Dancy Dresses

With the unfurling of the first pohutukawa blossoms and the sound of cicadas over the weekend I’ve no mind to dwell on drugs, police shootings, or the aftermath of the election. Of more pressing social and political import is the beginning of the “Dancy Dress” season.

With a five year old I’m learning all the goodness beauty and truth lost over the last 20 years through modern education and the workforce, and one of the truly beautiful aspects of rediscovery is the healing powers of a great dancy dress.
image of dancy dress
My girl has a box of them and although I spent the 80’s with no hair in purple dungarees trying to prove that deliberate ugliness is a sign of true feminist worth, (none of the boys noticed they were too busy looking at our tits), the powers of the dancy dress have not yet relinquished their hold on my heart. A personal favourite is the purple tulle number with the fake crystals hanging off the bottom and the just budding fairy wings on the back. The full splendour of this number is undercut by the fact that the five year old often accessorises it with a bow and arrow, and shoots butterflies in it- slightly less bucolic than ideal but hey, it’s all about compromise.

With a good dancy dress you can jump higher, spring further and skip faster. Ice-cream tastes better and more flowers can be sniffed. Puddles appear more enticing and may contain rare creatures. In a blue torn fabric sea nymph dancy dress you might suddenly smell salt and need to go to the beach – and we have discovered by careful scientific experimentation that fish and chips eaten at the beach in this number are 5 times crunchier. A dancy dress is the antidote to a cold boring afternoon and broccoli.

Not all dresses are dancy however. To enter the sacred halls of dancyness, you may not be grey, black or beige. You must have one, or preferably all of the following criteria; you must be partly diaphanous and either clink, jingle or rustle when moving. You should almost always have the arms bare and you should definitely shimmer at some point. There must be a frill. Or five. You would also need to hold yourself together while on a five year old wrestling with the giant wolf (aka the huntaway) and making flower mudcakes. You could not dissolve in water or take umbrage at jelly crystals. You may frequently harbour snails, dead bees and moss if you have pockets. You would have a relatively short but magical existence.

The benefits of dancy dresses are far reaching – hey if rugby players can get depressed there must be hoards of blokes who could benefit from a healthy bit of drag. Now that GP’s hand out green prescriptions perhaps it’s time to slow up on prozac and sew up a bit of tulle.

Have you noticed that it’s hard to get really angry in a great dress? Our domestic violence rates would undoubtedly decrease and internationally, ours would be a happier planet if more people knew about the miraculous healing powers of a good frock. Would Mugabe really be able to run over people’s homes if he gave the orders in a Mother Hubbard floral outfit? Would his minions be able to carry them out in gold froufrou skirts? I’m serious. This could really work on a local level as well although there are some politicians who shouldn’t be offered the option of a dancy work dress for their sheer exuberance and over zealous embracement of the idea. Rodney and John Carter spring to mind – although I have it on good authority that John would have to come under the Scary Hairy Fairy dress category. Rate payer meetings would be more scintillating with a bit of sparkle and could arguably stimulate participant’s artistic sides to help provide better creative outcomes for Whangarei. Stan would look fabulous in a bit of gossamer – and a dragonfly handbag. The mayoral outfit already comes with some serious bling and it’s only a short step from drab to fab Stan.

Forget the economy and the statistics and get your glitter gear on. A sunny day and a great dancy dress, as any 5 year old can tell you, is all you really need.

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