Well, I helped Muetti’s friend stop her son (he was 8 or 10, I believe) from dancing something pretty similar to freak dancing but with some space, in front of his girl friends, who were younger than him, after a recent Sunday Mass. His mother spanked him with a rolled up bulletin from my Catholic church and said that it was inappropriate. His father says he should cut down on the cartoons.
I helped further by pulling him over and told him the same thing. He claimed that it was Tom and Jerry (the cartoons), but I believe it was more than that. I think he saw something on home video, Internet video-sharing site, or television that involved live-action (non-animated) people doing what he did, but against their partner’s crotch or butt.
Then, I went into the car of one of Muetti’s friends, and I told the kids about the boy’s dancing. I told them that high schoolers do it in dances, despite the rules, and how even middle and elementary schoolers do it too. I told them this dancing rule: face-to-face with some space. He might have not agreed with me, but with persuasion, he can learn the right and wrong ways to dance throughout life.
My heroic (or pretty heroic) advocacy towards kids young as 3 about grinding came to show that 3 years old is never too young to learn that the social dance is inappropriate. I hope my story can spur parents, teachers, and others to have their kids use common sense when dancing.
Grinding was once the dance at dance clubs, but thanks to music videos it became popular with teenagers. The moves are so easy to do that even a preschooler can learn them. Of course, parents, teachers, and other concerned people are fed up with it because it simulates sexual intercourse.
There are solutions to discourage freak dancing. One extreme measure is to cancel future dances when students continue to dance dirtily at one. Another sensible way is to have them wear wristbands to be cut off when they dance inappropriately or to have them sign a contract.
Another way is to hire a live band because they are less likely to play music suitable for the way they dance (in a sexual manner, of course). In the non-school field, those who invite guests at dance parties or receptions involving that activity write along the lines of “no grinding” in their invitations.
But there’s another solution some schools and other organizers consider to discourage anyone from grinding: ballroom dancing and cotillions.
There are benefits to learning ballroom dancing, besides the fact that it burns calories. For the main part, it teaches people the proper way to dance. You really can’t sway your hips behind your partner who’s doing so likewise when a Strauss waltz plays. You have to learn how to dance to it.
Also, you learn basic dance etiquette. While eager students get on the dance floor and start to grind along to recent hits that fit the dance, students learn to ask their partners on the dance floor. That gives them more confidence to dance with the opposite sexes.
Best of all, that method of social dancing allows them to meet new friends as well as the old. The best way to do so is to form cotillions. They are programs designed for people to properly dance, boost their self-confidence, and meet each other.
I for one have danced in a cotillion as a teen, and I loved it so much that I wished all dances with formal wear (school-sponsored or not) can do it. The dance featured in mine was the waltz, but others can include salsa, tango, and foxtrot as well.
Well, at least it’s not grinding.
Ballroom dancing has its flaws. Instructors are really hard to come by, and lessons can be very expensive. A great way to pare down on costs is to find a friend or volunteer someone to help participants learn the steps. Schools would love to recruit their students who are really good at it, but sometimes they prefer bump-and-grind over dancing mambo.
Also, the music for that type of dancing with friends is lame. Although DJs crank out tunes for it as well, bands big and small (especially big bands with 12-15 wind instruments and small classical-style orchestras) take advantage of it. (Remember that they play mostly lame music, which can turn off teens.) Something in the likes of Wine, Woman, and Song (a Strauss Waltz) can anger those who embrace “sexual bending” or dancing with little space front-to-back.
Speaking of not being able to grind and being told to dance like “their great-grandparents,” participants feel as if organizers are plunging them back to the Regency Era. (Well, that’s when cotillions were at their heights, anyway!) Dressing in semi-formal to formal clothing (tuxedos, gowns, etc.) is not a problem especially for teens participating in homecomings, proms, and the like.
But what if organizers force them to learn the dances and have them wear cravats, knee-breeches, empire-waist dresses, and petticoats? What if they make students learn reels, waltzes, and other group dances at the time? They would deem the measure as “too stuffy.”
Teen Who Loves Grinding: Wow - that’s like, totally laaaaaaaaaaammmmme. School Administrator: No it’s not - it’s the proper way to dance!
