As the school board president, I was a member of the new dance committee at the high school. It seems that the contemporary style of dancing among high schoolers has taken a turn for the salacious and without going into the gory details, boys now dance behind their partner holding her waist or hips... and things can get much more explicit from there. The kids call it grinding. Our police officers call it bordering on sexual assault. The parents who have seen it, call it outrageous. This is not your typical "dirty dancing" of the late 80s... no indeed. This kind of dancing would make Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey blush.
Over the years, I have spoken to my own teenagers and to other students about this current style of dancing. They all admit it can be uncomfortable and go too far. Many students have been offended and disgusted and refuse to attend the school dances while others insist this is just the way kids dance these days and it doesn't hurt anyone. It is a divisive issue. I think it may contribute to the increase we are seeing in accusations of sexual harassment by our high school girls. It's certainly not the only reason, but if guys are allowed to touch girls in this way on the dance floor... well, I think it might just be adding to the confusion.
The dance committee is trying to find a happy medium between the kids who are so disgusted they won't attend the dances and the kids who hike up their dresses, take off their shirts and simulate sex all night. (Sorry, I know this is my happy creative blog...) The committee is not out to ban dancing or even grinding. Just the extremes. Grinding's been around forever. Don't tell me couples through the ages haven't been doing their share of "pressing body parts together" even in the old traditional styles of dancing. It's just that it seems more blatant with the guy standing behind the girl who sometimes actually bends completely forward and places her hands on the floor. WHAT?! Yep. Let me tell you, don't ever serve on a school board if you can't handle talking explicitly about things that most people wouldn't bring up in polite society. And believe me, I'm trying to tone this down.
Is this about old people who don't understand "kids these days" just the way people were outraged over Elvis working his pelvis in the 60s? Maybe - but is there a line that shouldn't be crossed? This is a high school dance - not a club. What is considered indecent? And it's not just adults who object - however kids who are offended are usually peer pressured out of speaking up. Everyone wants to be cool in high school.
Keeping a sense of humor helps and I want to thank my oldest son, Lars for sharing this video with me.