Saturday, January 13, 2007

"George Michael!! What are you doing at a high school dance?"

In local Connecticut news, The Hartford Courant reports on Students pushing limits with freak dancing. The New York Times actually did a few stories on this back in December, so obviously, now this is a concern nation wide. The Courant reports on the letter sent home to parents by the Simsbury High School principal Neil Sullivan, describing this new style of dancing in detail so parents would be able to comprehend the gravity of the situation.

"In the kind of dancing that we are seeing, the male student stands directly behind the female student. He then places his hands either on his partner's hips or around her midsection. At the same time, he presses his pelvic region against his partner's buttocks. As the music plays, the students then thrust or grind to the beat of the music. Sometimes, girls will even bend over as they dance, placing their hands on the floor while their male partner grinds against their backside."

This, of course, spawned a student-crafted parody, which is always heartening.

"I will (now) proceed to be as awkward as possible and describe the method of `back to front dancing,'" he wrote in the parody. "First the male selects a female and approaches her directly from behind. He then mounts her by placing his hands on her lower frontal area while pushing his pelvic region into her buttocks."

Barrett included other terms for the dance, such as "getting jiggy with it," "gettin' low," "dirty dancing" or "fun." He also joked that the pregnancy rate at the school had increased 87 percent since the dance style was introduced and students had suffered "numerous groin and calf pulls" because they hadn't stretched before "getting their freak on."

I am somewhat sympathetic to the conservative point of view here, but I still can't help but find the story funny. These high school dances don't exist in a vacuum - just watch MTV and BET to see where your kids get this from. Nothing the school is going to do is going to change ideas and activities that are ingrained as part of today's youth culture. I guess I find it funny because it's a Blue State liberal response to what is ultimately a social conservative-type issue. And of course, the media as always misses the point- either this is a larger issue (about the media and the sexualization of our children at a younger and younger age) or it isn't.

I mention George Michael above, because as fans of Arrested Development will tell you, we certainly can't imagine the show's resident high schooler doing any sort of freak dancing.


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