OPINION: Dirty Dancing or Just Dance?

Vivian Sun '18, Staff Writer

In anticipation of the annual Sadie Hawkins dance around the corner this February, I’m reminded once again of Peddie School concentric dances – the center of which is, I hear, the place for grinding.

Last year I got curious and sometime during winter term of my freshman year, I caved and went to the “White-out” dance with my friends.

I paid the entrance fee and stood on the outskirts of the pulsating circle, feeling my ears lose hearing ability with each syncopated beat that emanated from the huge speakers set up around the room. All I wanted was to go back to my room and finish watching a drama I had been binge-watching, but my friends made me stay. “You’ll have fun!” they said. “It would be a waste of money otherwise,” they said. I couldn’t stop thinking about how hot it was in that room, how much I regretted wearing a thick white sweater to the dance, and how many pieces of candy I could fit into my nonexistent jean pockets without looking like a bear preparing for hibernation.

This year, I’m starting to consider the Peddie School dances in general: what can be done about grinding, why there seem to be a lack of dances, and if there’s any correlation between the two.

What exactly is grinding? Urban Dictionary calls it akin to dirty dancing, and it’s much like the gyrating moves you’d see in a nightclub. Why does it happen? Perhaps it’s the Saturday night mentality, where students can let loose and party all night long. Perhaps it’s because people are stressed and they want to dance out their post-class jitters in epic dance battles. Perhaps it’s because they’re feeling the groove and the beat of the music, and they want to dance like there’s no tomorrow.

There seem to be a lack of dances nowadays, and my family style table was discussing it – it’s once or twice a term this year. People may not be into the whole idea of grinding – as a naive freshman last year, grinding wasn’t exactly the reason why I wanted to go to a dance. However,  the Peddie School has worked hard to change the culture of dances and, hopefully, the aforementioned suggestive dance moves aren’t the case anymore. Regardless of the administration’s push to tone down the dances a bit and make them more “age appropriate,” I hear that interest in these dances is waning. Maybe there’s not enough promotion of how “awesome” these dances are, what with the potential cavities you’ll get from all that candy and that current, head-bopping, eardrum-bursting music. Maybe the infamous circle scares some people, or maybe people just aren’t interested in dancing with others anymore. It’s a passing fad nowadays – I hear that Just Dance, though, is getting more popular again. Maybe Peddie should invest in a bunch of Xboxes and several copies of Just Dance, and let everybody have at it as a Saturday Night Activity.

As to the correlation of grinding at dances and the lack of dances, maybe people have caught wind of the intense nightclub atmosphere of said dances and are intimidated by it, or maybe they aren’t interested in grinding on another person all night long. This lack of interest could have lessened the demand for dances and forced the Peddie School to host less due to the supply and demand chain. Regardless, Peddie should invest in some Wiis and some Just Dance DVDs – maybe the latest version of the game that GameStop sells – and have these at the dances for the people who sort of just hover around the outside of the circle. Whatever floats the Peddie boat.