Some of the dancing at ballrooms is just as bad as freak dancing. Take a gander at the ballroom dancing on television, for instance. There are too much closed positions in the sauciest of salsas and rumbas, as well as a minimal amount of grinding (but not in a way that’s too common). Fortunately, most classes offer family-friendly versions of them.
In fact, most dances started out as being thorny to society. For instance, Catholics and other moralists bashed the waltz during the Regency Era, but that didn’t stop there. In 2007, the education ministry in China urged schools to implement the waltz in their curriculums to combat childhood obesity.
Some teachers, parents, and critics decried it because the closed positions encourage premature infatuation. (That means that dancing it would incite “puppy love.”) Simply put, they had the same views as the moralists did in the early 1800’s. Thus, a handful of schools opted out of the program.
Despite being so lame to dance party participants as well as expensive, ballroom dancing can be a boon to everyone. But there are questions organizers need to consider when they hold a party with at least a third of the dances in the genre. Is it feasible and appealing for the target audience? What are the costs for a good instructor? How would the guests react to the measure?
On top of that, does ballroom dancing work – just for the sake of clean dancing?
There are numerous reasons why parents prefer homeschooling to any other method of schooling. By having kids under this intimate education system, you protect them from bullies, teasing, and overstimulation that burden them in a regular school. Also, parents save a considerable amount of commute time when they hire a teacher who would help the children learn and succeed, compared to putting them in a bus.
But there’s another reason to homeschool: a lot of the school dances involve a lewd dance called grinding.
So what is grinding, you ask. Also known as “freak dancing,” “twerking,” or “doing the butt,” it’s a very basic yet highly sexual dance. Simply shake your hips behind your partner’s back end and keep a very small distance between yourselves.
It’s often danced to hip-hop and reggaeton, two of the music genres that teens show interest in listening. (For the latter, freaking to the music is called perreo, after the Spanish term for “dog.”) The front-to-back dancing is very common in school dances and others that are meant to be family-friendly.
I had a lot of experiences with the dance. When I was one of the leaders in my Catholic parish’s youth retreat, I grinded because I saw a lot of my peers do it. That’s an example of peer pressure because I knew right that instant that everyone was doing it and the movements were so easy to learn.
The same peer pressure held true with homecoming in my senior year – almost all my friends on the dance floor formed pairs or “grind trains” and I joined in. I soon realized how lewd the majority and I danced was very inappropriate and vowed myself that it was the last time I grinded.
Contrast the public school life with homeschooling – it eliminates all the peer pressure in everything, including dancing. The only person the pupil has to deal with is the teacher or the parent who is teaching. Also, it shields them from outside influence, namely the results of media oversexualization. No, I’m not just counting the skimpy clothes that preteens, teens, and other women wear, but also the way kids dance.
You may wonder whatever happened to the waltz (Believe me, it was criticized for being too scandalous a few times, particularly in the early 1800’s and in 2007.) or other “clean dances.” Sadly, most teens who think that freak dancing is the only known method of dancing renounced those dances they danced as children.
Speaking of children, grinding is a too-easy party dance. In a few home videos taped in a nation where reggaeton became popular, several elementary school-aged children freak danced. In one of them, some girls held on to the wall and straddled one leg around their partners as they grinded. Having seen these videos, I blame media influence as well as poor real-life role models (especially teenage siblings or parents) for influencing children to dance provocatively.
School dances that involve teenage bum-on-pelvis dancing are one good reason to homeschool. No child should ever learn how to dance dirtily as his or her own peers. With that program, a child can learn how to dance properly, and some teachers are able to teach them ballroom dancing of any genre. Of course, there’s a slim chance that a child would bump and grind when he gets his schooling at home!
I wrote a guest post on the St. Petersburg Times education blog about - well, you know what issue is at hand!
I would like to reiterate that I grinded in high school and soon realized after homecoming that it was inappropriate. Also, I noted in the post that I created this blog in response to a few videos featuring those under 13 freak dancing. Thus, I leave you with an excerpt from the post:
There’s no need to either enroll them into expensive ballroom dance studios or pressure schools to mandate cotillions (group dancing reminiscent of the early to mid-1800’s) on prom or homecoming participants. Proper dancing is all about having students use their common sense, and parents and teachers are here to make sure they use it and learn to use it.
Speaking of which, still hold tight for my post on whether dance classes curb grinding!
