High school cracking down on seductive dancing



Dirty dancing.

Whatever name is used for what students at Free State High School have been doing on the dance floor, administrators say it needs to stop.

In response to complaints from both students and teachers, Free State has put in place a new “No Provocative Dancing Policy” in hopes of taming the wilder moves at school-sponsored dances.

“The administration came to us (Student Council) this summer and asked for help putting a new policy in place,” said Student Council president Mandy Ogunnowo. “It was clear that something definitely needed to be done after last year’s dances became too disturbing.”

Student Council sponsor David West has attended every dance at Free State for the past three years and said over time he also noticed the dancing getting more raunchy.

“I graduated from high school in 1986, and I am sure that teachers thought we were dancing too explicit then,” West said. “But things now are definitely more sexually explicit.”

West said he agreed that something needed to be done to moderate dancing behavior.

“A lot of kids were just not attending dances anymore because they felt uncomfortable with how other kids were dancing,” he said.

So this year, Free State dance chaperones will give students one warning for grinding on the dance floor. A second infraction will result in the student being kicked out of the dance.

“I don’t think a lot of kids understood how serious this new policy was,” Ogunnowo said.

That’s why numerous students were tossed from Fire Starter, Free State’s first dance of the year.

Free State had informed students about the policy in a four-minute video showing the school mascot dancing to the 1950s’ Big Joe Turner song, “Shake, Rattle and Roll.”

The video also shows the Free State mascot dirty dancing to a song by rapper Nelly, “Shake Your Tail Feather.”

In the video, the commentator explains to Freddy the mascot what is considered appropriate and inappropriate at dances.

Not everyone considers the policy a good idea.

“It’s a silly policy,” said Free State junior Dereck Cooper. “I was kicked out of the first dance of the year after teachers said I was dancing too explicit.”

Cooper said he wasn’t certain whether he would abide by the policy at Saturday’s Homecoming dance.

Administrators and Student Council members are scheduled to meet Friday to further define what types of dancing are allowed.