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Calif. high school lifts dance ban — but 'freak' is out

By The Associated Press
11.30.06

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. — It isn't exactly "Footloose," but kids can dance again at an Orange County high school.

Principal Charles Salter of Aliso Niguel High is lifting a ban on dancing that he instituted after seeing students make what he said were sexually suggestive moves during a September event. Salter was so appalled by popular "freak" dancing that he canceled last month's homecoming dance.

However, Salter said on Nov. 28 that he would allow February's winter formal dance — if students and their parents sign contracts promising there'll be no bump-and-grind moves.

A committee of students, parents and school administrators created guidelines that outlaw bending over, front-to-back contact and touching of breasts, buttocks or genitals.

Partners must keep both feet on the floor and their hands above each other's waists.

Chaperones will keep things in line and students will have to go through checkpoints to ensure they meet dress code standards and are sober.

Scofflaws will be kicked out of the dance and serious violations could merit suspension or expulsion.

"I think that they'll rise to the level of expectation," Salter said. "All schools that are worth anything set high standards for their kids and high expectations, and you try to make sure your students reach those expectations."

In the 1984 movie "Footloose," a teenager rallies kids to overturn a dance ban in a small town.

But Salter says kids at his school should know he'll reinstate the dance ban if necessary.

"If I see continued issues, we will go back," Salter said. "I think they know that now."

There was mixed reaction from youngsters yesterday.

"What, do we have to dance three feet apart and yell to our date, 'Hey I'm having a great time'"? asked 15-year-old sophomore Kara Flynn.

But senior Shane Flores, 17, said he was glad the next dance would happen at all.

"When your parents show you pictures from high school, you never see them sitting on benches eating lunch. It's from a dance," he said. "It's more than a dance; it's how you remember senior year."


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