Friday, September 22, 2006

A grinding halt to high school dancing

: "Principal Gene Connolly is with the latter group. He said the school will cancel all remaining dances, including the upcoming homecoming dance, unless students step forward to help halt the 'grinding.'

"'This style of dancing is wrong,' Connolly told parents at a Parent-Teacher-Student Organization meeting Tuesday night. 'If you were to see it, you would be equally offended.'

"Asked by parents to describe the dance, Connolly offered this: The girl leans forward and the boy puts his pelvis against her backside. Then, he thrusts."

I have to admit to being a bit of an old fogey on this issue. In my day, slow dances involved a lot of pelvic contact while facing your partner. I also remember a short-lived dance craze of the 70s which involved bumping your partner. Hip-to-hip was the easy part; if you got good at it (and I did), you and your partner might take turns dipping to bump elbow or shoulder to hip.

No doubt parents, if they knew about it, were outraged then. Just as they had outraged their parents with the Jitterbug or the Tango in the 30s and 40s. I even had a few jitterbug moves in my repertoire courtesy of my mother's efforts to teach me to dance.

But there is something to be said for "slippery slope" arguments. "'Eventually, things may change and this may be considered mild,' said parent Cheryl Hunter. 'But right now, it's inappropriate.'" The trouble with this rationale is, what will the high schoolers of the future have to do on the dance floor to make simulated doggy-style look "mild"?


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