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Stowe High School calls off dances due to twerking - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Stowe High School calls off dances due to twerking

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STOWE, Vt. -

"It's a big disappointment," said Dylan Priestly.  The Stowe High School student is among man who say they feel robbed of a longtime high school ritual -- school dances.

"Dances were always something we looked forward to -- they're a big part of the high school tradition I think," Priestly said.

But Stowe High School Principal Jeff Maher the says certain dance sexualized moves showed up at a dance earlier this year -- and crossed the line. "The style commonly known as grinding -- and I won't go into the details of what it looks like -- but I mean it's been out there for years now and it's just not something we felt we could condone by continuing to sponsor that type of dance," Maher said.

Three dances later in the year have been canceled, including a Halloween dance that was called off just days before it was scheduled to take place. "It was a bit shocking. We've had dances in the past and it's a fun experience for everyone, and we never got a warning about it. And the students didn't really have a say in it," said Katelyn O'Toule, a Stowe Sophomore.

But the Maher says by canceling the dances, it will give the school an opportunity to talk to students about what's respectful and appropriate. "I don't blame our kids, I really don't. I think that they reflect the coarse, vulgar, popular culture that they inhabit," he said.

And this idea is nothing new. For many, the first time Elvis Presley shook his hips up on stage it was wildly inappropriate. But what seemed risque in the 50's, would have only been warm up moves for films like Dirty Dancing and Footloose.

As pop culture has evolved, it's tough to keep up with the dance moves. But one place that usually has the most recent boogies -- high school dances. And Maher says it is the current dancing trend that is not sitting well with teachers, parents, and even some students. "He made the right decision.  But I also think it was kind of like a bummer for the kids and the seniors -- but I think it needed to happen," said Gabriela Silva, a Stowe Junior.

Silva says she thought her peers dance moves were over the line and she hopes they can find a way to have students tone it down. Even though the moves decades ago seemed risque then, Silva says that is what she hopes to see back in school dances again. "If we do dances, we can do like 50's or 60's or 70's -- and do some kind of like theme to it and it doesn't have to be like the whole grinding and everything, and inappropriate stuff," she said.

Prom has not been canceled, so students will have the chance to dance that night away.  The principal says the school will be engaging students in conversation -- to try to find a way to bring more dances back this year.

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