Last weekend, the wife and I were at Chicago's Summer Dance series down in Grant Park. The city offers free dance lessons from 6-7pm and then has a free concert from 7:30 - 9:30. After that you can wander over to the fountain and watch the fireworks over the harbor. You can do this EVERY saturday of the summer! How cool. What a fabulous free exposure to arts. What I noticed was that there were all sorts of people enjoying this Mayor Daley creation. There were all sorts of people from different races. There were older people and there were families with young kids. There were some immigrants who didn't speak English. Some people dressed in jazz regalia and others wore tee shirts and gym shoes. But the group that was not represented was teens. I didn't see anyone who looked like they were in their teenage years. I thought what an example of how our culture has segregated teens from not only older people but also young children. Why were teens so underepresented here? Is it 'uncool'? If so, why? Is it because they don't know this type thing is offered? Why not? Are they so self conscious that they would not want to learn swing dancing and show off their beginner moves in front of strangers? I don't know, but I think it is a shame - they are missing out on a totally legal and free good time and they will be glad they learned to dance when they get older and are in a wedding, especially their own. I had so many students complain last semester that they were "bored" and they had nothing to do. Here is an option. Enjoy it. Don't let our culture marginalize you until you are acceptable again as a twenty-something.
Here you see the diverse crowd dancing in Grant Park, but no teens :-(.