[Metroactive Features]

[ Features Index | Metro | Metroactive Central | Archives ]

Just Wanna Have Fun

Just Wanna Have Fun: Teenage girls say their favorite pastime is dancing, but few places cater to the underage set.

Boredom is nothing a good underage dance club wouldn't cure

By Traci Hukill

A DOZEN OR SO KIDS, mostly boys, are hanging out at the Roosevelt Teen Center at 20th and Santa Clara on a Wednesday afternoon. A couple of them shoot pool, some play pingpong and two more spin the handles of a foosball game. Airbrushed anti-smoking paintings hang on the cinder-block walls, and the carpet is worn and thin. The music is hip-hop. Everyone here knows each other.

Sixteen-year-old Veronica works here as part of the Employment Growth Opportunities program. She sits on a battered, comfortable couch in plaid shorts and T-shirt, examining a bruise on her shin from field hockey practice.

"These kinds of sites, they're good and everything," she says, looking around the center, "but we're not open on the weekends. If we had more things, I don't know if more people would participate. It's hard to get people involved. They think they're too old. I think now all kids do is drink."

Her friend Christina breezes in and slings her purse down on a table.

"What do we do?" Christina repeats my question, a little breathless. She's the more glamorous of the two, with carefully lined and colored lips and inky mascara. She perches on the couch arm next to her friend and thinks. "Go to the movies, I guess. We go bowling."

Veronica giggles.

"We don't do much," Christina shrugs. "We just like to hang out, really. We go to each other's houses and dance."

Dancing. Aha.

"The Fun House is where Hollywood Junction used to be," Veronica volunteers. "But it's not my crowd. It's kids from other schools. And the San Jose Live Sunday [last summer] cost $10. It wasn't worth it. Plus Monday I go to work."

"Something like that," Christina urges, "but have it cheaper. If it was a Friday or Saturday and the cost was like $6, $7..."

"Five," interjects Veronica.

"But more variety," Christina adds, "like you could choose. Not just downtown."

As seniors at San Jose High, the two consider themselves veterans of the teenage scene. They enjoy considerable freedom and like to think they're worthy of the privilege. Veronica lives with her father. Christina lives with her grandmother and a sister who's her legal guardian.

"We think people our age tend to be immature," Veronica opines. "Not to be all--you know, stuck up."

"Because we've been through so much, we're not into drinking or into smoking or all"--Christina rolls her eyes--"sex, people."

[ Metro | Metroactive Central | Archives ]

From the Nov. 26-Dec. 3, 1997 issue of Metro.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.

Foreclosures - Real Estate Investing
San Jose.com Real Estate