Hula girls on the dashboards of Toyotas, the rockabilly too young to remember the Reagan years and Grateful Dead tattoos on the ankles of those who weren’t yet old enough to drive when Jerry Garcia died. All of these things fit squarely within the same confounding category: nostalgia for times we’ve never known. Somehow, emulating elements of a past too far gone to have been a part of one’s own past always seems a bit disingenuous. The women gathered around the video monitor disagree. Staring intently at the frenzied image of a dancer filling the screen, they’re here to pursue a very genuine interest. And as the camera pulls away, the synthetic white gleam of their common goal becomes visible. Boots. Go-Go boots. This is an open audition for The Revelettes—a locally based Go-Go dancing troupe—at The Galaxie.
“The Twist,” explains a Revelette to the group of hopefuls, “differs from the Watusi in that the Watusi involves lifting a foot off the ground as you Twist.” She demonstrates. “Ahhh…,” comes the collective understanding. “Remember,” she cautions, sensing the strain of effort as the prospects attempt seamless Twist/Watusi transitions, “Go-Go was a dance craze, not a codified technique.” Her comment is met by a roomful of blank stares. “That means you’re supposed to have fun with it.”
“It’s not about who’s the best dancer,” explains another Revelette. “We’re looking for an energy—someone who connects with the audience.” The audience, it just so happens, is growing. These auditions have been called because demand for Go-Go is outpacing supply. To keep up, The Revelettes need to expand. It seems nostalgia isn’t go-going away anytime soon. (Sarah Nardi)