Theresa Catharina de Góes Campos


So many parents ask nowadays: “What do our children see in discos, where the noise is such, any conversation becomes impossible? What is there to enjoy?

The ones who remember when the rock-n’roll first appeared, scandalizing the older generation because of the free style dancing, learned to accept the new trend the same way they quietly compromised in order to live with the TV and the stereo at the highest volume. Others, point out the universality of discos—with reference to place and age—since they attract more than teenagers and seem to exert great influence in fashion and attitudes.

If you go a step ahead and look deeper, beyond the gestures and faces of joy, one philosophical conclusion is also a common sense observation: again, people don’t find it easy to communicate. To dance comes more naturally to them than to undertake listening to is the loud music, the rythmn they show interest in listening to is the loud music, the rythmn the cherish and obey without questioning, hour after hour.

Contrasting with ballroom dance, every person there is really on his/her own. Nobody supposedly needs a partner, not even singles… (Don’t we all know it is not easy to be a partner?) In a Disco, there seems to be no need to pay attention to others, no requirement for the co-ordination of movements and steps to someone else’s.

A positive outlook at discos acknowledges the fun and recreation, a combination of individual and group activity, a social form of self-expression. These aspects should not be undermined—or ignored—by concerned families. Maybe acceptance will come easier if we remind ourselves about the wonderful exercise our youth is practicing with such a consistent enthusiasm. This much needed release of energy which has many beneficial results, physical as well as emotional, requires no coaching or nagging from adults.

At the same time, there is some discipline involved. Disco dancing always calls for an audience. Individual preferences may determine personal styles but the group still maintains its control since each dancer needs the right atmosphere. It must include “the others”, who share the same feelings and reaction-response to the music and place. Thus, the human need to establish some basic rules of personal communication appears at discos too. Despite its disguise of individuality, communication can be easily spotted, dancing or at relaxation times when most of the body rests but eyes keep following the movements of the others still on the go. Quiet or not, each person is bound to interact while accepting his/her limitations to the space available individually. So, respect for other people’s rights is there and only this should be enough reason to invite a parent’s praise.

As long as we realize we are not ever alone in life, our chances of emotional balance seems very good. It does not really matter if some relationships will have to be classified as superficial, temporary, indifferent or disliked by us. In a public place, we just have to behave in a civilized way … learning to live in a society means different individuals are called to express their preferences in a context which does not conflict with the goals of the community.

Let’s concentrate then on these positive aspects of discos. Specially for teenagers, it is just wonderful to be where they know to behave, what to say and to do, etc.

Did we forget how insecure we were as adolescents, unless we found ourselves with our peers? Sometimes, a nostalgic look at the past brings mature, tolerant thoughts.

Talking in more practical terms, we suggest families occasionally join the fun. Next time the kids leave for a disco, just ask to which one are they going. Then, as soon as they are out, choose a similar dancing spot and go there….. Why not? Is is also the most fashionable, less boring way of loosing weight.

Later, tell your children it was great.

Maybe, after one or three nights, followed by spontaneous talks and commentaries the next day, the “old” folks will get a warm invitation from the kids to see “their” favorite disco place.

In any case, we foresee a communication bridge being built, from a very basic, essential starting point: a first hand knowledge of young people’s feelings.


Later, they will be very thankful to you.

Theresa Catharina de Góes Campos
Ottawa, Ontario - Canada

Jornalismo com ética e solidariedade.