Mason County schools not exception to twerking fad

December 12, 2013

By D’Ann Rohrer. MCP Correspondent.

Some of you may recall the swiveling of the hips by Elvis or the sensual Latin American dances but have you heard of twerking or grinding? Maybe you saw Miley Cyrus’ demonstration on MTV Video Music Awards. Well it is happening in our community and it is time parents are aware.

I talked to my teenage son, Remington, about it.

“That is disgusting and I don’t know why teens think they can dance that way. It makes the teens who don’t dance that way feel out of place. You ask yourself if you should be dancing that way and then realize, no that is fowl,” he said. Remington is a senior at Ludington High School.

Teens who are twerking or grinding stand in the center of the dance floor and classmates dance around them, obscuring the view. This way it is less conspicuous to the adults in the room.

“The worst of it happens in the center of the circle where adults can’t see it as easily,” Travis McCormick, a junior at Mason County Eastern High School said. “I think twerking is OK if it doesn’t get out of hand.”

According to the Oxford Dictionary, twerking is a dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance. A “clean” definition of grinding is when a girl takes the twerking move and shakes her butt up against a male’s genitals.

“The lyrics in the songs they play provokes that form of dancing,” Shannon Sniegowski, a Ludington High School senior said.

“The dance move shows what the teenager wants to get and it is something the school and parents should not support,” my other son, Chase Rohrer said. He’s also a senior at LHS.

“Twerking was never as dirty as it is now,” Lacie Sroka, a LHS senior said. “Celebrities have glamorized it.”

Do you know what kind of dancing your child is taking part in?

“If I saw my daughter doing it (twerking), I’d drag her off the dance floor,” said J.W. McCormick of Fountain, a parent of two teenagers who attend MCE.

Psychologists have said they afraid that females are sending the wrong signal to their male counterparts. Males are visual and when they see girls dancing like that, it affects their brain in a different way, it causes them to think of females as an object instead of an intelligent equal.

“I had never actually seen twerking until I saw an instagram video.” Gail McCormick, J.W.’s wife, said. “I was shocked and very relieved that my daughter was not at that sleep over. Dancing is fun and great exercise, but that form of dancing is just disgusting to say the least. It’s an attention getter, but unfortunately it draws the wrong kind.”

On his website, www.thegenuinescholar.com, Dr. Corey Guyton said the attention from twerking may be plentiful but the respect for the young ladies twerking is limited. If you look at twerking from a holistic perspective, you will see that this act only encompasses one part of a woman, which is her physical being, and it negates the spiritual, emotional, psychological, and mental aspects of her, Dr. Guyton said. Consequently, this leads to men viewing these women only for their physical/sexual features and the result is typically men lusting and/or pursuing these women only for those reasons.

A dance move that was seen first in the clubs started showing up at school dances four or five years ago.

MCE Superintendent Paul Shoup said that his school doesn’t usually have issues with it. “There’s an expectation for proper behavior,” said Paul Shoup, MCE superintendent. “For me, my presence is enough. It (twerking) really isn’t a problem here.”

When your child asks if they can attend a dance, make sure the conversation starts at home about proper dance moves. Even though you think your child is in a safe environment with adults chaperoning, the conversation should come from home on proper behavior at dances.

Teens ask yourselves these two questions: Would you do this dance move with your parents watching? Would you do this dance move in the middle of the day with the lights on? If your answer is no to either of those questions then you shouldn’t be doing it.

My advice is that parents should talk with your children. Make sure you know what type of dancing they are doing. Offer to chaperon dances and make your own decision whether it is a healthy act, emotionally and mentally.

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