Cliff Richard and The Shadows’ version of the song reached No. 2 in the United Kingdom in 1962, despite being a B-side. ‘The Beach Boys’ version reached Number 12 as ‘Do You Want to Dance?’ in the United States in 1965, and a 1972 cover by Bette Midler ‘Do You Want to Dance?’ reached Number 17. A different song titled,’ Do You Wanna Dance?" was a UK hit for Barry Blue in 1973.
The song was covered by many other artists including Bobby Vee: The Four Seasons: Del Shannon: Sonny and Cher: The Mamas and The Papas: Johnny Rivers and John Lennon.
If there was ever one thing that used to frighten the living daylights out of all my dancing buddies, it was the risk of being refused as they had approached a girl on the dance floor to ask her for a dance. The more beautiful the girl they asked to dance was, the higher was their stress level and fear of being refused. So many of my mates from the estate who went dancing with me every Friday and Saturday night (however well they rocked and rolled) hated the long walk across the dance floor under watchful eyes, to invite a girl to dance, and then, if refused, having to make the long ‘walk of shame’ back to the whistles and shouts of ‘loser’ from their barracking friends.
One thing my mother taught me very early on in my life that was to stand me in good stead for the rest of it was, "Billy, if you don’t ask, you never get!" and the best behavioural lesson I ever learned from her was that "those who expect to succeed, succeed more often than those who don’t!"
Often, my conversations with my friends (many of whom were as good as bopper on the dance floor as myself), led me to understand the difference in rationale we all employed before selecting which girl from the group we asked to dance. Whereas I always picked the best-looking girl on the floor to dance if she was free, the others would not. They mostly reckoned that they’d be more likely to receive a ‘yes’ to their invitation (whatever their invitation throughout the night was) if they selected a girl whose looks were average or bordering on plain. I never understood this rationale and as my method worked for me, I invariably danced with the best-looking dancers on the floor most of the time.
One evening at the ‘Ben Riley Dance Hall’ in Batley, I saw a beautiful young woman sitting out the dance after three young men had asked the other three girls from the group of four girls to dance with them. I could hardly believe that none of the three male boppers had asked the most beautiful girl in the group to dance in preference to one of the other three girls. After a few dances, we sat down at a table and had a drink and a chat. During our conversation, the girl told me that ironically, her beauty of body and face frightened off most chaps from asking her to dance, fearing that she would be most likely to decline their offer. She also added that were she able to have picked the body and face God gave her, she would have undoubtedly had more fun and more dances had she chosen a less striking one. I must admit that my immediate inner response was ‘More fool them!’ and ‘More power to your elbow, Bill!’
I am so glad that I always took on board most of what my mother told me, and this merely strengthened my view the longer I lived that ‘If you don’t ask, you never get!’
Now then, how about you sitting your life out? I only have one thing to say to you, “Do you wanna dance?”
Love and peace Bill xxx