Thursday, January 15, 2009
Freak . . . Out!
If you have a teenager, surely you’ve heard of Freak Dancing. I first heard of it when my now-teen was in 8th grade, but I did a little research and found out that kids have been dancing like this at school dances for about 10 years.
So, what is it? It is a VERY sexually suggestive kind of dancing where partners will grind each other and simulate sex on the dance floor. As one parent described it, “If the teens didn’t have their clothes on, you’d swear they were having sex.”
My teen claims it’s very innocent, that it’s “just the way we dance.” To watch teens “freaking,” it doesn’t look so innocent. In fact, watching it borders on voyeurism. What I am so appalled by is that boys my teen has never even met before will walk up behind her, grab her torso and start grinding her from behind . . . and that’s acceptable??!
Parents and teachers all across the country have expressed outrage and have tried, unsuccessfully, to ban Freak Dancing from school dances. I just had a dean of students at my daughter’s school tell me that they made the entire student body watch a spoof on Freak Dancing to hammer home the message that it was forbidden at dances.
Yeah, I’m sure that was real effective. It probably did nothing more than teach those teens a few more sexually-charged dance moves that they couldn’t wait to try out at the next dance.
I try to do my part and explain to my teen that life isn’t one big music video; real people in the real world don’t go around rapping and acting like gangsters; and strange men don’t come up behind me in line at the grocery store and start grinding me. (Though it could be one more reason to spend more time at the grocery store, huh, moms?)
As cool as it looks on YouTube and MTV, “freaking” with a total stranger isn’t really the best way to start a conversation with someone, in my opinion. But what do I know? I’m just an out-of-touch parent from another planet and a bygone era.
The era, I should remember, when Rock ‘N’ Roll was considered scandalous, too.