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Oct. 13, 2012

Never Mind the Grind

by Mimi Verdonk, Online Sports Editor
With the Homecoming dance just a week away, Blazers are already starting to envision the night. Hundreds of Blair students, packed into the student activities center (SAC), the smell of sweat and teenage angst filling the air as the DJ plays everything from 2Chainz to Taylor Swift. Bodies are in motion as guys grab girls from behind and the familiar dance routine begins: grinding.

Grinding, a popular high school dance, is causing controversy nationwide. Courtesy of Break
Grinding, a popular high school dance, is causing controversy nationwide.
Grinding, better known as freak dancing to the crowd over 40, has been the topic of controversy since the dance became popular in middle and high schools years ago. As schools across the country host their homecomings this fall, the ban on the dance is spreading. In the last three weeks schools across the Midwest in Illinois, Wisconsin and Ohio have garnered attention for prohibiting the dance. As students nationwide protest to dance however they please, the battle over grinding strikes a particular chord in the Blair community.

Last year, on Blair’s Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) ListServ, a heated debate arose over grinding after Blair’s 2011 Homecoming festivities. Shocked at how overtly sexual the dancing seemed to be, parents suggested modifications for students uncomfortable with the mob of sweaty bodies pressed against each other including multiple dance locations with different music and tighter patrolling of dancing. Some parents went as far as to suggest having an arcade type room at the Homecoming dance. These proposals were met with a resounding ‘no’ from the student body and after much deliberation, no change in policy was enacted. The fact that a change was even up for consideration was absurd.

Every generation of youth has its own suggestive dance fad that causes the adults in their lives to feel some discomfort. Let’s not forget Kevin Bacon in the 1980s film “Footloose” who shook up small town America gyrating to rock and roll or Patrick Swayze’s raunchy moves in “Dirty Dancing.” Like the generations before us, and the generations that will proceed, grinding is today’s teens’ dance of self-expression. As long as the dancing is just that, dancing, and there are adequate chaperones for those who might get out of control, there should be no problem with grinding.

If as a student you are worried about dancing at Homecoming, then it is your choice to not participate. It is not however, okay for you to ruin everyone else’s good time because of personal sentiments. No one is forced to attend Homecoming or to dance in the manner of the multitudes. Though most students choose to grind, there is plenty of open space and tables available for those who would prefer to dance in a more traditional style or sit down and relax. If you don’t want to partake in the events, and would prefer to play video games as outraged parents suggested, then by all means stay home. Do yourself a favor, and save your $15.

For those who would like to attend the Homecoming events, the football game against Blake will be on Oct. 19 at 6:30 p.m. and the dance will be the following night Oct. 20 from 7:00-11:00 p.m.



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  • damn on October 13, 2012 at 2:51 PM
    mimi so sassy and opinionated. i agree though. nice article SCO
  • SirDanceAlot on October 13, 2012 at 6:36 PM
    YEAH! If I wanna shake my badonkadonkkk then let me!
  • yes on October 13, 2012 at 10:14 PM
    it had to be said by someone
    props
  • '09 alum on October 14, 2012 at 2:29 AM
    The problem isn't students who don't want to participate in grinding; rather it's the students who are FORCED into it. It is far too common for a student (usually male) to, as you so perfectly put it, "grab girls from behind" and force their bodies on them without asking if they're interested or okay with it. The view that "if you're uncomfortable then it's your problem, nobody else's" is an extremely problematic one, especially in a society that is defined by rape culture and the idea that men have the right to a woman's personal space if not her very body. A student should be able to dance with her friends -- yes, even in that crowded area -- without fearing that someone else will grab them and refuse to take a hint. In short, this issue is much more complicated than you seem to think it is. Students shouldn't feel unsafe at a school-sponsored dance (or anywhere for that matter), and that's that. While I agree that "outlawing" grinding is foolish, attempting to create a more controlled and safe environment is never a bad thing. There is much more at stake here than "ruining everyone's good time."
    • '13 alum on October 15, 2012 at 12:24 PM
      Is our society really DEFINED by rape culture? Is our country's culture based around men raping women? Which men do you know who think they have a right to a woman's body? Do you have any data to back that claim up? I think not. I don't know if you've ever grinded before, but the woman is in the position of power in a traditional, heterosexual grind. The woman is in front: guys don't grind on girls; girls grind on guys. The woman can simply say "no" or walk away.
      Grinding takes place in public; an unwanted advance is obvious and can easily be refused, unlike rape. Let's differentiate grinding and rape. If you honestly think that girls are being raped at homecoming, that's an entirely different problem that banning the most common form of dancing among this age group won't solve.
    • '14 on October 16, 2012 at 9:31 AM
      You clearly have never grinded in your life before.
  • mbk (View Email) on October 15, 2012 at 2:19 PM
    thanks mimi, this was needed, and great to see
  • Alex B. (View Email) on October 16, 2012 at 6:36 PM
    "... damn fools forgetting we were made to mate ..." - Darwin (somewhat paraphrased)
  • lampshade (View Email) on October 29, 2012 at 6:07 PM
    This is a news paper right? This sounds a lot like FOX news, way too opinionated.
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