Web Extra! Video from last year’s OPRF homecoming dance

Student dancing at certain school events has gotten a lot dirtier over the years – too dirty for Liz Turcza’s taste.

The Oak Park and River Forest High School senior says she’s not alone in her view. Turcza is a member of the Student Council and a representative to the District 200 school board. For Saturday’s homecoming dance at OPRF, the council is encouraging attendees to refrain from sexually suggestive dancing. That’s been a concern of parents and some students over the last few years, said Turcza, 17.

The senior, though, insists that they’re not asking kids to dance like Puritans; she says it’s about knowing the boundaries of what’s proper behavior at school functions.

“To learn that people have been taking issue with the dancing is a little disheartening, so we’re trying to clean it up,” said Turcza, acknowledging her own discomfort in seeing peers taking things too far on the dance floor.

Sexually suggestive dancing among teens is referred to in various ways – freak dancing or juking, for example. But the moves are the same: bumping and grinding in a sexual nature, either standing or even lying on the ground.

Tickets to this year’s homecoming dance are still available at the school this week. But along with a ticket, students are given a note card-size slip of paper titled “The Geometry of Dance.” It shows stick figures demonstrating appropriate and inappropriate dance moves; for instance, no horizontal or 90-degree angle (bent-over) dancing.

The diagram was made by students and given out prior to the King of Hearts Dance in February, an event sponsored by the Tau Gamma student club. Cindy Milojevic, assistant principal for student activities, said the school used the diagram to get its point across using humor. Some students, she noted, agreed with it while some laughed at it.

“Clearly, it was about communicating expectations to our kids. We wanted to make our point but not alienate anyone,” Milojevic said.

OPRF is not the only school looking to crack down on inappropriate dancing. Schools in Illinois and other states have tried to stop the trend, and with varying results. During its homecoming dance last year, officials at Maize High School in Wichita, Kan., turned off the music after its students kept dirty dancing after repeated warnings to stop. Several hundred students walked out, and attendance at a later school dance was low.

OPRF students doing such acts will get a one-time warning at Saturday’s dance, and after that, they’ll be asked to leave if they continue.

It’s not just the dirty dancing, Turcza noted – it’s also the sexually explicit music kids are listening to that’s a problem. The high school previously offered suggestions to DJ’s of what songs not to play, but for this year’s dance, it went to Noplaylist.com.

The site was created by entertainment company DJ4U Corp. to flag inappropriate songs. According to the site, there are still many popular songs on the Billboard charts that can be played and that it’s only targeting “dirty songs.”

So, OPRF students attending their homecoming dance won’t be stepping to “Pop, Lock and Drop It” or “Swag Surfin.”

“Our goal is to make the student body comfortable at school events – we just want students to have fun,” said Turcza.

Songs that aren’t OK for this year’s dance

A sampling of music at Noplaylist.com

  • “Tie Me Down,” The New Boys
  • “Ruff Me Up,” Brooke Hogan
  • “Hotel Room Service,” Pitbull
  • “One Night Stand,” Divide The Day
  • “Birthday Sex,” Jeremiah

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