Spring is in the air and happy young couples everywhere succumb to the rituals of prom and ready themselves in high fashion. High school juniors and seniors across the land make restaurant reservations, order corsages and boutonnieres, get measured for tuxedos, purchase pretty dresses, receive manicures and pedicures, practice numerous hairstyles to find the perfect one, and borrow the keys to the nicest car they can get permission to drive. And then, the dancing. Ohhhh! The dancing!! I felt like Cinderella at the ball!
My naive little world came to a screeching halt last week when a friend told me what happens at the prom and at every other high school and middle school dance floor – at least around here.
She told me that her daughter, a high school senior, recently attended the senior prom with her boyfriend and was taken aback when she discovered that every single young person on the dance floor was grinding. Not dancing. Grinding. And when a friend asked my friend’s daughter why she wasn’t dancing, she replied, “Oh, I don’t dance.” because she didn’t want to offend or participate in the accepted activity. To this, the other young woman replied, “Oh! It’s easy! All you do is lift up your skirt like this, back up into your guy and move against him with the music.”
Yup!! That’s right folks! Step right up for the booty show. I couldn’t believe it, so I contacted another friend, who teaches middle school English. Here’s what she said.
It’s no lie; it’s all about the grind. Kids don’t know how to dance differently. They don’t have any influences that teach them differently. The movies they watch and the shows they see all have grinding and that’s about it. The teachers make rounds around the floor and make sure that it doesn’t get too sexual, but they really can’t make kids not grind. What they basically do is the guys stand behind the girls while the girls shake their butts on the guys’ bodies. It’s quite disappointing.
When I was in school, we would get in circles and just dance like they did in the music videos of our time, but the music videos out now are all sexual moves, so that’s what they mimic. I blame society, not the school. Kids mimic what they know and see. The parents of our kids grind too. They club all night long which teaches their kids that it’s okay.
So, too sexy, wall dancing, laying on the floor, bending over, skirts up, shirts off=NOT PERMISSIBLE!! When kids look like they have gotten a little too much grinding, or if it is getting too sexy in there, we will switch the song to a line dance or to a slow song or a country song to cool it off. The sad part is that the kids don’t even dance to the slow songs anymore. That’s when they go and get drinks or take a break. They like grinding.
One time I asked a DJ if our kids danced any differently than any other group of kids. He said that every school (rich, poor, diverse, not-diverse) dances the same way. He DJs many school dances in the area.
Does this qualify as dancing to you? Have you witnessed this new style of dancing among youth? What’s your opinion? Should schools be doing more to police the dance floor? Should parents? Is this acceptable behavior for your son or your daughter?
Perhaps I shouldn’t be so shocked. I guess my dancing standards are way above everyone else’s? Dance is one of the purest expressions of my inner self. It’s about movement and rhythm and fluid art. It’s a form of communication and I can’t imagine openly communicating anything so vulgar as what our young people are displaying in the gymnasiums of public schools. Then, again, what do I know? I’m just a dancer.