Dancing is too dirty

By Principal Schwab

I chaperoned Tolo a couple of Fridays ago and I must admit, I was not too thrilled with the amount of really inappropriate dancing going on.  While we don’t like being the dance police, we need to continue working at making our school environment more appropriate and this goes for our dances as well.  I think what bugged me the most was that right after Stew got on the microphone and asked everyone to tone it down, there were some who thought we were joking and went right back to the kind of dancing we had just asked to stop.  We are a public high school, and there are certain expectations that we need to set and uphold at all times.  This is true for our after hours activities as well as during the school day.  While we want dances to be a place where students can come and have fun, we do need to make appropriate behaviors more clear for everyone.

This whole dance issue is nothing new.  Flashback about 28 years.  When I was in high school our dancing could best be described in one of two ways– fast dancing, which resembled shaking and writhing on the dance floor as if we had walked through a room filled with spider webs.  And, slow dancing, which was nothing more than hugging and moving feet slowly to the rhythm of the song.  It was our slow dancing that got us in trouble.  We had a rule that there needed to be at least a couple of inches of space between bodies during slow dances.  Our Assistant Principal, Mr. Beasley, was the self-appointed dance czar.  He came to all of our dances and actually carried a ruler with him to make sure there were enough inches of space between couples as they danced.  We survived this and somehow managed to have a good time at our dances, in spite of our belief that the adults in the school were bent on ruining our dances.

“But you just don’t understand.  This is how we dance.”  I get that this is the style of dancing today but keep in mind that we are not a dance club in Seattle.  We are a public high school and we do have a standard that we need to set and maintain that is different from the standards at clubs.  I got an email last week from Hawkeye wanting to confirm that dances for the remainder of the year had been cancelled.  That’s quite a rumor.  I told Hawkeye and I will write it here as well—we are considering all options with regard to dances and honestly, one of the options is to simply not have them.  That’s a pretty extreme option and one that I’m not too fond of.  But we need to do something to address the behavior at dances.  I’d prefer that ASB and our student body work together to set acceptable standards of behavior for dances.  I’d much rather have dances than not have them.  Hopefully, we can work together to address this issue and continue to have dances.