Freak dancing ban costs Blair

Sept. 30, 2003, midnight | By Simona Danilovska | 17 years, 3 months ago

Plans developed to lure students

After Blair organizations lost more than $4,200 last year due to a lack of interest in school dances, ideas for new attractions are being developed to raise more money, according to special education teacher and dance sponsor James Short.

Ticket sales have traditionally funded the payment of study hall teachers who help athletes to improve academically, according to Short. "[The cancelled dance] hurt us a lot last year. Study hall was really starting to work," he said.

Short has brainstormed new activities and attractions for future dances with hopes to have a better turnout despite the freak dancing policy. "Just because you can't grind on a person doesn't mean you can't have fun. For the Valentine's Day dance we might provide a meal with reservations, bring flowers and have a serenade — make it a festive evening," he said.

Assistant Principal Linda Wanner said that although the administration and the SGA have not yet discussed the freak dancing ban this year, some kind of reminder will be made to students.

Last year, 20 parents complained that their daughters felt uneasy on the dance floor because of freak dancing, according to Wanner. "We're just asking in the name of civility that [students] dance appropriately," she said.

Although Principal Phillip Gainous said he has "tried desperately not to think about it," he plans to continue the policy with help from the administration and the SGA. "It was wishful thinking that it would just go away, but we do need to be proactive rather than reactive," he said.

An informal Silver Chips survey of 100 Blazers conducted during the week of Sept 8 showed that 29 percent of students who had no intention of attending future dances due to the ban would be more inclined to do so if there were new activities.

Even if the ban discourages Blazers from attending upcoming dances, the administration will continue to implement it, said Gainous. "I simply won't advocate that kind of behavior," he said.

Junior Katie Artigliere has found an easy solution to the freak dancing ban. "I'll just go to parties and clubs where it doesn't matter," she said.

Wanner admitted that those who do not attend dances may end up in a less safe place and do worse things, but argued that the school cannot police every aspect of students' lives. "Kids will go to drag races too, but we don't have to allow that on the school parking lot," she said.

SGA Sponsor Rondai Ravilious argued that the inappropriateness of the dancing has been forbidden, not the dancing itself. "Some people don't realize that you can still dance with each other, but you cannot cross the line," she said. Ravilious also said that last year's drafted letter, listing the expectations at dances, may be sent home with students prior to Homecoming in an effort to notify the Blair community.

SGA President Denise Sylla feels there is no reason to mention the policy again, but if the letter is sent, she doubts it will be effective. "I don't have much confidence that the letter will stop freak dancing," she said.

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Simona Danilovska. Simona Danilovska is a junior at Blair high school and a page editor for Chips, (a.k.a. the best newspaper in the world.) She was born on March 8, which makes her proud to be a Pisces =). Her favorite activities consist of checking her horoscope … More »

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