Editorials, Opinion

Mon school board should reconsider dance-less prom

Whether the Monongalia County Board of Education meant it seriously or facetiously, the members may have been on to something when they floated the idea of letting prom-goers do the Electric Slide.

Granted, the Electric Slide and its corresponding Grapevine dance moves are a little … we’ll say “vintage” for the current generation, but there are several line-dances from the millennial era that may be a little more Gen Z’s style. (Plus, it will give those millennial chaperones a chance to show off.)

The following dances are pre-choreographed and can be done with social distancing:

◘  “The Cha-Cha Slide” by DJ Casper. This is one of those songs that tells you exactly what to do. You slide to the left. “Take it back” one step. “One hop” forward. Cha-cha “real smooth,” and then take a half turn and do it all again. Oh, and everybody clap your hands!

◘  “Cupid Shuffle” by Cupid. This one will need a little instruction to get the dancers started, but then it’s pretty self-explanatory. You go to the right, to the right, to the right, to the right. Then you go to the left, to the left, to the left, to the left. Then kick, then kick, then kick, then kick. Then you “walk it by yourself,” which is a little shuffle you do as you turn to the side, with lots of hip shaking, and start over again.

  ◘ “Crank That (Superman)” by Soulja Boy. This dance favors the athletically inclined, but as long as you can hop side to side, you’ll be fine. And if you can’t, pick a corner of the dance floor where you won’t get trampled and do the accompanying arm motions. The key feature of this dance is hitting the “superman” pose, with one arm up and outstretched and the opposite leg stretched back, mimicking Superman’s iconic flying posture.

 ◘ “Macarena” by Los del Rio. Originally released in 1993, the Macarena was still a staple at high school dances at least until 2014. This one, you have to know the dance beforehand because the song itself offers no instruction. The Macarena is all about upper body movement; you do turn in place at the end of each phase, but you can still do all the fun parts from your seat. Each movement hits on the beat, but it moves quickly: Right arm out, palm down. Left arm out, palm down. Turn right hand palm up. Left hand palm up. Right hand to left shoulder. Left hand to right shoulder. Right hand to right side of the back of the head. Left hand to left side of the back of the head. Right hand to left hip. Left hand to right hip. Right hand to right hip (or right side of your rear end). Left hand to left hip (or left side of your rear end). Finish with a big ol’ hip circle and turn to the right (hop is preferred, but not required).

 ◘ “Cotton Eye Joe” by Rednex. A real line dance for the country music fans. The song itself is catchy and upbeat, but the moves are too complicated to outline here — not to mention, there are several variations. For this one, we’ll direct you to the expertise of YouTube.

Put these songs on a repeating playlist so each table/section has the chance to eventually do each dance without the same song playing continuously — which can get very old, very fast. Current students are sure to have their own recommendations, as well. (This might be one survey they actually fill out.)

Dancing is a central feature of the prom experience — as essential as the gorgeous dresses and the sharp suits and the millions of photos. So if there’s a way it can be done responsibly, then the board should give it serious consideration.