My Patch editors occasionally suggest that I opine on topics of current local interest.
This week they asked me about "freak dancing," a sexually provocative form of movement, at school dances in response to .
It could be that I have a teenager. Or maybe my Patch superiors have hit on a way to make me focus. In any event, it so happens that I do have an opinion about dirty dancing in our schools.
Here is my opinion in the form of five questions that I think are way more important for parents and teachers to consider than whether or not schools should allow freaking at dances.
1. What am I teaching my kids about sex and public displays of sexuality?
Have you talked with your teen about how you feel about him or her having a boyfriend or girlfriend?
Have I told my kids about my feelings on freak dancing, or them getting freaky in general? Or even holding hands and kissing?
2. What is my teenage son doing, trying to grind on some girl on the dance floor?
I mean, has he spoken with this girl? Does he know her name? Has he asked her to dance before this or at least been dancing near her?
Does your son understand that suggestive dancing on her part is not an automatic invitation to freak? Have you discussed that with him?
Does he know how to react graciously if the girl tells him to stop or, alternatively, smacks him?
3. Is your teenage daughter OK with this?
Does my daughter define herself by how attractive she is to boys?
What have you told your daughter about dealing with unwanted attentions?
Does my daughter believe that letting some guy freak on her does not mean she's given him permission to do anything other than dance with her?
4. Is the school putting the same effort into rape prevention or discussing its policies on public displays of affection that they're putting into fretting about the latest dance craze?
Grinding isn't sexual assault. It isn't sex, either. Neither is dancing.
Still, there wouldn't be public discussion of it if it didn't raise the specter of teenagers having sex.
shapes the way they follow and/or control their urges as teens and as adults. What we teach them about the relationship between men and women* comes out in how they handle attention and rejection alike.
The high school dance is just one of many places where teens start applying those lessons. Worrying about a particular style of dance is - well, it's like our ancestors worrying about the waltz.
5. How the heck does anyone dance to dubstep, anyway?