They say music that ends up staying with you that you started listening to around high-school/college age, so essentially your late teens to early twenties. I started thinking about “albums” or “tracks” around this age that moved me and honestly they are probably right. (“They” is essentially the music industry people who honestly only create music for a certain age group now.) The music I listen to now was definitely shaped by my 19-year-old self. I guess ‘they’ were right.

What moved or affected me back then and where it still moves me, literally moves me when I’m at a bar, wedding, or my living room dancing, is still the one and only Lady Gaga and her song, “Just Dance” from the album The Fame Monster.

I used to listen to The Fame Monster over and over throughout the entirety of my college career. It was released in 2009, which was my sophomore year of college. The song that drove me to the album was of course, “Just Dance”, and I still remember the first time I heard it. I was out at a college bar and when it came on, I did just that: danced.

Something in my life that I’ve done when I’m stressed is to just dance it out. From learning to dance at the age of 6 to now where I dance in the air as an aerialist. I’ve followed Lady Gaga’s career and I get that she’s weird, but she’s authentically herself and I think a lot of women need that reminder: to just be yourself.

The Fame Monster is an album to this day where I could quote the entire thing. Not only do I quote it now when I hear it, but I did it while I worked as a camp counselor and we used to play it for the 13-year-old students. We threw mini dance parties in fields while yelling the words to “Paparazzi”. I remember sitting on an airplane listening to, “Love Game” and having one too many glasses of wine while reminding myself I’m not sitting in my room alone so I shouldn’t hum. Her songs to me remind me in a sad and true way of the downfalls of life while allowing yourself to sing and/or dance it out.

It is more true than ever that during this current climate just as she says, “Just Dance! Gonna be okay.”

At the end of the day, music and dance was/is my destresser. I enjoy listening to music that pumps me up versus bringing me down. For example, when I was in college I would pull all-nighters studying and once we were finished we’d have mini dance parties to songs like, “Starstruck” and “Paper Gangsta”. Even now when I’m needing a quick break I will turn on “Poker Face”.

Small fun fact about me, I actually dressed up as her 3 times for Halloween in my early 20s. Specifically as one of her photos from, “The Fame Monster”.

This album will always be a milestone for me because it reminds me of college. We all have that favorite album from college and late teens we can’t seem to forget. To this day I still request her songs at bars and go to cover bands. I could talk endlessly about her and how “The Fame Monster” is still one of my favorite albums but instead I’ll just post another one of my favorite songs:

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