Dirty Dancing Scores an F in Nebraska Schools

By Nancy Ramsey

Oct 13, 2010 4:26pm

ABC News on Campus reporter Charlie Litton blogs:
 
Call it “dirty dancing” or “grinding.” Either way one thing is certain: It’s growing in popularity, and high school administrators don’t like it. Schools in New York, Florida and Kansas have made headlines after banning these questionable dance moves at school-sponsored events. In a rare move, one American city is going even further with a measure to ban the practice with one uniform policy. Associate principals from all six high schools in Lincoln, Neb., have formed a committee that plans to implement standards for school functions. The citywide committee isn’t expected to release anything official before November, but that hasn’t stopped individual schools from moving forward. “All the schools have independently decided this is the time to do it,” said Lincoln High School principal Mike Wortman, who issued a strict set of rules before the school's Oct. 1 homecoming dance. As grinding grows in popularity, it reached intolerable limits during last year’s senior prom at Lincoln Southwest High School—the city’s largest. Chaperones struggled to control the practice, principal Rob Slauson said. “The dilemma then was, Do you just turn on the lights and shut the whole thing down?” he said. In an effort to prevent a similar situation at this year’s homecoming dance, Slausen laid down a list of five ground rules in an email to parents: •        No touching of breasts, buttocks or genital areas
•        No “hiking-up” of shirts or dresses
•        No leaning against the wall while dancing
•        Feet stay on the floor and hands stay off the floor
•        Dancing that appears to be “simulating sex” or “grinding” is prohibited "Dirty dancing” conjures images of Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey's heating up the screen more than two decades ago. Today, that version of dirty dancing may be nearly as quaint as the furor raised by the once scandalous hips of Elvis Presley. The type of dancing most objectionable to school administrators is the raunchy sort that men typically have to pay extra for at a Gentlemen’s Club—girls bending over with their hands on the floor, while the boys sometimes hike up their dresses from behind. Slauson said this type of dancing is nothing new, but would likely surprise people who haven’t seen it. “If people have never come and seen a dance, I don’t think the average person can even comprehend what we’re talking about,” he said. “This isn’t just a Lincoln issue, this goes coast to coast.” The results of the restrictions at the Sept. 24 Southwest dance were a little underwhelming. There was no dramatic decline in attendance, and students had fun, Slausen reported, although six or eight were asked to leave for repeatedly violating the policy. "There were some parents who sought me out and thanked me for holding the line," he said. "I never had the conversation with a parent who argued that their child should be able to dance sexually." Southwest students who attended the dance said they had a good time, but felt the rules are too restrictive because it’s just a handful of students that take it “too far.” Senior Diane Banderas said that grinding was not among any of her dance moves, but added that the new policy is a little heavy-handed. “I think it was good to try and maybe take some action, because I know there were some parents that were upset about it,” she said. “But I think there are other ways to go about it that weren’t as intense.” At the dance, chaperones not only warned students engaged in the more raunchy moves, but also any pair dancing back-to-front—essentially swaying with the music, said Southwest senior Chase Krueger. “I think it’s fair for them to walk up to people that are dancing pretty raunchy,” Krueger said. “But for the people that aren’t really doing anything, that aren’t causing a scene, they should just let them dance. “I guess you could even compare it to rock and roll back in the day, when everybody was saying how terrible it was,” he said. “Thirty years from now it could be just the way people dance.”  

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