Hopkinton High School, situated so close to our own, has officially banned all dances besides junior prom.
Why, you ask?
Because of the level of explicitly sexual dancing, which administrators say has become increasingly more inappropriate despite numerous warnings. Students were apparently getting “too close” when grinding.
Parents and teachers became more and more uncomfortable with the situation, until finally the levy broke. Principal Evan Bishop wrote a letter explaining the decision to cancel all dances: “Our top priority is keeping all students safe and comfortable both in school and at school sponsored events,” wrote Bishop.
Grinding may cause discomfort, but since when is it a safety concern? As a high school student, I feel obliged to clarify that there is no peer pressure to grind at school dances.
And why was prom spared? The obvious and probably more accurate reason than the school provided is that teenage girls everywhere would rise against the administration in defense of the popular coming-of-age event. However, Bishop simply stated that prom could continue since it was always at a different venue and behavior has not been an issue in the past.
But why has the school chosen such a drastic solution to such a common issue at school dances everywhere? Teen social events, whether hosted at a school or not, have always been sweaty microcosms filled with rampant hormones and lusty experimentation.
Even if grinding is a newer way to express oneself, it is still a student’s right to choose how they dance. The dancing may be PG-13, but it certainly isn’t worthy of a school-wide ban on all dances. To the average small town teen, the school’s reaction to a bit of typical teenage dirty dancing seems to be overdramatic, and the entire issue blown out of proportion. Grinding on the dance floor seems to get confused with a much more R-rated activity in the minds of administrators, while to kids it is just how people dance and interact.