« 'Massive Change: The Future of Global Design' | Home | BehindTheMedspeak: What does carbon monoxide do to you - if you eat it? »

October 26, 2004

'Freak Dancing' Banned at Homecoming


The Associated Press reports that Loudoun Valley [Virginia] High School students will no longer be allowed to attend their Homecoming Dance unless they sign a pledge that they'll "face each other" on the dance floor, and not do any bumping or grinding moves.


Students are protesting that their First Amendment rights are being violated.

Maybe it's time to bring back the Macarena.

The Washington Post was all over this news last week.

Meanwhile, here's the latest wire service story.

'Freak Dancing' Banned at Homecoming

No drugs, alcohol or "freak dancing" at the Homecoming Dance, please.

Loudoun Valley High School students had to sign a pledge that they'd "face each other" on the dance floor at the weekend event, and no bumping and grinding moves would be allowed.

"It's very suggestive, and it would certainly not be appropriate in a school setting," Principal Gerald Black said.

Black said that requiring the pledge is a simple attempt to stop the type of dancing in which a girl gyrates her hips against the pelvis of a boy standing behind her.

But it has sparked a protest by students who say the face-each-other measure stifles free expression.

More than 300 students signed a petition complaining that the rule is "arbitrary, irregular and in violation of... First Amendment freedoms of expression in all forms," said senior Anton Soukup, 17.

Another student printed a T-shirt with the message, "How are we supposed to do the hokeypokey if we can't turn ourselves around?"

Many schools nationwide have confronted the quandary of how to rein in freak dancing.

But most have dealt with it on an individual basis.

When Loudoun Valley teachers handed out the required contract last week, it was greeted by almost immediate protest, several students said.

They said they'd grown up "grinding" and felt adults simply misunderstood the dancing.

"This is our generation's version of the twist," said Jessica Nauta, 17.

"A lot of older people think it's a sexual act. It's really not."

She acknowledged that some dancing can go over the line but said that's why dances are chaperoned.

Requiring students to sign a promise to dance face to face simply encourages students to test the limits, she said.

"We all understand we live by different rules at school, but freedom of expression shouldn't be something they should make us throw away," she said.

At Yorktown High in Arlington, Principal Raymond Pasi allowed a homecoming dance earlier this month only after the student government had put out a "stay classy" contract that students were asked to sign.

Turnout was lower than usual, and some youngsters got sent home early for dancing inappropriately, but Pasi said the atmosphere was much improved over last year's dance when some chaperones were so offended that they refused to take part again.

Loudoun County officials decided to require pledges after several parents and students complained at a School Board meeting in the spring that Loudoun Valley High's dances had become so explicit that they felt they could no longer attend.

"I had girls come and talk to me afterwards, and they felt really degraded about what they had done at the prom," said Christian Amonson, 17, one of those who spoke at the meeting.

But parent Laura George immediately saw a First Amendment threat in the pledge Loudoun Valley put out, and she encouraged her daughter and her classmates to protest.

"Civil rights are falling by the wayside every second," she said. "I've got to take a stand here for my kids."

Black went on the school's public address system Wednesday to assure students he will apply the face-each-other rule with common sense.

"We're not going to be the Gestapo, the military police to throw them out," he said.


"It's certainly not the intention of anyone to stifle them having fun."

October 26, 2004 at 09:01 AM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 'Freak Dancing' Banned at Homecoming:


Its a free country ;) besides elvis did it =)

Posted by: Swiss Giant | Jul 14, 2008 12:15:04 PM

i was resently at a small birthday party and the did this thing called a grind line it was very degrating

Posted by: abbym | Jun 8, 2008 3:27:48 PM

Ummmm...yea i think it shouldnt be banned b//c i go to a high school and when i go to school dances its all i know how to do there are so many teenage girls out their that dont know how to dance any other way so when you ban that lots of people pretty much cant dance at the dances...so its pointless going really...

Posted by: Amanda P. | Sep 17, 2007 12:57:00 PM

Well, kids aren't requiered by law to atend a school dance I thought? But, anyway, the school has a right to say what is allowed at the school dance they are hosting. Anyone has a right to dance how they want to, But they have to dance apporpiatly for the occasion. If they want to grind, they can do it elsewhere. School is just not an approrpriate place for grinding. If excessive innappropriate touching is not allowed in the school day, then why should it be allowed in the school dance. It is still at the school. And if grinding is allowed, then whats next? The school has to keep some limits on what the behavior should be on school grounds or else it would just be ridiculous and eventually get very out of hand.

Posted by: Haleigh L. | Oct 26, 2006 4:38:07 PM

While most of these comments were kinda interesting, the one that truly caught my attention was the one by un knoWn. I would like to remind him/her that we were not protesting a dance at a private school that we chose to attend, but instead a public school that we were forced by law to attend. Therefore, we should have a say as too what goes on in it. By simply saying "the kid's don't have to go to the dance" is sort of saying like if you don't like the way an election went, just leave the country. Not exactly something you want to teach your kids, running away from a problem that was caused by a loud minority will not solve problems. Instead, we should be teaching kids to stand up for what they believe in the legal action. The dance is the safest place for kids to be, not at some club unsupervised. At this dance the school can keep and eye on us and keep us safe from each other and harmful influences.

Posted by: Anton Soukup | Oct 18, 2006 11:01:44 AM

Wow. Those kids need to stop whining. It's not a violation of the first amendment. If a school wants to have rules on what they think is appopriate or inapporite to do, say or wear, they can make rules about it. The kids don't have to go to the dance. If girls want to grind their pelvis's against a guys package, which is tootally a sexual act, they can go do that at a night club or a strip club, not a friggin' school dance!!

Posted by: Beth | Sep 25, 2006 4:27:47 PM

ok i go to a high school where they have recently banned grinding and i find it so in incredibly stupid.
ok yeah i'll admit that it is suggestive but not every 13 and 14 year old is gonna go run out and have sex right after dancing, i mean this is just how we dance, we dont know HOW to dance any other way...

Posted by: un knoWn | Apr 23, 2006 11:12:14 AM

the crybaby dance is when u:

ball ur left or right hand up and bang one of them on the floor while u r also humping the floor

Posted by: Shanea | Sep 27, 2005 8:27:41 PM

The crybaby is a dance where you get on the ground and hump the floor . I don't see why it shoold be band tho because hardly anybody even does it anymore . Its old .

Posted by: Sarah Young | May 29, 2005 8:17:43 PM

If you're going to lap dance in public you should at least get paid for it. First, the art of dance is lost on high schoolers (mostly because the music has the rhythm of coitus period). Second, these are minors which means their parents do have a say in their public behavior. How many dads and moms really want their children behaving this way in public?

Posted by: ScienceChic | Feb 21, 2005 6:29:12 PM

i believe freak dancing is a form of expression that should be protected by the first amendment. the generations are definately changing and i can understand why adults think its degrating...but they must understand teens...we love to move to the music!!!

Posted by: Ashlie | Feb 20, 2005 7:58:26 PM

More than you would ever possibly want to know about freaking or grinding:

I predict that this is going to fall away because adults are all over it.

I haven't a clue what "The Crybaby" dance is. When school officials ban a dance by name rather than by describing the moves, it is bound to fail.

Posted by: Liz Ditz | Nov 11, 2004 10:21:11 PM

hey i just have a quick question... What is The Crybaby dance? It was banned at my sons school?

Posted by: Carrie | Nov 11, 2004 11:35:00 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.