The Prom Transcript

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Okay.  Well, back in middle school, I wasn't really the type of kid to let myself have any fun. I was afraid that if I let myself have fun, I'd end up being judged and I don't like being judged. 

So, eighth grade comes around.  Prom is coming up. Everybody's talking about it.  "Hey, are you going to prom? I'm going to prom. Do you know what you wearin'?  Do you know who you're goin' with?  Oh, I know who I'm goin' with." But me, I wasn't planning on it.  I didn't really wanna go.  I thought I'd just skip.  I thought I'd just end up being the kid in the corner, chicken in the hand, just standing there.  

So, after being constantly bugged by friends and family, I decided, "You know what?  What the heck, might as well go.  Let's just hear what it's gonna be about." 

So, graduation and prom was on the same day.  Graduation was earlier on in the day.  We sang Celine Dion. I hated it.  So, I go home, I get dressed. I throw on my suit, had my little fedora on—you know, stuntin'. 

And I should mention that, at first, we had no idea how we was gonna get there.  We knew no buses that ran by.  So, we figured we were gonna take a cab.  But my friend Shannon comes, she says, "Hey, my mom got a truck.  You can swing by.  My mom will drop you off."  

I'm like, "Oh, cool." So, my mom was okay with it.  They knew each other. They decide—we decided to go along with the plan. 

So, I'm going to my friend Shannon's house.  It's a block away from my house, not far. She lives next to this daycare I used to go to.  It's a family of Trinidadians.  I've known them since birth.  They're like my second family.  We're all outside, chilling.  My mom's taking a bajillion pictures; you know how they get around this kinda town.  And uh, yeah. 

So, typically—well, I should say first that Shannon, Shannon comes outside and, typically, she's a tomboy.  She's usually just—see her in a shirt, jeans, sneakers.  That's it. But she comes out, she got her hair down.  She got her little white dress on.  She got the real huge hoop earrings, you know.  So, now I'm standing here, I'm like, "Huh… Well, now." 

So, we get in the truck.  It's about a 15-20 minute drive, not very long. I get there.  All my friends standing outside, "Hey Dante.  Hey, you decided to show up."  

I'm like "Hey." 

So I go inside.  The space is a little bit smaller than I thought it would be—granted, there's not a lot of us, but it was pretty fancy looking.  I thought it was a good place to be.  Music starts playing. Everybody's on the dance floor.  I'm in the corner, standing there, chicken in the hand. 

I had a few people come up to me and try to pull me on the dance floor but I wasn't moving. I was not moving. I wasn't moving for anything but chicken.  So, the DJ decides to put on this song, and now he's saying, you know, "Everybody that's not dancing, gotta grab 'em, grab 'em and pull them on that dance floor.  You see anybody staying on the wall, you gotta grab them, bring them on the floor." 

So immediately, 20 heads come at me and try to drag me on the dance floor.  And at this point, I'm just done fighting it.  I'm like, "You know what? What the heck, I'm just gonna go on that dance floor, I'm gonna have a good time." I'm standing there awkwardly in the middle of the dance floor, just looking around. So, I try not to make myself look suspicious, so I started doin' a little… I start doin' a little two-step. This is where I was at. 

So, gradually over time, I started getting more into it.  The little two-step turns into a little shuffle, and I—that shuffle turns into a criss-cross, and that criss-cross turns into a God knows what. I don't even know what I was, I don't even know what I was doing anymore. 

I just know that, I'm on fire, and I'm bustin' moves I never thought was possible for me.  And I wasn't aware of this until I took the time to look around and I'm stuck in that little circle they make.  And everybody's like, "Hey, go Dante! Go Dante!" 

So, and it turns out that was one of the best nights of my life.  And it's like, my life up until that point, I was locked in a dark room.  But then I decided to unlock the door and I took a step out, and I learned how to dance.