Dance floors at homecomings and proms will be looking a bit different this year following some policy changes. For the first time, the town’s sole high school is implementing a “dance contract,” including some new rules on inappropriate dancing.
The “dirty dancing” policy, as it is being dubbed, looks to put a halt to provocative dancing.
“A lot of teachers who chaperone these dances blush at some of the dancing that goes on,” said Sironen. “We want everyone, students and chaperones included, to feel comfortable and have fun at these events.”
The dance contract bars students from “sexually suggestive/explicit dancing,” including dancing that involves “intimate touching of the breasts, buttocks or genitals that simulates sexual activity.”
All dancers must remain upright, with no “sexual squatting or sexual bending” allowed. Hands on knees or on the dance floor with the “buttocks facing or touching your dance partner” is also prohibited.
“I think parents are very unaware of the types of dancing that goes on,” said Sironen.
The increase in provocative and suggestive dancing in recent years (especially the past five) led administrators to implement the new rules and institute a dance contract. Prior to the contract, no outlines had been set for what constituted as dirty dancing. Years ago, former North Kingstown High School Principal Gerald Foley proclaimed “You cross the line when you bump and grind.”
“We never determined what that line was,” said Sironen.
Students are now required to read the new rules and sign a dance contract in order to purchase tickets for any dance or prom. Students bringing guests must also fill out their information on the dance contracts. This year, tickets to dances cannot be purchased at the door.
Students who violate the contract will be taken off the dance floor for a “time out” in the media center. On the second offense, the student’s parents will be called to transport him/her home.
With homecoming approaching this weekend, the new contract and policy will be put to its first test. So far, students have seemed fairly receptive and supportive of the changes, according to Sironen.
In a twist of fate, the high school will be performing none other than “Footloose” for its musical this year.