Teachers Can’t Handle Dirty Dancing
December 9, 2010
Anyone who has ever been to a high school dance has seen it: the core of students clustered in the middle of the dance floor, dancing closely and intimately in a way that can be entertaining and occasionally cringe-worthy. Grinding is a classic part of adolescent dancing, along with bad music, even worse decorations and broken potato chips crunching underfoot.
The teachers at Cleveland High School, in Portland, Oregon, recently cancelled the school’s winter formal, because—get this—the teachers didn’t want to watch the kids grinding. Canceling a dance because of grinding on the dance floor seems a little extreme.
Think about the first time you danced with that special someone. Was it awkward? Yes. Was it nerve-wracking? Of course. But was it fun that you got to get close to this person without the pressure or fear of rejection? Absolutely.
Sometimes teen dancing is awkward, and yes, sometimes this so-called “dirty dancing” borders on inappropriate for a public setting. But it is also a way—with relatively few consequences—for teenagers to let off steam and explore attraction to another person.
And though it may be uncomfortable to witness bodies rubbing against one another at the school dance, it certainly isn’t enough of a concern to cancel a dance over. Though supervision is necessary, school dances are often the only chance younger teenagers get to be this close in a controlled environment. So risqué though it may be, I say let the kids dance, while the responsible chaperones try to keep inappropriateness to a minimum.