Different Music Would Encourage Appropriate Dancing

It would seem that every high schooler wants to go to a school dance. Dances have been a tradition for high schools for the longest time and I think it would be safe to assume that it is a tradition that will continue on for years to come.

Most of those that attend dances usually come to the dance looking forward to something.

Lilly Bee, a senior, says she,Looks forward to hanging out with her friends, having a good time, and getting crazy but not too crazy in a very clean way.”

Derek Brewer has chaperoned a few dances in his time here as a teacher at Dimond and said, “It’s like seeing your teacher in grocery store, it kind of humanizes your teacher.”

Social Studies teacher Lem Wheeles, the sponsor of Student Government, “enjoys getting to see his students dressed up and having a good time.”

It’s good to know that teachers enjoy the dances almost as much as we do.

I myself have had the opportunity to attend a few dances during my high school career. Every dance has a memory for me and even to this day I am grateful for the memories that were made.

But after the dance was done and the DJ was packing up for the night, I would find myself asking, “Why in the world were those kids ‘twerking’ and ‘grinding’ against each other? Why did I feel like I was at a club and not a school dance“?

To be honest, there were times where I felt like I was at a club, one that did not have seizure-causing lights or served alcohol.

My biggest complaint was the music.

It would seem that the musical lyrics always alluded to sex.

As a young person raised in an era of techno, rap and hip-hop, some would question why I am bothered by kids dancing how they want to dance.

In my opinion, the dirty dancing shows you have little to no respect for your body.

Then again, this is coming from a young man who was raised conservatively and believes that calling a young lady sexy or hot is more demeaning than appealing.

I cringe, though, when a security guard feels the need to thank a couple for dancing appropriately and following the rules.

Others feel differently of course.

“I don’t really mind, it’s not something I would do. When I see them doing it [dirty dancing] I just say well it’s their choice,” said Bee.

Wheeles believes that “it [dancing] can be so many things to so many different people, that you’re going to see a lot of different things.”

I have a fair understanding that most songs usually have a double meaning.

I also understand that the music popular in my parents’ generation doesn’t appeal to us as much as it did them. I began to learn that others felt the same way.

In fact, many don’t go to school dances because of the type of music played and the type of dancing that takes place.

Though there are a few songs that don’t allude to inappropriate things, the playlist always seems to be dominated by hip hop and rap songs with beats and lyrics that make your body want to move in a sexual manner.

“I’m old enough to remember that transition from Frank Sinatra into rock ‘n’ roll, which was the root of all evil but today it’s electronica is the root to dirty dancing. Kids will be kids. People are going to get excited about something and if it’s music, then ok,” said Brewer when I asked him if the type of music influences the way a dance will go.

Bee said,“I think the music is pretty good for the most. I’m a pretty diverse person so I like all kinds of music. Depends on the people who are dancing and the music. Then again it’s all depending on the individual and who that individual is.”

I have to agree with Bee. It does depend on the people and the music.

“It’s a combination of both,” said Wheeles.

Is the root of the dirty dancing the music? I would argue yes.

Now, I’m not saying that all teens “twerk” and “drop it like it’s hot” on the dance floor. But I feel that if there was more variety of songs played from different genres and time periods, it would be more welcoming to those who don’t come because of the music.

Add some country, a hint of 70s ballads, and why not some 80s love songs, then maybe more kids would come participate at the dances and would have more fun.

If everyone has different tastes in music, then why is only one genre played? Of course, every genre has its “dirty songs” but there are classics out there that everyone knows that aren’t played at dances that could be played at dances.

“I think the music they play now is pretty good, maybe more upbeat music like hip-hop. More upbeat and not slow,” Bee told me.

Brewer, on the other hand, said, “It seems that everyone has a universal agreement, they don’t like rap. I really have it in my head that it is the other way around.”

He then went on to state, “We tend to get locked on certain genres and that’s what happens at dances. I think it is really difficult to have a blend where everyone is always on it. If you want dances to be inclusive, than yeah, you need to change it up. [Dirty dancing] is going to happen no matter where you go. The floor doesn’t have to be packed every time.”

Wheeles said he heard kids say, “Oh the music sucked, we need to get a new DJ. However, the same students the next dance may say the opposite.”

He went on to say, “It’s a question of who’s the audience and who we are appealing to.”

As someone who loves to have fun and spend times with friends, I love the idea of dances. I hope that they continue to be something that young people can go to, to have fun, make memories and even meet a future spouse.

I feel that our dances need to be more diverse and cleaner so that more kids would feel comfortable coming.

Then again, it really all depends on the person and the song.