August 06, 2004

Students Against Priests Dancing

Snapshots In My Time, Of My Time.....Hauntings.
High School...1977 Junior Year

I attended a private catholic high school, wearing all plaid of course, where most of the instructors were priests or nuns. We had a handful of layteachers. By the time I had reached my junior year, I was part of a very close group of friends consisting of 5 girls and 2 guys. We were all best friends and did lots of things outside of school together.

Specifically we all loved to go to the local clubs and dance. Not drink as we were all good catholic kids. But dance. We would clear a dance floor OUT with our dancing. People would stop dancing just to look at us dance. We were that good. At that time, girls and germs, Dicso was king! We were all about Dicso. We loved for Disco. We were the Disco dancers. Noone could do the hustle like we could. Noone could do the pretzle like we could, or shag like we could either. We were up on all the latest songs and dances to do at clubs. Right now I can still hear tunes running thru my head---> Sunset People, Ring My Bell, Do the Hustle, Don't Leave Me This Way, Rock Freak!, Le Freak, In the Bush, Car Wash, Don't Stop till You get Enough, Funkytown, Last Dance and Boogie, Oogie, Oogie... just to name a few. Where has all the good music gone? Now it is all about getting "crunk in the club." (Whatever the hell that means.)

Disco is NOT Dead!

Disco never went away as some would have you
believe. Disco merely evolved and worked its way into the fabric of and is the
basis of House, Rap, dance and pop music today. Disco music is everywhere today
including the movies like "The Last Days of Disco" and "54" about
Studio 54.

Well one friday night--and we always went dancing every Friday, Saturday and some Sunday nights--we were at the first stop of our usual 2-3 bar rotation for the evening. It was a dance club called Whistlers. That was the first stop for us every night we went out. That night we were all dancing together doing the Hustle or the Bus Stop for about an hour. We finally took a break and sat down at our table. We drank cokes and looked around at all the pretty people. Back then people dressed up to go to dance clubs. Nice dresses and high heels. Men wore dress shirts and slacks and even suits. (None of this baggy shirts and pants so low that your underpants are showing and you thing you are dressed to go dancing!)

We were sitting in 2 booths right next to each other. The dance floor was to our immediate right with that bright, shiny disco ball hanging from the ceiling. Round tables were set up all around the dance floor and behind several rows of round table the bar was located behind all of that. We had prime real estate right next to the dance floor. I was looking at some of the people sitting in round tables closest to us and noticed one of our priests from school sitting alone at a table having a drink.

I pointed him out to the others saying, "look there is Father ___." We all looked and went back to our talking amoug ourselves. I was kind of puzzled by him being there. The friends with me said nothing more about it. They were all Catholic and I was Presbyterian. My parents were paying double the tuition cost to have a non-catholic attend a catholic school. Coming from a Presbyterian background, I would be mortified to see out pastor in a bar. So would any member of our congregation. He would most likely be out of a job. What people do in private we may never know but our pastor in a bar would not fly.

Given the whole air of irish catholics being big drinkers and yada yada yada, I did not say anything else about first. Maybe that was okay among priests. Are priests supposed to drink in public bars? Can they even go to a bar at all? Then I noticed he still had his collar on and not any lay clothes. Can priests be in a bar drinking with their collars on? This continued to puzzle me even more. But I did not say anything else about it. My friends and I continued to dance the night away. About an hour later I looked over and Father___ was still alone drinking as his round table right in front of the dance floor. He began to look at us. I noticed him looking at us at our table. Maybe he had just realized we were there. Seems impossible though, we had been hogging the dance floor for 2 hours.

He got up and all of a sudden began to walk our way. I thought he was coming over to tell us we were doing something wrong and to start saying some Hail Mary's right now in the club! He reached our table said hello to eveyone and then to my complete shock asked me to dance with him. Had he lost his mind???

Inside I was screaming to myself all of the following: get away from
me FREAK! Do you honestly
think I would dance with a priest? How many hail Mary's did you say
to yourself to rectify the sin of asking me to dance? Isn't it
a sin for him to dance with a student in public with a collar on in a
bar? Why had he chosen me, the only non-catholic? Was he a
molester? Was he a molester? He had to be a molester! Mom said
to watch out for the priests as some could be molesters. Freak! Get away
from me.

I was a polite child as my mother was a big believer in etiquette. I politely and quite firmly said no I could not dance with him. I also told him I could not dance with him because he was a priest and I did not think that it was the proper thing to do. He said okay and then went back to his table, paid for his drink and left. I was 16 at the time and he must have been in his 30's. Something seemed very wrong with that entire situation. He was a priest for god's sake. Was he allowed to drink and dance with students with his collar on in a night club?

To this day I think I saved myself from a horrible plight. Who knows what may have happened but I know it would not have been good. I think he was a pedaphyle and he may have been trying to lure me away. He is a man first, a man drinking, a man drinking looking at scantily dressed women in party dresses in a bar. He was not one of my teachers for the four years I was there so I never had any sort of interaction with him again.

Instead of MADD and SADD, I am the sole leader, chief cook and bottle washer and follower of SAPD. Students Against Priests Dancing. It could lead to a child's demise or even disappearance. SAPD--teach your children about it. You will be thankful.


  1. Thanks for the trip in the wayback machine. People do think disco went away, just like they believe punk and new wave went away. They just do not realize that todays music in its various forms can trace its way back to that era.

    I attended Catholic school through 8th grade. I did not have much interaction with the priests outside of church. However a few years back I needed some extra money and I spent several months cooking for the priest I had know growing up. It was very unsettling nothing untoward happened it was just weird being in the house and seeing them in their human rather than priestly form.