23 Songs You Slow Danced As A Middle Schooler

by Courtney Lindley

How great was it to be a preteen in the throes of puberty? Alright, let me rephrase that: How great was the music when you were a preteen in the throes of puberty? Specifically, the slow jams? Even more specifically, the slow songs that were played at your school dances? You know the ones. The songs that came on and served as respites from all your (failed) attempts at the worm during Chumbawamba's "Tubthumping." (You sure got knocked down, but you always got back up again.) There was no better way to break the monotony of fast-paced foot movements and aerobic activities. But do you remember your first slow dance song? The first time you stumbled your way into the arms of a stranger, stood a foot away from him/her, and did not dare make eye contact the whole time? Oh, to be young again.

In all seriousness — or at least, as serious as an article on the slow dance songs of your youth can possibly be — the songs you first slow danced to have gone down as some of the most shining musical moments in your life. With the following 23 songs, prepare to be flooded with feelings of anxiety. But also love. And confusion. And hope. And concern. And passion. Prepare to feel everything, is what I'm saying.

1. "I Can Love You Like That" — All-4-One

From the bottom of my soul, on the grounds of everything that I as a person stand for, I deeply, deeply implore you to watch this music video.

2. "Save The Best For Last" — Vanessa Williams

Your middle school dance DJ sure knew how to practice what he preached when this bad boy started playing three minutes before those lights came on.

3."All My Life" — K-Ci And Jo Jo

I will never find another song sweeter than "All My Life." I want them to play it at my wedding. And my funeral. (Is that weird?)

4. "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" — Aerosmith

I still miss this song.

5. "Back At One" — Brian McKnight

True story: "Back At One" taught me how to count.

6. "I'll Be" — Edwin McCain

Having heart palpations just listening to this.

7. "Hero" — Enrique Iglesias

Current mood: Enrique Iglesias wearing a beanie in the desert.

8. "Dreaming Of You" — Selena

Excuse me while I lay down on my bed and sob.

9. "Iris" — Goo Goo Dolls

So emotional. So raw. So real.

10. "Because You Loved Me" — Celine Dion

Current mood: Celine Dion standing in front of TVs that are playing her face.

11. "(God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time On You" — *NYSNC

Not only was this a beautiful tune, but the title also serves as a great pick up line for the modern day dater.

12. "Truly Madly Deeply" — Savage Garden

True story: "Truly Madly Deeply" taught me about adverbs.

13. "Always Be My Baby" — Mariah Carey

Never understood the words. Always understood the emotions.

14. "How Do I Live?" — LeAnn Rimes

A classic ballad with an unhealthy underlying mesage.

15. "Angel Of Mine" — Monica

Truly angelic in spirit and melody.

16. "All I Have To Give" — Backstreet Boys

The memories are so real they hurt.

17. "Burn" — Usher

Let it burn, even.

18. "U Got It Bad" — Usher And Alicia Keys

It was true. I did.

19. "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)" — Green Day

I did have the time of my life, thank you.

20. "Take My Breath Away" — Jessica Simpson

Every time that opening music plays, I get chills.

21. "More Than Words" — Extreme

I have no words.

22. "Never Had A Dream Come True" — S Club 7

Am I dreaming right now?

23. "All Or Nothing" — O-Town

Despite the antiquated black-and-white thinking — there are other options, O-Town! — this one was such a banger. A slow, sad banger.

If you need me, I'll be debilitated by sentimental nostalgia for the rest of the day.

Images: MariahCareyVEVO/YouTube