Dance behaviors cause Homecoming exodus
The games and dress up days common to homecoming week simply serve as build-up to the game and the anticipation of the dance. This year’s closing night did not bring the joy associated with the dance because of one action: grinding. A dance sexualized beyond the typical community standards, often described as dirty or suggestive, engendered a controversy resulting in ejection of multiple students from the dance. The mass migration caused a move to alternate sites of entertainment off of school grounds. Though it took many by surprise, the rule was not formulated out of thin air. Principal Erin Kohl attests to the consistent opposition to the form of dancing from parents and students alike.
“We’ve been talking about it for a couple of years, especially last year in the spring, we had conversations about the dancing, as we have had phone calls from parents,” she said. “Even a community member heard from a student that the student was disgusted and didn’t want to come to another dance because in that students words, the ‘dancing is gross’.”
Student Government advisor Matthew Mauk has been involved with homecoming over the past few years, handling the setup, financials, and cleanup of the dance. Mauk prefers to keep a solid attendance at the dances, putting Student Government in the black financially. With this in mind, Mauk is always looking to create an atmosphere which keeps the maximum amount of Wildcats coming back to the dance year after year while upholding school policy and expectations.
“Cleaning up the dances by dancing more appropriately has been a topic of conversation since I have been part of student government, so I was aware that there was concern expressed by parents and by some students,” he said. “So I knew that there were concerns about the dancing.”
In a response to this disapproval in the school and community, Assistant Principal Rebecca Montour looked to follow up on the rule that had been in place but not enforced.
“We were thinking of really cracking down on some of the really bad stuff, and we kind of asked student government if they could get the message out, if they could maybe make some funny commercial, or something that we could show during W hour,” she said. “The videos never ended up being made, so I think that student government probably felt a little bit uncomfortable addressing the issue, which I totally understand because it’s not their job, it’s our job.”
Despite the lack of advertisement, word still got around to a portion of the student body, but only surfaced in the form of rumors.
“I know that some of the word got spread because some of the kids had said ‘yeah we heard that you guys were going to crack down a little bit on the grinding,’” Kohl said.
On the night of the dance, some precautions were taken to enlighten and foreshadow the enforcement to come, but the warnings fell on many deaf ears.
“The administration was told that as they were chaperoning the dance that they need to remind kids that they needed to dance appropriately,” Kohl said. “There was an announcement made at the start of the dance as well, although I know that not all of the kids were there at that point.”
Kohl stays adamant in the inclusivity of the event, free of grinding, and hopes for improvement in the future.
“Not one student was told that they had to leave because of the dancing, so it was very disappointing that so many students left their own student government a little bit high and dry,” she said of the night’s events. “It was too bad that the impact that the dance had on the students was not as intended, but I think that the kids that did stay had a blast.”