Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dance, Schmance...

So we let Blondechick15 go to a dance last night.

I know, I know...we said we weren't going to let her go to dances. But that was when we thought she would be attending the huge high school. And last night, I went as a chaperone, to check it out for myself.

First, I called the principal of the school and asked him bluntly, "So what is a dance at [name of school] like?"

"I hear ya, I hear ya," he said. "We lock all the doors and don't let kids leave until it's over, unless they have a parent permission slip to leave earlier. So there's no going out to your car to drink for half the time. And I'm there, on the dance floor, and about half my teaching staff will be there too. And if anybody starts bumping and grinding or any of that nonsense, I stop them. Sometimes kids from other schools come as dates of one of our kids, and if they start that, I just tap them on the shoulder and say, 'We don't do that here,' and they say, 'Oh, sorry, I didn't know.' One girl from one of the big schools told me that our dances are more lame, but more fun, than theirs. We've never had any problems."

And he was right. The kids all had fun and got a great aerobic workout doing what Blondechick calls "mosh pit dancing," which is jumping energetically up and down in rhythm while waving your arms in the air, or variations thereof--very suitable to songs with a strong dance beat, which was all the DJ played; there was only one slow dance the whole night. Everybody joined in the Cha-Cha Slide and tried to learn the Electric Slide from the dozen or so who knew it. There were some black kids there who really knew how to street-dance--including the most amazing back flips I've ever seen!--and when they decided to strut their stuff, everybody else stopped dancing and just gathered round. It was great.

A plus for me was that I got to meet Blondechick's friends (briefly) and visit with four of her teachers--as much as we could shout above the loud music--and I was impressed with them all. Two were very experienced and two were straight out of college, but they all had an enthusiasm that just radiated from them. They all seemed to like Blondechick very much and several told me that she's a good student. "Is she?" I asked one. "She's been homeschooled up to this year, so I don't know how she is in class." He replied, "You sure can't tell--she's doing great and she fit right in on the first day."

It's funny how sometimes it's great to hear, "you can tell your kids are homeschooled," and sometimes it's a compliment to be told that you can't!

So the verdict is: I think we'll let her go to another one. Don't know if I'll chaperone again, though. Ask me when my ears stop ringing....


Rosa said...

I'm glad to hear that the dance was a positive experience. =)

I only went to one dance at my public high school, and it was a horrible experience. The behavior at the homecoming dance I later went to at my brother's Catholic high school, sad to say, was even worse than at the public school.

I did, however, attend the Homeschool Prom, and it was wonderful. It sounds like the dance Blondechick went to was similar in atmosphere to the homeschool prom: a genuinely fun experience, no immorality necessary!

Linds said...

How lovely that they let you go to see for yourself! This sounds like a good place for your daughter.

Earthmommy said...

I so enjoy reading your blog because you write so honestly. It sounds like a great time was had by all at the dance and that's great! It's tough to know how to balance the worldly experiences we let our kids partake in with our desire to shelter them. I'm glad this turned out to be such a good experience for you and your daughter.