School uses contract to clean up students' dance moves

All students attending tonight's Truman High School homecoming dance in Independence will be under contract.


Fighting a trend of way-too-physical dancing at school-sponsored events, administrators are requiring students and their parents to sign a "Dance Contract" before students can participate.

Administrators instituted the contract after watching dance-floor decorum disappear over several years.

"It's been getting progressively worse," Principal Kristel Barr said. "We believe all students should be comfortable at dances."

At least one other area district has similar high school rules against dirty dancing.

Truman's contract terms include:

"No sexually explicit or violence-oriented dancing (freaking, grinding, moshing, etc).

"No dancing back-to-front, side-to-back, side-to-front or back-to-back, no grinding front-to-front.

"No touching of breasts, buttocks or genitals.

"No bending over.

"Both feet on the floor.

"No straddling each other's legs.

"No overt/prolonged public displays of affection (making out)."

Administrators have tried other approaches, Barr said. A student committee convened to suggest guidelines. Administrators addressed students on what constituted appropriate dancing. More recently, administrators serving as chaperones tried a different strategy: turning on the lights.

But it didn't matter, said Barr. At a "Back to School" dance a few weeks ago, the issue remained.

"We needed to intervene," she said.

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