Kimberly Swygert, of the education blog Number 2 Pencil, writes a post in response to a school’s ban on dances years ago after students did all the grinding despite being warned beforehand. Here’s what she has to say:
How ‘bout Bennett sponsors a dance class during lunch, or has the students learn steps in gym? I mean, it’s entirely possible that these kids really don’t know any other moves that are fun yet un-dorky. Bennett could attempt to make un-freaky dancing “cool” again, which would show that he’s doing his part to help solve the problem. I agree that there should be scary chaperones and tough peers to enforce the no-freak rules at dances - but it would be fair to enable kids to learn some other way to dance as well.
Well, I mostly agree with you, but having a dance class is costly if a school hires world-class ballroom dancing instructors. If someone in the school is really good at it and can be a candidate for teaching lessons, he or she is likely to prefer freak dancing.
So anyway, stay tuned for my post exclusively on GYFDO on the advantages and disadvantages of ballroom dancing lessons and how they can deter students from bum-on-pelvis dancing!
We parents, teachers, and some concerned others are fed up with a dance that numerous teenagers and some adults do in dance parties, school dances, wedding receptions, and other events that involve dancing: grinding. To perform the social dance to basic way, you either gyrate your hips behind a shaking butt or the other way around, with as little space as possible. That move is the shocking character of the dance.
It’s so easy that even preschoolers can do it.
Well, here are some tips to stop the provocative dancing, whether you are a parent, a teacher, or a prude aunt:
Lay Down the Rules If you are planning a wedding or a dance party, ask the DJ or live band to set down the rules before anyone starts dancing. Better yet, write something in the lines of, “No ‘grinding’ or sexually suggestive dancing please,” on your wedding invitations. If you are a school administrator, ask the organizers to write rules somewhere on participants’ permission slips or tickets. Or have the sellers hand them out along with their tickets.
Reduce the Amount of Television they Watch This move is not only for the sake of having them live active, healthy lives. A lot of teenagers (and children) watch music videos, concerts, and shows where freak dancing is the norm. Offer them good alternatives to the media they watch. Do you live in a Christian household? Have them watch Christian programming made for teens.
Teach them Proper Dancing One way to teach frequent grinders and those who don’t know how to dance alike how to dance properly is to enroll them into expensive ballroom dancing lessons under well-trained teachers. Of course, there are better, cheaper ways. If you are teachers, one way to encourage school and family-friendly dancing is group dancing. No, I don’t mean that you should plunge them all in the Regency Era (1790-1830) and teach them cotillions. (If you want a prom or homecoming in that theme where you encourage students to dress in that manner, that’s fine.) Have them learn fun dances you did generations ago, like the Chicken Dance, the Hokey Pokey, and even the Macarena. If you are a parent, you should do so likewise to your children. Are you good at ballroom dancing? Don’t be afraid to teach them, too.
Offer Consequences Especially for those of you who are teachers, an effective way to put your foot down on grind dancing is to have them wear wristbands. If they are caught dancing in that manner, mark theirs with a marker for their first warning. Do the same on the second and third offenses. By the time they reach the latter, ask them to leave the dance. It’s simple as that.
You don’t have to make your next prom into a stuffy one that involves Regency Era attire and dancing lessons that are mandatory to students given beforehand! Just teach them to shake their groove thing in a proper way!
There’s no need to ban whole future dances outright because a majority of participants did a lot of dirty dancing on the previous one. Ditto for planning a wedding reception without dancing because you saw a lot of guests dance provocatively in the previous one you attended. Discouraging anyone from dancing in a family-unfriendly manner is not all about teaching them dance lessons. Simply put, keeping them from doing it is a matter of teaching them common sense.
I’m going to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in less than two weeks. No, I’m not talking about the dandy parade, the candy collecting, and the fireworks that make you scream for more.
I’m talking about the dance parties!
I know what you are thinking - the Magic Kingdom is the place where you can cut loose and grind like there’s no tomorrow! Well, it’s not the place to start a grinding line because it’s meant for everyone from 1 to 100! I hope that all the spots where people dance are free of all the freak dancing.
Dancing is a form of creativity. Ballerinas and lyrical dancers alike show their grace and poise with every pirouette, arabesque, and releve. Jazz dancers strut their stuff with high battements and split leaps. Tap dancers shuffle to even no music to get the rhythm of their feet. Hip-hop dancers pop and lock to make themselves look cool.
