The Truth Behind High School Dances

A writer, hopeless romantic, and lover of all foods, Kimberlie is a seventeen year old living in Arizona. Her mind consists of a million chambers always pondering the what’s and why’s of life, and she considers herself anything but simple. She loves having long conversations with friends over the goodness that is a cup of chai tea latte.


Suppose if you haven’t been to a high school dance in awhile, you’d expect a scene from 16 Candles. Or if you’re more “down with the times” you’ve seen an episode of Jersey Shore and wonder if we’re all fist pumping like that. Well, unfortunately, John Hughes had no part in planning our dances, and a Snooki look-a-like is not an uncommon sight.


It’s no longer this anticipation of waiting on the sidelines, secretly hoping that one guy will ask you to dance, it’s no longer finding the dress that makes you look beautiful, or practicing in the bathroom the dance move you learned from Britney.


Maybe it was never like that, I don’t know, but that’s always what I thought it was supposed to be.

A freshman three years ago, I attended my first homecoming dance, and it was unlike anything I have ever imagined and beyond anything I was prepared for.


I learned that it’s not about the most flattering, or modest dress, but who can buy the most revealing and short one. It’s not about waiting for that one guy to ask you to the dance floor, but grinding on your girlfriends while eyeing that boy long enough for him to come up behind you.


And the faculty members don’t do anything about it, but they simply stand there with looks of utter disgust and discomfort.


Disgust and discomfort at what exactly?


A mass of freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors, mashing their bodies together, guys with their shirts ripped open, hands running up and down where no one can see them, and rumors of so-and-so having sex on the dance floor.

It’s completely inappropriate, and yet apparently, completely acceptable.


Our dances are a reflection of current society, whom the youth are so eager to grow up and prove that for one night, amongst the pulsing music and the magnetic lights, we can be alluring, bold, and confident. And our peers and the media enforce these desires as they hyper-sexualize us starting at younger and younger ages.

It’s perfectly understandable why you’d want to shelter your son or daughter from this, but the plain truth is that you can’t. However, there are ways to talk with your teen to make sure they are safe and understand that this certain behavior creates a negative image.


Before they leave for the evening make sure you take these tips into consideration:


  • Make sure their outfit is appropriate and not too revealing. They may fight with you about this, or you may be lenient about dress code, but there is a line between being eye-catching, and being trashy, and it makes a big difference at these dances.
  • Remind them, warn them, do whatever it takes to ensure that they do not drink or take drugs during any part of the evening. These are infamous nights for students to show up to the dance intoxicated, and faculty members can and will catch them, and there will be severe consequences.
  • Tell them that they should never be pressured to do anything they don’t want to do, and if they don’t feel comfortable dancing a certain way, don’t. Avoid the middle of the circles as that’s usually where the more risqué stuff happens. There’s nothing wrong with spending time with friends and just enjoying each other’s company over the refreshments provided.

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