Save the Last Dance for Me

Flailing about at one of our school proms

I’m no dancer, my attempts consisting primarily of shifting my weight from foot to foot as I wriggle my hips and shoulders, accompanied by flailing forearms. The first time I recall dancing in public, if we discount my escapades as a toddler, was to gyrate to Devo’s Whip It at the Mayfield Junior High 9th Grade Banquet. That prompted legislation restricting me to the occasional bout of spelling out YMCA, in the style invented on American Bandstand, when chaperoning the prom.

But faithful readers know that despite my personal awkwardness I do admire splendid dance numbers, from Stormy Weather to Mary Poppins. Today I was shopping at Walgreens and found myself having to resist tapping my toes, snapping my fingers, and twirling to, of all things, Save the Last Dance for Me.

Counterintuitively, while I love the lyrics, I’ve never thought of that song as much of a dance number. Although I purchased the classic 1960 version by The Drifters as part of my audio collection years ago, it doesn’t get my body moving beyond a side shuffle and head bob. And my favorite version of the song is the somber 1979 one by Emmylou Harris, which seems only suitable for a slow dance.

But today along the toothpaste aisle in Walgreens I heard a take on the song I’d never heard before, which my iPhone’s SoundHound app told me was released by Michael Bublé in 2005. I promptly bought the song, added it to my playlist, and in composing this post found the wonderfully cute video.

Raymondo Chan

Isn’t the dance instructor Raymondo Chan wonderful in that video? As an Asian Canadian who teaches salsa dancing, he’s just as much of a remix as Bublé’s cover of the song!

I also like Bublé’s cover of Sway, a 1953 mambo song introduced to me by Anita Kelsey’s vocal dub for Jennifer Connelly in Dark City.

I bought that, along with his version of Feeling Good, although it lacks the emotional punch of the incomparable Nina Simone.

And while searching for a link, I came across Tamara Connolly’s wonderful video of Nina’s version of Feeling Good she created for a master of fine arts class.

Splendid. And when we are out, save the last slow dance for me, for I’m feeling good.

About Granger Meador

I enjoy day hikes, photography, podcasts, reading, web design, and technology. My wife, Wendy, and I work in the Bartlesville Public Schools in northeast Oklahoma, but this blog is outside the scope of our employment.
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