School bans freak dancing

Feb. 13, 2003, midnight | By Simona Danilovska | 17 years, 11 months ago

‘Real possibility' of no future dances if students don't behave

Blair's administration and the SGA have drafted a letter forbidding freak dancing at school dances. The new policy will take effect for the Valentine's Day dance.

Principal Phillip Gainous said that if students disregard the rule, "there is a real possibility that we will cancel all future dances."

"The expectations of the school are that students will refrain from freak dancing," reads the most recent draft of the one-page letter, which will be distributed to students and mailed home to parents before the Valentine's Day dance, according to Blair administrators.

SGA President senior Sara Furlow said that an earlier version of the letter "stated that students need to be in an upright position, no bending or leaning over, and no one should be sitting on the wall or on a chair and dancing at the same time."

But Blair's administration decided against a detailed description of what constitutes freak dancing because it would be less effective than "just saying no," said Assistant Principal Linda Wanner. "We decided that there is no sense in splitting hairs about it. Students know what they are not supposed to do," she said.

According to Gainous, specific guidelines are "only a creation of potential hassles." "When you get into defining, kids will say, 'I was at a 45-degree angle' rather than a 90-degree angle. We don't want a confrontation with the kids," said Gainous.

SGA co-sponsor Julia Smrek said the broad guidelines let chaperones use their own judgment to dismiss students if they feel the dancing is too inappropriate.

However, the enforcement of this policy may be problematic, according to SGA Vice President Emma Simson. "The varying degree of what parent chaperones find appropriate or inappropriate is very wide," she said.

Although sophomore Sheryl Minor approves of freak dancing, she said if Blair's administration wants to ban it, specific guidelines are the right approach. "If they just say, 'No,' it sounds like more of a threat, and it makes us want to be rebellious," she said.

In an informal Silver Chips survey of 100 students conducted on Jan 10, 59 percent of Blazers said the administration should take steps to limit freak dancing while seven percent said the practice should be banned altogether.

Wanner said those who freak dance will be given one warning before they are asked to leave the dance. Furlow thinks first-time violators should be kicked out. "You can say, 'You can't do this and you can't do that' until you're blue in the face, but most of the kids are still going to do what they want to do. You have to set an example," she said.

Elsie McGuire, reporting secretary for the PTSA, said she would feel uncomfortable dismissing students from the dance, even if given the authority to do so. "If I had already warned someone, I personally would prefer that an administrator came and said, 'Hey––get outta here,'" she said.

Wanner rejected PTSA-member Ann Marie Moriarty's idea of marking the hands of students who have been warned, saying that communication between the chaperones will have to suffice.

Students, staff and SGA and PTSA members discussed possible solutions to restrict freak dancing at Blair's first Leadership Conference. The 19-member group spent much of its time debating the strengths and weaknesses of the latest draft of the letter.

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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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