School: No ‘grinding’ at prom

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PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. — Dirty dancing has one local school telling their students to tone down their moves. What some call grinding, others call offensive. Dancing with a partner front-to-back is now banned in Port Townsend.


The new policy cracking down on offensive dancing began in January, and since then only one student bought a ticket to the spring season dance this year.

Dances at the school raise a ton of money for graduation celebrations and students worry the grind-ban could make a big impact if students decide to not show up to the upcoming prom.

“We’re really depending on prom to bring in for graduation,” said senior student Renada Walcome.

But Port Townsend High School isn’t alone, Port Angeles schools also banned the dance, telling kids they had to dance “face to face and leave some space” – and the kids don’t like it.

The spring fling dance in Port Angeles would normally bring 400 to 500 students – but this year they only sold 15 tickets, so their dance was cancelled.

That makes the Port Townsend students worry they’ll have to work on some new dance moves before prom, or face a lack-luster graduation party.

“The kids move the dance elsewhere and not be restricted at all by the school,” said senior Brian LeMaster.

The principal at Port Townsend High School is working with the student body towards a compromise, but students worry it’s not going to work

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    At first I assumed this story was referring to some small isolated hick town in Texas or Mississippi.
    I would think school officials here in Washington would take a more relaxed attitude. It seems that school officials always have to censor the current fads of young people. Remember, back in the 1950s Elvis Presley's singing was considered by many to be low-class and vulgar. Who thinks that about him now? Just an example of how times change.

  • Matt

    Grinding is a way for a dude to rub himself against a chick. Sex in public. Still illegal. All they are doing is hurting themselves. I had a blast at my prom and am glad I went. By trying to take a stand they are loosing out on a fun night and making memories and are loosing money for grad party’s. so really it’s a bunch of stupid kids being baby’s. kinda like king Obama when his background check bill got defeated by “a minority in the senate”.

    • Miranda

      I agree. The kids are acting like complete idiots. "Since I'm not allowed to fake like I'm having sex with someone in public, I'm just not gonna go!" There are other, real dance moves you could learn. How stupid! Shut up and go to your damn prom and quit acting like such brats! But then again, I'm not pro protesting anything, it's a stupid practice, and more often than not, winds up being a huge waste of time.

      • Brandon

        Newsflash: Plenty of dance styles considered "tasteful" are highly sexualized. Tango, blues dancing, rumba, ect… all contain moves that are more sexual than the "bump and grind" that you are all making such a big deal about. Quit pushing your values and poorly thought out opinions on others and let the kids have some fun before they are shoved into the drudgery of adulthood!

  • Alanna

    It's really stupid and the district will lose a lot of money. There are more important things to focus on. If you want us to stop grinding, pay for dance lessons and don't play music that you can't actually dance to.

    • marcy

      I raised my sons here and have to say,"What a joke" Are we back to the 80s w "/Foot Loose" ?? These kids live in a rinky dink town that offers them no fun! So what is wrong w/dancing?? Please, this town is out of the loop! I stand my ground. Let them have some fun :)…

      • Paula

        And them when someone goes too far and a girl gets raped, everyone will be crying that they don't know how this could have happened! Boys get 'fired up' just looking at a girl in one of those dresses. You start grinding on him and get him all hot and bothered and then say no. It is difficult for them to just stop. It is not the girl's fault, but you don't start things with a boy that you don't want to finish. Mixed messages get everyone involved in trouble.

        • Shane

          Grind Dancing leads to rape now? Where is the correlation? Go back under your rock Paula, I understand that the Mr. in your life may not take you out dancing and to dinner, but don't make ridiculous assumptions

        • Stephanie

          Maybe you should teach your sons not to just automatically rape everyone that gets them "fired up." I'm pretty sure if guys are just raping girls who dance with them, we should probably be teaching them to NOT DO THAT instead of being like "well I guess we'll just have to tell the girls to stop dancing." If it's difficult for you to "just stop" when a girl starts dancing with you, you have no impulse control and maybe should be in jail.

        • Greg

          Wow, nice slippery slope fallacy you have there. Seriously, I've liked in PT for years. The dances have always been full of grinding. Has anyone ever been raped because of it? No. Has anyone been hurt? No. Do people have a good time? Yes. These kids have hit puberty years ago but still society frowns upon them for expressing their sexuality. At the dances, maybe 4 times a year, they actually were able to express themselves in a safe environment. Now the administration has taken that away from them, it's just sad.

  • Justin

    There's always one drunk couple that takes grinding too far, but I've never seen the chaperons actually do something. So instead of jumping drastically to a new set of rules, why not enforce the rules you set in at dances already? Port Townsend School is extremely lacking discipline at the past dances and they could have prevented all of this in the first place if they would have just enforced their rules in the first place.

    • SOG1969

      Justin, What exactly is it they have to enforce…?
      Maybe you should be more concerned about Texas rewriting history in your text books to fit a Republican Agenda….

