Kids are likely to emulate what they see around the world. They mimic a parent’s yoga moves on an otherwise lazy afternoon. They memorize the words of a cartoon character they see on TV. But, especially with that dance called grinding, they imitate what their big brothers or sisters dance. Teens do not seem to care that kids’ brains are like little sponges – absorbing everything they see and do – and their style of dancing is morally bad for them.
Sadly, grinding can be easily learned by children. One video shows a group of Latin American children dancing to reggaeton, one of the music genres that is suitable for “the nasty.” Of course, they bump and grind! Even a girl as young as 6 joins in the fun as she does a perreo (doggystyle) with her partner her age. Parents are present in the video, but they don’t seem to care. Ditto with another video featuring another set of Latin American children, where even a seemingly 4-year-old joins in the fun.
So why does grind dancing spread to even the child market? Well, there’s a lot of oversexualization in the media – girls wearing too-short skirts and ramming their rear-ends into their partners’ pelvises. Also, teenagers just do it – it’s their way of expressing themselves and a way of just fitting in. But adults see it as something that stimulates sexual intercourse when it really is not. Despite the complaints, teens still embrace freak dancing, even in front of their younger siblings and cousins.
I was born before that whole idea of grinding exploded in the 2000’s. I learned dances children did in dance parties. I danced the Electric Slide, the Macarena, the Hokey Pokey, the Chicken Dance, and other dances. But I started freaking in junior year, when I led a youth retreat. I couldn’t resist, since I felt that all of my fellow participants were “doing it.” No one complained until one hour later, the DJ reminded us to keep the dancing clean. I did that dance again for the final time as a senior in homecoming, and I lost myself in a grind chain, where a line of people did the same thing in a line. Finally, at prom, I refrained myself from the masses of fellow freaking seniors.
Schools have come up with solutions to put a lid on dancing like uncivilized animals on school dances. One way is to teach students ballroom dancing. But not every one of them is interested in that punitive measure – they will know that they will listen to lame music and dance to it. After all, the waltz was once deemed lewd in the early 1800’s, but it’s much cleaner than bum-on-pelvis shaking. Ditto for the tango, in which the moves are saucy enough for the Vatican to ban it in the early 1900’s.
If teens are to be better role models, they should use common sense in dancing. Proper dancing starts at home, and they should dance as if there’s a little child or grandmother nearby. Children are like little vacuum cleaners, ready to suck up what they learn from the real world. Grinding is not a dance craze that little children should learn. If they itch for it, they should wait until they are older and dancing off school grounds or school dances.