I was truly saddened to hear of Donna Summer’s death yesterday afternoon. She died after a long battle with cancer. She was only 63. Her song “The Last Dance” started playing in my head and with that my eyes filled with tears. I think I was not only mourning Donna but also what she represented to me, the glittery Disco era, which I so adored and still do. I was only 16, in 1977 when her first album was released and when Saturday Night Fever, the movie, came out. The glamour of Disco twinkled in my eyes. On my way home from my after school job in a Manhattan department store, I would walk by a dance studio that advertised “Disco Lessons”. I thought to myself what a brilliant idea it would be to take Disco lessons. I envisioned myself dancing away with John Travolta. And so I ran home with all of the enthusiasm in the world to ask my Colombian parents if I could take Disco lessons in this Manhattan studio, and can you guess what their answer was… “NO”, a big indisputable ”NO”. I walked away with my head down, with all of my Disco dreams crushed in an instant. I had to settle for listening to Donna Summer at home parties and pretending to know how to dance Disco. We twirled and spun to hit songs like, “I Feel Love”, “MacArthur Park”, “Heaven Knows”, “Thank God Its Friday”, and “The Last Dance”. By the way, with most of the lyrics going over my head. Donna Summer continued to give us hits and transitioned us into the 80’s sound with albums like “Bad Girls” (still with lyrics going over my head) and “She Works Hard for the Money” among several. Remembering her songs bring a smile to my face and now I think I’ll go play her Best Hits album while I twirl and spin in the kitchen, still pretending to know how to dance Disco for the rest of the afternoon. As a matter of fact, I think I’ll play Disco music all weekend long. Wait until I break the news to my unsuspecting family that this is Disco Weekend in honor of Donna Summer.
Thank you Donna for this last dance tonight.
…So let’s dance, the last dance
Let’s dance, the last dance
Let’s dance, this last dance tonight…
Singer: Donna Summer 1978
Lyrics: by Paul Jabara