The right to bump and grind

Dirty dancing is a constitutional right, claim students at a Washington-area high school. It’s a matter of free expression.

Gerald Black, principal of Loudoun Valley High School, required students to sign a pledge that they will “face each other” on the dance floor for the Homecoming Dance. Drugs, alcohol and “freak dancing” also are banned, reports the Washington Post. Black wanted to stop “back-to-front dancing in which a girl gyrates her hips against the pelvis of a guy standing behind her.” He thinks it’s suggestive.

But the pledge has sparked a student-led protest about freedom and self-expression. More than 300 students signed a petition complaining that the rule is “arbitrary, irregular and in violation of . . . First Amendment freedoms of expression in all forms,” said senior Anton Soukup, 17.

Another student printed a T-shirt with the message, “How are we supposed to do the hokeypokey if we can’t turn ourselves around?”

. . . “This is our generation’s version of the twist,” said Jessica Nauta, 17. “A lot of older people think it’s a sexual act. It’s really not.”

Count me among the older people who think it’s a sexual act performed in public at a school event. I like the T-shirt, though.

Via Little Green Footballs, here’s another story where free expression is broadly defined.

About Joanne


  1. Count me among the younger people who know it’s a sexual act performed in public at a school event. Whether a school has a right to regulate this activity is up in the air, but anyone who’s a human being ought to be able to recognize the sexual energy that is the sole purpose of dancing this way.

  2. superdestroyer says:

    The real question should be “Why are schools still holding things like dances, proms, and parties?” Aren’t they really anachronistic in today’s world?

  3. Left in Texas says:

    There is a sort of “rights” argument that is creeping in on public discourse. People think they have all sorts of rights that are not specifically part of the Constitution or law. I think more attention needs to be paid in our educational system about this.

  4. Just a thought here, but consider the fact that a male doing the same thing to a female on the bus or the subway would earn him an assault charge.

  5. Andy Freeman says:

    (1) Consent matters.
    (2) Almost all dance with multiple people is a form of sex.

    (3) Why are schools in the after-hours entertainment biz? Why not rent the facilities (by the hour) to other organization that puts on these events.

  6. I forgot to finish posting the definitive history of the grind or the freak, thanks for reminding me:

    From talking with a few well-placed sources (my daughter and her friends)

    (1) It is fashionable to call all dancing “freaking” or “grinding”
    (2) Very few of the persons attending a dance or prom actually want to do the full-contact, female buttocks to male genital area form
    (3) All are fierce about maintainig the RIGHT to do so (YOU can’t tell ME what to do!!!)
    (4) The more adult attention (especially media) is paid, the more the kids can’t back down and admit that most are embarassed by it.

    In other news, the reasons the schools continue to host parties is that the municpalities won’t (which is a bit silly). The big public school’s dances are closed; the private schools host dances that are invitation-only (a good thing). These are usually very well run (good music, enough adults for a repressive effect, no in/out, kids don’t spend a fortune dressing up.)

    At least in our neck of the woods, there’s a paucity of youth-hangout joints (the “soda shoppes” have been history for decades.


  1. says:


    Gah! There is an abundance of good/interesting/disturbing stuff going on right now. My one-person staff can’t keep up. Or it could be that I’m too lazy to do so. So instead I offer links: The Democrat’s Plea to the Black…