As a parent of three teenage daughters, I have to admit I was a bit "freaked" out when I learned about the "grind" and "freak" dances taking place at their high school. Grind or freak dancing, also called "the nasty," is a form of very sexually overt movement where a couple sways and grinds with sexual moves, albeit with clothes, to a rap song. Most often the dancing is back-to-front dancing where one partner stands behind the other facing the same direction. The rear partner grasps the front partner by the hips or midsection as they both grind to the rap music.
The students at our high school were surprised when the administration had taken moves of their own to curb what many consider to be vulgar dancing. The DJ was asked to stop playing rap music the kids prefer to grind to, and anyone caught freaking were surprised by bright flood lights singling them out to the masses. Based on the feedback by students and lowering attendance numbers, this did not solve anything. So what does work? Here is a variety of what other high schools are implementing to a varying degree of success:
One successful high school applies wrist bands to all students attending a dance. If any of them are seen inappropriately dancing their wrist band is removed. If they are caught freaking or grinding again, they are banned from that dance, and possibly from future school dances.
If a large number of students are caught inappropriately dancing, the music is paused until they stop. If students continue dancing inappropriately the school dance is ended early.
Some schools are putting ballroom dance classes together to introduce a more acceptable and non-threatening style to the students. This is being met with wide acceptance and some schools are even entering competitions, much like the popular "Dancing with the Stars" television show.
Some schools, such as Aliso Niguel High School in California, are asked to sign a dance contract that forbids them to grind, wear garters, exposed lingerie, excessively short skirts or the removal of shirts.
Another creative school in Minnesota is taking a radical approach. They put a campaign together called "Dance like Grandma's Watching'" to discourage the lewd dancing.
For sure, the dialog will continue at our high school. As a parent, I want my children to feel comfortable attending school dances and not feel embarrassed or put-off by lewd behavior. At the same time dancing is a way for kids to express themselves. They are bombarded daily by the media with all sorts of explicit images. Take this time as an opportunity to discuss circumstances like this with your children so they know how to handle uncomfortable situations.
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