Parents in one Rhode Island school district are wondering whether “grinding,” a sexually suggestive form of dancing, should be banned at school dances.
It’s gotten to the point where it’s uncomfortable to watch,” said Kate Macinanti, chairwoman of the high school’s dance committee – a subgroup of the South Kingstown High School Parent-Teacher Group. “A good portion of students aren’t interested in doing it, but there are students who do and when you have a young girl who is literally bent over with her hands on the floor and a boy behind her simulating a sex act, you have to wonder if we should be OK with it.”
A local paper points out the dancing styles of teenagers have irked adults for generations, ever since Elvis Presley shook his hips on stage, but Macinanti thinks when it comes to grinding, parents need to see it for themselves. “The majority of parents have not witnessed it personally, but when they witness someone so young in such a position, publicly, it really opens their eyes as to what’s going on,” said Macinanti, who worries that young girls who grind might be sending a message that their bodies are for public consumption or giving boys the false impression that they’re willing to have sex, even if they might not be.
Principal Robert McCarthy said South Kingstown doesn’t want to be one of the schools that banned dances outright, like some communities, nor does it want to turn a blind eye to behavior that is “inappropriate” at school functions. Instead, he hopes that the school can take advantage of its role as a place where discussions about appropriateness, dress, conduct, language and other similar conversations take place.
I’m with Macinanti. Having chaperoned 5th grade dances where some of the kids moves made me uncomfortable, the idea of kids simulating sex acts on the dance floor is well past my comfort zone. Yes, I’m now officially old.