Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Sorry, Kids: Ban on Grinding Is a Good Step

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Sorry, Kids: Ban on Grinding Is a Good Step

Article excerpt

Mt. Lebanon High has banned "grinding" at school dances.

What's that, grandma? What's "grinding"?

I'll let Principal Brian McFeeley explain, as he ably did in an Oct. 19 letter to parents. Let's skip straight to the good part:

Inappropriate, overly sexually suggestive dancing by students ("Grinding")

"Grinding" is a form of dancing common among teenagers not only in Mt. Lebanon but across the nation. Its form generally includes a male student rubbing up behind a female partner while both make a gyrating motion from side to side.

Sometimes it evolves into very suggestive sexual motions by both partners. Quite frankly, warnings and reminders by administrators and faculty chaperones who intervene to stop this sexually suggestive behavior on the dance floor have not been successful.

Oh, this really takes me back. Not to my high school days, Lord knows. I graduated in the mid-1970s. One could say I came of age during the sexual revolution had I not spent the entire time wandering through a cease-fire zone. Slow dances to "Colour My World" in the high school gym would be pretty much the extent of my school-dance highlight reel.

No, this talk of grinding takes me back to the late 1980s, when I was single and in my early 30s, and made a trip with friends down to the Caribbean island Trinidad for Carnival. That's their Mardi Gras. It's traditional to spend much of that time doing a dance called "wining."

It has the same pronunciation as "whining" but is the furthest thing from self-pity. I'd dance down the streets in wild crowds to calypso music. The proper etiquette was to keep your hands in the air. If you stuck to that, sooner or later, some beautiful woman or another with a lilting island voice would be backing up into you.

The nerve of these incredibly fit, gorgeous strangers! Swaying into me, over and over and over again, block after block, song after song. I'd give them six hours or more each night to cut it out but they wouldn't. After a week I'd finally had enough and went home. …

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