How much is too much?: The story of the high school dances


An editorial by Jenn Tate
Hopkinton High School will be having another dance this Friday, February 27. For many students, these dances are a great reason to get together with friends and socialize on the weekends. Since we have been attending dances for many years now, we sometimes forget how they have changed over time.

            Back in seventh grade, many students went to their first middle school dances. In preparation for the event, girls got ready together by picking out the perfect ensemble, doing their makeup, and trying to make their hair look perfect. Then, they all came together and found the rest of their friends on the dance floor, more commonly referred to as the school gym. Meanwhile, some boys tried to look nice, and others came wearing the same outfit they had worn to school. When they arrived at the dance, some boys danced and socialized. Others ate pizza and sat at the lunch tables outside the gym. Though the process may have varied a little in eighth grade, it was basically the same routine.

            As freshman at the high school, we walked down the stairs and into a completely different environment. All of a sudden, we found ourselves immersed in a high school dance for the first time, which was a completely different experience. Aside from the obvious differences in surroundings, such as the windows that slowly fogged up as the dance progressed and the groups of people outside hoping to escape the heat, there were differences in the kind of dancing as well. Close dancing (or what some would call inappropriate behavior) such as “grinding” was everywhere. Everywhere you looked, people were kissing, bumping into each other, and students being swallowed by a sort of mosh pit that would always get broken up by teachers.  Often it would be awkward as you tried to make your way through the crowd of people on the dance floor because of students who acted differently than they normally would at school. Occasionally, you would see or hear about someone being caught under the influence of alcohol. It wasn’t that there wasn’t any of this at the middle school, but just that the high schoolers took it to a degree neither seen nor allowed at the middle school.

            Now with a couple of school dances under the belt, I ask you this: How much is too much at the dances? Now, I am certainly not saying that I think we should enforce a rule stating that all people must be a foot away from each other, but rather this: How far can students go before it becomes inappropriate behavior? To me, close dancing is not a problem. What is a problem is when people act so inappropriate that you feel uncomfortable being around them, and you move to another spot on the floor. I do not think I have the exact answer for what should and should not be acceptable but I present you with the question to answer for yourself.