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Sue Maguire Principal: Twerking Too Sexual for Homecoming Dance

By    |   Thursday, 04 September 2014 07:27 AM EDT

Sue Maguire, a high school principal in Vermont, has canceled an upcoming homecoming dance to prevent twerking, or other "sexualized" forms of dancing, saying that the moves "crossed the line of what we can condone as appropriate behavior at a school."

Maguire and David Beriau, dean of students at Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington, Vermont, explained their decision in a letter to the editor published Wednesday in the Bennington Banner.

"This is nothing like 'Footloose,'" Maguire wrote, denying a link to the iconic 1984 Kevin Bacon movie about a small town that banned dancing. "This is a safety concern for us. We, as educators, need to make sure students feel healthy and safe on our campus. If you look at the dancing in 'Footloose,' and the dancing we're seeing, they're not the same at all."

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The Mount Anthony Union faculty and administration decided to cancel the homecoming dance planned for Sept. 20 after conferring with students last spring when several high school girls said they felt uncomfortable with unwanted "grinding" from boys at school dances.

Terry Creach, a choreographer who teaches dance at Bennington College, explained that twerking was born from hip-hop dance culture.

"It's very much a hip-thrusting, kind of with-your-legs-bent move so it's very graphic-looking," Creach told the Times Argus. "However, when you see it as a solo, it looks like it’s right out of West African dancing . . . It's just a hip action which American culture has never been very comfortable with ever."

"I think the big difference here is when two people are doing it together, it looks like graphic sex," Creach continued. "When it’s a solo, it doesn't."

Maguire said she hopes to find a solution to the school's "twerking" problem, which came about after the dance was popularized by Miley Cyrus at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.

"We plan on continuing the dialogue in hopes that we can work together to reinstate dances," she told the Times Argus. "Unfortunately, our young people are continuously exposed to a culture filled with sexualized images and messages, but this should not and cannot be permitted at our school."

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TheWire
Sue Maguire, a high school principal in Vermont, has canceled an upcoming homecoming dance to prevent twerking, or other "sexualized" forms of dancing, saying that the moves "crossed the line of what we can condone as appropriate behavior at a school."
sue maguire, principal, twerking
384
2014-27-04
Thursday, 04 September 2014 07:27 AM
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