But no genre of dancing is as easy and as bondable as social dancing. But the most creative subtype is freestyle dancing - in which dancers can dance any way they want. When it comes to grinding, or freak dancing, most teens know that it’s their only method of dancing. So why do they feel incapable of dancing in another way? Why do they embrace grinding? On top of that, why do they think that it’s their only way they know how to dance in the first place?
Well, I grew up watching wholesome, quality TV - no extras in skimpy clothing on the music videos rubbing bums to pelvises. I only watched the news, the children’s channels before they included low-brow programming, and the cooking channel. At dances (as well as home), I taught myself how to dance at parties via observance. I learned how to do the Twist, the Macarena, the Electric Slide, and other kid-friendly dances. Briefly, my parents even taught me some ballroom dancing lessons.
Whatever happened to the Chicken Dance?
But teenagers nowadays either didn’t learn clean dancing as a child or just forgot how to dance in a party in an appropriate manner when out of elementary school. Of course, they learn how to do so from their peers, but they also learn the methods of freak dancing from low-brow (in a moral sense) music videos. Speaking of which, they are collectively the gist of oversexualization in teen culture. They are neither mature enough for sexually active lives, nor old enough to get married before engaging in sexual activity, but the media teaches them to dance provocatively.
But resistance to dancing that is both fashionable as well as lewd is really not new. Between the late 1700’s and the early 1800’s, the waltz was as bad as “the nasty.” Moralists, including Catholic officials and even some noted poets like Lord George Gordon Byron (who even wrote a poem about the bad dance) criticized its closed positions and excessive spinning. (Several years later, the problem with the former component of the ballroom dance reared its ugly head when the Chinese government mandated that schools teach their children to dance it to combat childhood obesity.) When the tango came to Europe from Argentina in the early 1900’s, Pope Benedict XV even banned it because it was overly sexual. In the 1960’s, some parents objected to the twist because it was too provocative.
Parents of teenagers need to teach them proper dancing. No, I’m not going to convince them to pay sums of money to enroll them in ballroom dance classes. Teach them the moves you used to dance in school or in a party where you did such clean dancing. Show them videos (home or online) of group dancing that is not too sexual. I encourage teachers to do the same.
Everyone knows that dancing is a form of self expression, but people don’t have to gyrate pelvis-to-bum to call it “dancing.” There are far more family-friendly ways of dancing while looking cool in parties and events.
Schools and organizers of dance parties and events involving social dancing face this dilemma: how can they discourage grinding? Some schools make their students sign contracts that detail how to dance appropriately (regarding freestyle dancing). Some others make them wear wristbands that would be snipped off to remind them that they would leave the venue for freak dancing.
But few schools and a handful of organizers have a way of using musical accompaniment for their social dancing events – live bands.
Having a live band surely makes an event with dancing come alive. Although musicians have to bear practicing end-to-end, their varied styles make school dances and other similar, family-friendly events unforgettable experiences. Those on the dance floor can feel the music more compared to having a DJ play the music. Having someone play tracks that have lewd lyrics is comparable to watching a PG-13 to R-rated movie rather than a G to PG-rated Broadway show with at least semi-live music (half backing track and half live orchestra). Also, they can play soft music during the period when guests eat. They have varied musical genres, from big band to the recent pop hits.
But the best thing about live bands is that they rarely play music that is well suited for grinding. Guests can’t dance front-to-front with hips swaying behind swaying bums with even a five-piece band with just guitars (bass and others), keyboards, and drum sets. Bands with a horn section (think trumpets, saxophones, and occasionally trombones) just can’t play hip-hop, R&B, or even reggaeton music with provocative (profane or not) lyrics teens love to listen to.
Sorry teens - you can’t grind as that guy with the trombone plays his solo. (Image by Björn Söderqvist)
Problems arise when someone in the team or dance organizers suggests a live band just to keep their dances clean. First of all, they fear that live bands are expensive. Well, it’s true, as does hiring a DJ. Although the latter is generally cheap, a celebrity one is just as costly. Another issue is space - it’s virtually impossible to fit a big band in a school gymnasium. Bands often take breaks, and if events rely on them solely, they are in trouble when they pause in between songs.
