Real-Life “Footloose” Erupts At Vermont High School Over Twerking

Guys, serious crisis: Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington, Vermont has canceled its homecoming dance due to a rampant fear of twerking. In a letter published in the local paper, The Bennington Banner, the school’s principal, Sue Maguire, explains:

Over the past couple of years, since Miley Cyrus took the stage ‘twerking’ at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, our students’ dancing behavior has crossed the line of what we can condone as appropriate behavior at a school. Twerking is dancing to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving a low squatting stance and thrusting movements. Students do not face one another or remain with the same person for the length of the song. If you haven’t seen twerking, I would encourage you to research this online.

Oh sure, blame it all on Miley, why not? Maguire also notes:

As a school we are responsible to keep students safe and teach them how to interact with others appropriately. One of the issues that emerges with this highly sexualized form of dancing is consent …. we were told by students that … no one asks permission before ‘grinding,’ nor do they ask the other person if they want to dance.

We have been asked why we don’t just stop it. Try to picture our cafeteria, with 400 to 500 students in tight clusters of about 80 students. It is very difficult to get into the middle of the clusters to monitor every student who is dancing inappropriately.

First of all, I feel like some wires are getting crossed here. At least where I come from, grinding has been a thing for many, many years, long before the 2013 VMAs. Twerking, which has also been around long before Miley’s fateful day on the VMA stage, is a whole different ballgame. Twerking is like the ultramarathoners’ version of grinding. If administrators are going to condemn the student body for getting too freaky on the dance floor, they may as well do it while discerning the difference between “a low squatting stance and thrusting movements” and just plain old pedestrian grinding/semi-humping. Let’s be realistic here. In “Footloose,” the urge to dance won out, and so it will with the good people of Vermont. Kevin Bacon, you are being summoned. Whip out that Angry Dance and then tell that principal to cool it. [Esquire] [Image via AKM-GSI]