Did you know that freak dancing, in which the girl rubs her bottom on the boy's crotch during a high school dancing, is just like the tango? I didn't either until I read this article about a school in Pleasanton, California that decided to respond to parent's request that the dance (which she characterized as looking like an orgy) be banned. The article has a few striking points. Point one: The media was a'twitter about what should be the non-news fact that a school is barring inappropriate sexual activity (which is what the dance is, of course). Point two: Although parents got excited in cyberspace, few of them actually bothered to show up for the meeting where the decision was to take place. Point three: The columnist who wrote about it, after confessing that he let his own daughter pierce her belly button, says that the students really had the right of it, and there's nothing that wrong with freak dancing:
"Is a dance that simulates sexual activity appropriate for a public high school?" asked Vice Principal Matt Campbell. "We say no." All of which sounded pretty reasonable until those darn students got up and started making some pretty good points. Too bad so few parents were there to hear them. "What about the salsa or the tango?" asked senior Leah Kendall. "Those were sexually driven. I was disgusted by some of the dancing as well, but we are not all like that." Student Body President Elizabeth Usedom, whom Campbell singled out as an influential and respected voice on campus, was among those who insisted freak dancing can be as harmless as the old, lights-out slow dances. (Of course, way back in my parents' day, teachers used run around the dance floor with a ruler, making sure we slow dancers were at least 12 inches apart.) "I personally don't think freak dancing should be banned," said Usedom. "It is a very small group of people who like to cross the line. I think it can be done appropriately."I have to admit that I find it impossible to imagine an "appropriate" way for a 14 year old girl to grind her bottom into the crotch of a 16 year old boy at a dance. The point about the tango is fairly irrelevant also. While it is indeed a simmering dance, with fairly close contact, it's significantly lacking in crotch grinding which to me really does cross a line -- a big, bright line. I'll give the author of the story big kudos, though, for his ultimate conclusion, one that echoes his puzzlement about the parents who never bothered to show up for the meeting:
The answer to this controversy is pretty simple. If you really are concerned about freak dancing and what kids are doing when the lights go down, step up and get involved. Foothill -- like most other schools -- is begging for adult chaperones.