School looks to past to tone down 'bump and grind'


With arguably immodest "bump-and-grind" dancing moving from nightclubs to the Corvallis High School dance floor, chaperones were looking for a way to keep the school get-togethers within the realm of the respectable. And they found one.

It all seemed like a flashback but there they were, students in 1980s garb - leggings, fluorescent colors, preppy sweaters - doing a country line dance to a techno-version of "Cotton-Eyed Joe" complete with an Irish fiddle.

The students loved it. Kicking up their heels, stepping to the left and to the right, they seemed ecstatic at the chance to jump around and move their bodies.

Dressed for CHS spirit week '80s day, a small group that arrived in the school gym to take part in a dance tutorial Tuesday grew throughout the session to include about 40 students, teachers and administrators swinging their partners and line-dancing.

It was Principal Suzanne Dalton's idea, to give students something new for the homecoming dance this Friday night.

Some teachers who have chaperoned school dances in recent years had been "basically appalled," said CHS health room assistant and frequent chaperone Cindy Gulledge.

"It all comes down to respecting everybody," Gulledge said. "Alienating other groups, causing them not to come to the dances, is not fair."

Dance organizer senior Sam Berger says he isn't sure how it will catch on with the rest of the students used to rap and hip-hop.

"Probably not at first, but hopefully they'll learn to grow to like it when they are there," Berger said.

If Tuesday was an indication many will find on Friday night that line and swing dancing is fun even if it isn't considered "cool."

Sophomore Nia Whitfield stumbled upon the dance tutorial Tuesday and was quickly caught up in it.

"Instead of modern dancing, have fun with Western," she suggested.

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