2000s college dance party

Autostraddle turned 13 this week, and we all dove into nostalgia for when we were 13. When planning our anniversary celebrations – and the membership campaign + mini-fundraiser that goes with it! — various other members of the management team have independently come to the conclusion that I, Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, would be particularly inclined to write about the awkwardness of the age of 13. Maybe because I’m still talking about the movie 13 Continue 30 or maybe because I have repeatedly written about the tricky phases. In any case, THEY WERE CORRECT. I am indeed booming with all the vibes of the 2000s.

For this special 13th grade playlist, I asked my gay friends on Instagram to tell me their top picks for middle school dance jams since they were in middle school. I have friends of all ages, but the majority of respondents are between 27 and 35, so we’re talking specifically about college dance vibes from 2000 to 2008 (with a few select hits from the 90s because, well, my girlfriend is 10 years older than me after all).

Spritz on your Bath & Body Works perfume of your choice, paint on some lip gloss and put on your best jeweled outfit, as we step back in time to those thrilling AND mortifying nights on the gym floor or your school cafeteria when all of us did horrible stuff like slow dancing to Coldplay or grinding to Panic! At the disco.

I’m about to tell you all about my 8th grade dance, but before that, I wanted to quickly remind you that Autostraddle only made it to 13 with the help of reader support. Let’s have a little college fun, and keep Autostraddle till 14 too! Consider joining A+ or giving a gift so we can keep dancing and awkwardly staring at our crush from across the dance floor while sipping a paper cup of Country Time lemonade 💫

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My 8th grade dance was in 2006. I wore the green dress with straps and jewels as seen in the feature image of this post. My poor posture and the tan lines from my tennis uniform really took the look to the next level. I had also recently had bangs for the first time and, well, they more or less had a mind of their own, and good for them. I told Kenny RI he couldn’t go to prom with him because I already had a date which was a lie!!!! But when he asked me, I panicked, because I didn’t want to go with him, because I didn’t want to go with anyone other than my two best friends Valerie and Katie who said they weren’t going with dates either but then totally done with dates! And then Kenny R didn’t come to prom at all, and I still feel bad about it? I’m sorry, Kenny R! This playlist is dedicated to you.

College dance party

  1. “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry
  2. “Every Time We Touch” by Cascada
  3. “Yeah!” by Usher
  4. “Toxic” by Britney Spears
  5. “All the Little Things” by Blink-182
  6. “1, 2 Steps” by Ciara
  7. “No Scrubs” by TLC
  8. “Get Low” by Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz
  9. Mario’s “Just a Friend”
  10. Savage Garden’s “Truly Madly Deeply”
  11. “Dance Dance” from Fall Out Boy
  12. “Get Me Bodied” by Beyoncé
  13. “I Write Sins, Not Tragedies” from Panic! At the disco
  14. “Stay” by Lisa Loeb
  15. Beyonce’s “Naughty Girl”
  16. “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star
  17. “Promiscuity” by Nelly Furtado
  18. “I am with you” by Avril Lavigne
  19. “Waiting for Tonight” by Jennifer Lopez
  20. “Lady Marmalade” by various
  21. “Love at first sight” by Kylie Minogue
  22. “Hey Ma” by Cam’Ron
  23. “Mrs. New Booty” by Bubba Sparxxx
  24. “My Bumps” by the Black Eyed Peas
  25. “That’s Why I’m Hot” by MIMS
  26. “Losing Control” by Missy Elliott
  27. “Honey” by Mariah Carey
  28. “MMMBop” by Hanson.

Some playlist notes:

  • “Yeah!” and “Get Low” were the most popular responses, but they were followed closely by “I Kissed A Girl”.
  • Not enough people said Missy Elliott songs imo.
  • I am indeed obsessed with the time transition of Panic! At Lisa Loeb’s nightclub.
  • On that note, A LOT of people said Lisa Loeb’s “Stay.”
  • Several people called “I’m with you” “It’s a fucking cold night”, which is right.
  • Honestly, all of these music videos are art, so I highly recommend the YouTube playlist format for that nostalgic trip.
  • Even though I’m a little too young to have “MMMBop” played at my college proms, it’s been stuck in my head ever since I started writing this post.

If you follow me on Instagram or read my Happy Hour At Home column that makes it feel like a million years ago, then you might remember when my girlfriend and I had a “gay club night” for two in our apartment in Vegas early during the pandemic. I feel like we should put the YouTube playlist on our TV and bring back gay club night but make it a fake college dance? Who’s in?

We’re celebrating our 13th anniversary and the A+ members who keep this queer indie site here for every reader! We need to welcome 300 new members during our 2 week membership campaign to help us reach 14. A+ membership starts at just $4/month or $30/year. If you can, will you join?

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories and pop culture reviews living in Miami. She’s an associate editor for TriQuarterly, and her stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of his pop culture writing can be found at The audiovisual club, Vulture, The Cut and others. You can follow her on Twitter Where instagram and learn more about his work on her website.

Kayla has written 362 articles for us.