Students need self-awareness at dances

While technically permitted, grinding is inappropriate in school settings

Cruz Control  Elena Cruz
Cruz Control
Elena Cruz

This year’s Homecoming week, although it occurred a while ago, was very memorable. Through fights, disorderly conduct and the involvement of police, Shorewood had quite a chaotic week. There were several misdemeanors, but one issue was never discussed amidst the much more prominent commotion: grinding.

I bring Homecoming to the topic of this discussion because 2015’s Turnabout was much more   controlled and much more of a generic school dance. The chaos was minimized and the on looking teachers watched teenagers jump with their friends instead of the compact circle they have chaperoned in previous years. This change created a different atmosphere for both students and adults.

I noticed the change in the teachers’ interference with dancing truly erupt during 2013’s Homecoming, and their interference increased at each subsequent dance. From 2013 onward, teachers began to enter the groups of students, pull dancing students apart and yell at individuals. Adults even threatened certain students with a forced eviction of the very same dance that they had paid $10 to enter for moving in a prohibited manner.

But here is the problem: grinding is allowed in the student handbook.

Page 16 of the informational packet states the rules of correct dancing. It does say that “sexually explicit dancing and dancing that may result in disruption or injury are prohibited,” but it then continues to explain what “sexually explicit dancing” actually is. To quote: “Every dancer must remain in the vertical position. Students are not permitted to straddle legs or hips. Students are not permitted to lean up against a wall while dancing.”

There you have it: the outlines for what not to do. Grinding is technically allowed.

I am telling the general truth, but once the facts are stated, I want every single student to think about the actual act of grinding: it is kind of uncomfortable for everyone around you.

In fact, it is uncomfortable simply writing about grinding; I feel weird having to describe the term on paper. The act of watching it, from a teacher’s standpoint, must even be worse.

What I am trying to say is that; although in my opinion grinding is allowed at school dances, try to take this information with a grain of salt. Remember that teachers are watching – the same people who you will have to learn from on the following Monday – and be courteous to their eyes.

Also, it is important to know that if a student does not want to dance with you, grinding on them is a form of sexual assault. It is important to never force another student to dance with you. If a student forces you to dance with them, it is a sexual violation and they must be dealt with accordingly.

All in all, I am just pointing out that the frequent teacher interference at dances was misguided, technically stopping something that was not banned to begin with. Grinding is one weird topic to discuss, being almost taboo in our society, but the truth is the truth: dancing this way is allowed.

by Elena Cruz

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