair product around).  Truly, the early nineties were a terrible time for fashion!

The day after a Bluelight I felt the full force of my dancing prowess.  Knees that felt like they needed a replacement (I dance from the knees, feet in one spot, body swaying - hard to explain, but funky!!), no voice from all of the singing (screaming - that music was LOUD), a headache from the insane decibals emitted from the speakers and scratchy eyes from the smoke machine - all signs of a good night. 

I found out the other day that Bluelights are still on the go.  I know, who'd have thunk it!  My youngest brother (nearly into highschool) was heading to one with his mates.  I'm sure the image and happenings have changed somewhat since I was there, but I can almost guarantee there will be a smoke machine and a strobe light!  Oh, and some kids pashing each other in the corner!

Ah, the teenage years!  How I don't miss you!

* What is a swing top?  Take a length of fabric say 2m long.  Gather one long edge and top with a collar.  On the short edges, add buttonholes and buttons.  Hem.  Voila.  Swing top.  Best made from the most garish, loudly coloured (fluoro is best) fabric you can find.

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