In some circles it is called “grinding.” An earlier form went by the name “dirty dancing.” Whatever it is called, when it shows up at a public school dance it is always controversial.
In some circles it is called “grinding.” An earlier form went by the
name “dirty dancing.” Whatever it is called, when it shows up at a
public school dance it is always controversial.
The aforementioned dance trend consists of two people, and sometimes
more, rubbing their bodies against one another in a sexual or sexually
suggestive manner. As a result, many schools have banned it.
Some students and parents disagree with the dance ban. They say that
the problem stems more from a generation gap and that grinding is no
different from the jitterbug or disco.
Some have tried to compare the gyrations of Elvis Presley to the
current dirty dancing. There is no doubt that for his time, Elvis was
risqué. However, his was a solo shimmy. Those who defend grinding on
the grounds that it is like the dances of previous eras are, at best,
very naïve. There is no comparison.
While suggestive dances have come and gone, few – if any – have
included the physical contact of grinding. The physical familiarity of
grinding coupled with the erotic lyrics of much of today’s popular
music create a recipe for sexual tension that many teens are unable to
A study released by RAND, a nonprofit think tank, which appeared in the
August issue of the journal Pediatrics found that teens who listened to
music with sexually explicit lyrics start having sexual relations
sooner than those who prefer other music.
Some public school administrators have recognized that overtly
sexualized dancing plus sexually explicit lyrics plus teens’ raging
hormones create a dangerous combination. As a result, they are pulling
the plug on grinding.
I applaud them. In fact, I would be in favor of doing away with all dances sponsored by public schools.
The point of public education is to teach kids history, math, science,
reading, etc. It takes place in an environment that requires
cooperation, which encourages the development of social skills.
However, how and where dancing fits into the equation of a well-rounded
education, I’m not sure.
Even without grinding, school dances are brutal experiences for many teens.
Popular, good-looking kids with sparkling personalities shine at school
dances, while shy and awkward kids struggle to make it through the
night with their dignity intact.
How devastating is it for the girl who endures the entire evening
without once being asked to dance? How humiliating is it for the pimply
faced boy to walk back across the gym after having his invitation to
While some kids are flirting with temptation by engaging in grinding,
others are having their self-worth trashed all because they don’t have
the right look, possess the right clothes or have right the style.
And don’t even get me started on proms. Gone are the days when a
gymnasium decorated with crepe paper will suffice. A suit and nice
party dress won’t cut it in the current prom environment.
Today’s prom venues are ballrooms at plush hotels. Teens spend hundreds
of dollars, sometimes even thousands, on dresses, tuxedos and
limousines. Some parents secure hotel rooms for their teens to frolic
in, un-chaperoned, after the prom. A few even provide booze.
Could someone please enlighten me on the educational and/or social value that a prom provides? How about a school dance?
If parents believe that dancing and grinding are all that important, let them host their own private parties.
School administrators need to give attention to providing a solid
educational experience for students; they do not need to waste time
policing the latest controversial dance trend.
“The truest expression of a people is in its dances and its music,”
choreographer Agnes De Mille said. She added, “Bodies never lie.” If
that’s true, then grinding says a lot, and it expresses way too much