by Dave Boehi
In a recent post titled "That is not dancing" on the FamilyLife MomBlog, Tracey Lanter notes that if you have not been to a teen dance lately, you will probably be shocked at the overtly sexual style of dancing. Tracey writes, "two typical teenagers at a typical dance remind me of the mating of wild animals you see on nature shows."
She also includes a comment that typifies the attitude of many parents: "It's what they do now. How am I going to stop it?"
So I was pleasantly surprised to read an article in today's Los Angeles Times about public schools that are confronting this problem rather than looking the other way. Downey High School, for example, requires students attending a dance to sign a senior prom dance contract stating that they won't drug, use drugs, or engage in dirty dancing. Parents have to sign it, too. The contract states the rules in terms just as explicit as the behavior it is meant to prevent:
Students dancing or behaving inappropriately will be escorted out of the dance and will not be given a refund. This includes any sexually explicit or violence-oriented dancing commonly known as freaking, moshing, battling, or grinding. *NO TOUCHING IF DANCING BACK TO FRONT; *NO TOUCHING BREASTS, BUTTOCKS OR GENITALS; *NO STRADDLING EACH OTHERS LEGS; *BOTH FEET ON THE FLOOR.
The efforts appear to be paying off. The Downey student body president said, "I don't think it's too restrictive. It's become such a routine part of going to the dance, get your parents to sign and you're good to go. I know they're taking precautions for a reason. It doesn't look good for the school to have kids dancing like that."
I also like the approach of another school in the Los Angeles area. Students were told that "if couples are caught gyrating, lights will be turned up or the music changed to Burt Bacharach or William Shatner singing 'Mr. Tambourine Man.'"
That's enough to scare anyone.