Panegyric Droopyswan is best known, these days, for her invention of the world’s most famous club dance. This dance craze began, as so many things did, back in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This was when the discotheque craze arrived, turning many clubs into little more than dance floors where a DJ would play records for the patrons to dance to. Back at the time, no-one expected the craze to last very long at all. However, it was cheap for the clubs to put on and many of the youngsters who frequented the clubs seemed to like it.
Eventfully the discos replaced the more formal dance halls and many new disco type dances were invented such as the Twist, the Boogaloo, the Internal Audit, the Funky Chicken, and the Politician and Research Assistant.
Not many of these particular dances lasted very long as they all had a repertoire of necessary moves which were difficult to remember when in hot sweaty crowds, with the over-loud music drowning out everything. The obligatory flashing strobing lights often made the whole scene resemble what many human rights organisations later called a form of torture when forced upon political prisoners.
However, Panegyric Droopyswan thought up the great dance craze that has outlasted all others. It is still seen in 21st-century clubs, gigs and even at music festivals and other such musical events.
As Droopyswan herself once said in an interview with the famous NME magazine back in its heyday, ‘All you need is a handbag. You find a clear space on the dance floor, put the handbag down and then you dance around it.’
Disco and other club patrons were astounded at the daring of such a dance. They had never seen anything like it before in society. Up until then, it was assumed that every woman wanted to dance. After all, that was why most girls when to these clubs. Unfortunately, they would have to wait for the young men in the club to get drunk enough to summon the courage to ask a girl to dance, often in front of both her and his mates. A trauma that many men still struggle to come to terms with even long after they are married. Then they can only do a strange mutated form of dance moves known as the dad dance, and even then only at very significant family occasions. Such is the posttraumatic shock these men still feel all the decades after first asking someone to dance. Some sociologists put the boom in young marriages in previous decades down to the fact that it was often simpler to get a girl to marry you than it was to ask her for a dance.
However, Droopyswan’s handbag dance is now credited as the greatest advance in feminism in the movement’s entire history. It, for the first time, enabled young girls – and even grown women and married women on ‘a girl’s night out’ – to dance on their own. That is as long as they had marked out their territory by placing a handbag in the middle of it.
As one leading feminist said, ‘from the moment Panegyric Droopyswan first put her handbag down on the dance floor and began those first few dance steps around it, the role of women in society changed completely.’