School dances don’t have to grind to a halt

A while back, in the heart of March, I was graced with the opportunity to attend Cary-Grove’s all-new Spring Fling dance. Now, keep in mind, this task had some sentimental value for me. During my freshman year, I reluctantly went to one of C-G’s previous turnabout dances and actually had a great time.

To me, It was a much more laid back version of homecoming. Instead of that steamy clambake felt in the October dance, Winter Formal brought more of a relaxed essence. And even though I went stag, I didn’t feel awkward at all. In fact, the dance seemed more like a single highschooler destination. So to sum it all up, Winter Formal was a good, little version of homecoming. But unfortunately, like the saying, this good thing had to come to an end.

By my sophomore year, the restrictions on dancing grew much stronger. And as any Trojan might ask, what is a Cary-Grove dance without the scandalous grinding? Well, apparently nothing, because after the strict anti-grinding laws, popularity diminished drastically: not just  for formal, but all the dances.

Now, you’re probably thinking that this is just another one of those “bring back grinding” rants, but it isn’t. Not at all, actually. What I really want to talk about is something I noticed during my attendance of this year’s Spring Fling.

It was a Friday night and also my birthday, when staff writer Cameron Iverson and I got ready for the dance. Dressed in our finest silk dress shirts, we set off to C-G in my Corolla. It’s needless to say that we were pumped. I mean, I took off work for this dance. After stepping out of my car and heading to the building, we finally came onto the doors of the gym.

“Ok, Cameron, you ready?”

“Yeah I’m ready. I am so ready.”

We yanked our collars one last time and headed into the gym. But, upon arriving, we were met with a (not so) startling realization. The large space was pulsing with the sounds of a full blown nightclub, but the occupancy of a children’s Pump It Up party.

“There are so many contrasting elements about this. It’s just kind of hard to take in,” said Iverson as he looked back on the dance.

It was truthfully something out of a nightmare. I just didn’t understand. “Why is there no one here?” I thought. “Could it really be because grinding isn’t allowed?” I pondered this for a moment until Iverson stated a most refreshing line.

“Who cares, let’s just dance.” I turned to him and nodded my head. After all, dancing is what we came here for.

We had been practicing for months on our new moves and finally had the chance to try them out on the dance floor. Song after song, Iverson and I broke down and got loose. Eventually, our dancing was noticed and Cameron was circled by the majority of the dance’s occupants.

“I actually got in the middle of a dance circle,” said Iverson. “That’s never happened at a homecoming.”

With one record already broken, Iverson and I headed to the cafeteria to grab some water. Once there, I couldn’t help but to wonder what went wrong with the dance. Then finally, I posed myself a question.

I mean, yeah, I kind of hated being watched by teachers just looking for the ultimate taboo of dancing, and the fact that many kids are made to feel awkward just because others broke the rules in the past just isn’t fair. But with that aside, was it really the dance itself that was lame or was it the actual student body that didn’t attend?

Because in all honesty, the dance wasn’t a bad setup. Despite the grinding restrictions, Cameron and I were still able to have a good time.  Sure, there were fewer people, but what it eventually came down to was what we made out of it. Even with the prying eyes of the teachers, a greater attendance would have diffused that tension substantially.

As I looked around at the people at the dance, it seemed for the most part that they, too, were making the most out of things. And maybe that’s the perspective that the students of Cary-Grove need about these new dance rules. I mean, I was going at it for two straight hours just freestyling my dance moves.

I’ll admit I grinded in previous dances (or ground or however you say it in past tense) and to me, as cliche as it sounds, this dance was as enjoyable as the rest. The key component is just making the most out of it.

If you’re just frustrated at the dance because you can’t grind, it’s not even worth showing up. These rules are here to stay, so students might as well start breaking out the ol’ pre-high school dance moves. Because if you look at just making the most out of Cary-Grove dances, you’ll really find that you can do without grinding.

And let’s be honest, if you really can’t go without it, just buy a ticket to prom.