But the biggest issue is that live bands mainly play music that most guests don’t really like, particularly teenagers. Take a band with a keyboardist, a drummer, a bassist, two saxophonists (sometimes doubling on other woodwind instruments), two trumpeters, and a trombonist, for example. When they play a big band tune, be it West Coast Swing or jitterbug hit that students’ grandmothers used to dance to, they would likely complain. That brings up another reason they would not like the idea: the music is not up to date. Teens love to get with the times, and by dancing to recent hits, they would love it. If a live band plays music that is behind their times, they would complain that they are plunged back to a time when bands of that size were the norm in parties. They would also bash the organizers, especially school administrators, that they are prudish and old-fashioned because they hired them to play at their proms! Those who love to keep up with current trends think that those who hire live bands to keep twerking out of dances are dweebs.
Having a dance band in your event to discourage freaking is, as some guests put it, old-fashioned. (Image by dok1)
If schools (as well as other event organizers) are to discourage grinding on the dance floors, should they just go with jockeys with multimedia players or racks of CDs or hire bands of varying sizes? It’s not just about financial feasibility that should be taken into consideration, but it’s about how clean their music is. If schools go for the cheaper method of having one person play from a portable audio player that can be hooked up to an audio system, they should make sure that the music is clean for students to dance. Also, the music must not have lyrics that encourage them to grind dance in the first place. If they are affluent enough to hire even small live bands, they should first examine guests’ expectations before they install them into their events.
When planning a social dancing event and discouraging freak dancing at the same time, consider this question. Is it worth it to hire a DJ or a live band?
If someone happens to embrace the lewd dance called grinding (or “freak dancing”), he must acknowledge that there’s a time and place for doing it. So where should he go to where having his leading partner gyrate her apples on the swaying front side of him, bend over and doing so likewise is acceptable?
Here are places where that kind of “sexual bending” is and is not appropriate:
Where Grinding is Acceptable
A Nightclub Basically, a nightclub is the only place where bums gyrating in front of pelvises are warmly welcomed. In fact, grinding first became popular there years ago, long before schools first started banning it! A lot of nightclubs have age restrictions and minimal to no dress codes, making freak dancing a flagship dance.
An Adult Birthday Party Parties that involve dancing that involve just adults who love dancing provocatively are grind-friendly. They are in secluded places or indoors, they don’t expose themselves to where little children are visible, and best of all, their guests are welcome to dance as they please.
Any Unsupervised Teen Party The most dangerous place (I define a dangerous place as being a hotbed of underage drinking, recreational drug use, premarital sex, and other sins of society.) to grind against a girl is a party organized by teens, just for teens. And those teens share an enthusiasm of freestyle dancing that includes front-to-back dancing with little to no space. In some cases, organizers set those parties up in protest to school’s rules dictating how to dance. Typically, they have a more relaxed dress code and a freer mix of songs, including those that are perfect for twerking.
Where Grinding is Not Acceptable
A Children’s Birthday Party Especially if it takes place at some veterans’ gathering hall, twerking is a big taboo. Children’s minds are like little sponges - they absorb everything they see and hear in this big world. And dancing provocatively in front of guests where the majority of them are 12 and under sets a bad example for them.
A Wedding Reception Even in weddings where the only children are invited are the flower girls and ringbearer, booty-on-hip shaking is a no-no. Remember that children learn from what they see and hear, and grind dancing is something they don’t want to learn when they step onto the dance floor. It ruins the elegance and finery of a wedding reception, lavishly decorated with florals and other elegant embellishments. This is a banquet hall of some posh hotel, not an over-21 nightclub!
And Finally, the Flutin’ School Dance A school dance can suit a particular occasion - prom, homecoming, winter festival, spring fling, and if policy allows it, costume parties. But all school dances have something in common: no grinding. To keep that provocative social dance out of their venues - whether it’s a catering hall or a gymnasium - they take action. If students are considering dancing front-to-front with almost no space, they have to sign a contract that does not allow to do that! In some cases, they have to wear a wristband of sorts so that each time they freak, the staff member or chaperone has to cut it off and escort them out of the venue.
Homecomings are not grind-friendly.
There’s a time and place for freak dancing, and some of the only places to dance in an immoral manner are for adults who can’t stand what people are doing to make dances family-friendly.
I'm a former high school student who did the freak dance a few times, with the final time being homecoming. I created this site to let people who are against it in school dances and other similar events voice their opinions.
I'm not a prude, but I do believe that there's a time and place for grinding, and school dances are not good places for dancing sexually.