Dancing Waltzes Away


Julie Derhak

The dance is on, the music is poppin’, but most people are just… standing around. The majority of teens of the current generation enjoy attending dances, but few of them even know how to dance. Compared to well-known dance decades such as the ’20s and ’50s, current high schoolers lack any specific dance style. Forty years ago, both adults and youth enjoyed dances such as the hustle, disco, the bop, and the swing. But, as seen at homecoming, the preference nowadays is to jump around and fist pump, waddle about for slow dancing, and a little bit of Gangnam Style to keep things interesting.

“Schools had dance classes that went from elementary to high school where they taught proper courses such as the waltz,” said Gina Terrell, Bingham High School’s dance teacher. “But now it’s been taken away and school has switched to a more academic perspective. Most students don’t take dance because of the competition for college credit and courses.”

In the past, restaurants offered dance floors and a live band which provided the opportunity for people to dance. However, it is no longer common to have that chance to groove. With the rise of fast food restaurants and lack of interest, dancing for fun has become something of a lost art.

“Everybody just stands around when they should be dancing.” said Maddy Birtcher, a junior at Bingham High. “It’s a dance, so you’re supposed to dance, alright?”

When arriving to a ball, homecoming, or a dance club, there is an expectation to dance your heart out. However, when people don’t know how to dance, it becomes intimidating. There are still some songs that prompt popular line dancing, which include the cha-cha slide, country western, and boot scootin’ boogie. People still can easily do the hokey-pokey, but the swing? Probably not. There is a social ballroom course offered here at Bingham, but ultimately, it is all up to the students.