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June 13, 2007



Rather than revisit the subject of Akon, I'll comment on schools canceling dances. I think that schools are missing an opportunity to help their students develop poise and confidence. In New York City, public schools teach ballroom dancing and the kids--some of them from poor neighborhoods--compete city-wide. Someone documented this in a movie called "Mad Hot Ballroom." It isn't "Dancing with the Stars," it's regular kids doing a regular fox trot, waltz and other social dances.

How do schools hold dances without the freaking? I suggest they play different music. No rap, no disco, no hip-hop. I've watched the atmosphere and behavior at dances go downhill in seconds when the music switched from "Beyond the Sea" to "Shake your Groove Thing." They can also have a lesson before the dance to show kids how to do a few steps and moves. If they check around at some swing, ballroom or Latin dance clubs, they might find a decent teacher for less than a studio would charge to come out. It's probably more effective than an assistant principal shouting at violating students, "You're all in breach of contract!"


I wouldn't call sex a "poison". My image of it is as a viral infection, like Ebola or Smallpox. How so?

Because sex has the same behavior as a pathological virus.

Whenever you introduce sex into anything else -- fashion, fiction, art, interpersonal interaction -- it first takes over until all the fashion, fiction, art, etc becomes nothing but sex and only sex, until the "host" fashion/fiction/art/etc is destroyed. Just like a virus infecting a cell.

Liz Neville

Thanks, Lori-- good and simple advice. I hope there'll be takers!

Ken-- I like your point about the virus, a neat and effective analogy. Just to clarify my point though: as with so many vital substances, what makes sex a poison or a lifegiver is the dosage. The blossoming sexuality of adolescents needs context, restraint and protection, not instant gratification with no consequence.


Liz, I grew up in Southern California. AKA Ground Zero of The Sexual Revolution (TM). I have seen "Sexual (TM)" stuff that would make the Marquis de Sade vomit. All my unicorns got beheaded long ago, and my boots are stained to above the ankles with their blood flowing in La Place de Revolution Sexual.


Lori: I have to disagree with you about the music change. There is a way to grind or dance provocatively(in my eyes, I just call it all grinding), to everything, I'm still in high school, and I've seen it. I think its disgusting.

What's so ironic about this whole issue is that I went to a completely school-independent dance(they were trying to raise money for charity and it was a great way to chill with exams coming near) and there was little to no grinding. It wasn't religiously affiliated either, which rules out that possibility. Most of the music played was the same type which is normally played at high school dances, but strangely, very little grinding.

I have to blame parents. Society is going to gravitate towards things which supposedly lead to "pleasure". My parents taught me that its OK to have fun, but to still present yourself at a social event as what you would like to be regarded as in everyday life.

Liz Neville

Vids-- thanks for weighing in-- from the front lines, as it were. I've recently seen this trend up close as well, only on a junior high level. Not pretty. I think what the adults in charge (parents and teachers both) expect and accept is going to dictate what actually happens. Kids may try anything, but when they hit the barrier with no soft spots, they stop.

Ken-- glad you made it back. We need your perspective.


Various dance clubs have various rules such as no aerials and no street shoes. Why can't a school enforce a no freaking rule? It sounds like they've let it become the custom. Why aren't the adults in charge?


Great point, Lori!


Continuing from Vids' comment, I was also surprised at some of the dances I went to this year. They were all formals (so not only expensive, but dress code required) run by my university, and there was also very little grinding. Maybe it was our fancy dress, the price of the ticket, or just the fact that we'd gotten a little older.

The interesting thing about that is that it loosened things up and made it just plain fun. People would dance in larger circles with people they didn't even know (rare in high school dances), and dancing skill was actually showcased and duly appreciated this way.

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