    • Anonymous

      The only actual rule change was to make it easier to enforce the existing rules, by empowering chaperons who felt uncomfortable approaching dancers about how they were acting. Again, no real rule changes, just enforcement.

  • Heidi

    Finally, it looks like the High School might be doing something right, until the principal compromises. Sure the kids will be mad and push back on the rule, that’s their job! Pushing the boundaries, we were all teenager once. But we as parents need to keep guiding them into adulthood. And it is Ok to tell them NO! Some parents have a hard time with that word! No daughters you can’t wear a dress that has a hemline at the crotch, No sons you can bend your girlfriend over at a school dance and get your groove on like MTV Spring break. There is a reason why we aren't supposed to be cool in our kid’s eyes! Parents and teachers need to grow a backbone, make rules, make guidelines, and have boundaries. They will only think we are wrong until they are about 25 and then they will see the truth!

  • Paula

    Why is it that the majority of people in my graduating class make me wanna facepalm combo x2. I mean seriously? You all wont go to prom just because you all cant dry hump each other. That's pathetic guys. I don't want to see my former school on the news because of that, it's just plain embarrassing!!!

  • Jon Anthony

    These kids today are sissies. Why, back in my day, we had tear-away crotch panels that were engineered for prom night! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!

  • PaytonB

    I can't believe these kids would even think that kind of dancing at their age is appropriate; what happened to self-respect? Why haven't their parents taught them why it is inappropriate?

    • Bill

      Age appropriate? Puberty hits kids around age 12 or 13 and most these kids are 17 or 18. Trying to deny the facts of natural human development is just silly. These kids are just trying to have fun; let them dance.

  • Time

    WOW! How is this even an issue? I am sorry kids but grow up! If you claim that you are ready to graduate and live on your own then act like an adult. It may be shocking but, people can have fun without dancing like that. When you have kids in the future do you want them dancing like that?

  • Jenn

    I'm happy to hear about this new expectation! Especially after I heard about the extent of the sexual contact on a school dance floor last year! For crying out loud someone has to draw the line! These are our children! I cannot imagine being "okay" with a teenage boy grinding on my daughter, not to mention in public and I cannot fathom being "cool" with my teenage son disrespecting a young woman in this way and having the school just stand by and literally WATCH?!!! If you/they think they can't have fun at a dance with out "grinding" on each other that's just plain SAD and we have completely lost any decent purpose to why a school should be even putting on a school dance! Good for you PTHS! You've got my support!

  • alex

    As much sex as these kids are having off in corners, locker rooms etc…someone needs to make them act like they have some sense and realize their future jobs as prostitutes and pole dancers will provide plenty of time for that.

    • PT Student

      As a student at Port Townsend High School, and in the loop with everything happening in my school, I know for a fact there is very little to none of that happening now… this isn't the early 2000's anymore, and we aren't as bleak in education as most of us may seem.

  • PT Parent

    What they don't mention is the new dress code that went along with it or that it is a only a minority of the kids that grind. The real issue was a lack of teacher/school supervision caused some parents to complain about a previous dance. A few boys would come up and grind when not invited and they were not stopped.
    If it were just grinding that was the banded, the dance probably would have gone on. Free expression is very important here in PT. Lots of parents supported their kids about the student walk out.

  • J.W

    My god. My school gets in the news, for this stupid thing.
    I swear, we aren't all idiots.
    Those over privileged kids are all grumpy because the cant have sex in public.
    Personally, i think every single one of them is an idiot, and that's why my girlfriend and I don't attend dances anymore. We usually just have a movie night.
    Personally, i think its disgusting, and completely inappropriate. They try to act like gangsters, but come on. seriously?
    Its high school. Our town has to be the biggest hippie community in the northwest.
    Come on people. Stop being idiots, and use a brain cell for once.

    • Bill

      No one except you are and your girlfriend care about your personal opinion. That's why it's called personal. The masses shouldn't have to stop doing something just because a couple people think it is inappropriate.


    Let me ask you all a question…who is grinding actually hurting? the answer is NOBODY ( but the parents sense of self righteousness) times are changing like they always do. Parents stop being such prudes and learn to move on with history. If you really don't want your kids going then tell them they can't go!!! easy as that…don't ruin a fun social gathering for everyone else just because you can't see past the traditions of your generation. No one is stopping you from creating your own dance where you can make your own rules… NO ONE. Stop being so closed minded; Stop being jealous because you can't have fun like your kids are having; Stop ruining events for people…Oh and one last thing, What do you think will happen if the dances are closed down? NEW private dances will spring up…AND BELIEVE ME THOSE WILL BE TEN TIMES WORSE…It makes me sad how parents are not able to understand their childs generation, the kids dont need to grow up ( they are growing up fast enough), the "adults" are the ones that need to mature and relax. No one gets hurt so who cares.