Dancing … have you seen it lately? And I’m not talking about Dancing with the Stars!

I have always loved to dance, when I was a young girl I used to want to be a dancer. Then the outfits got smaller and my desire for modesty ended that dream.

Throughout history, older folks have always been aghast at the dancing they observed teens participating in: from the gyrating hips of Elvis, to disco dancing with all the swiveling, and slow dancing a bit too close.

Some were a bit dicey, but at least it was still two people moving their feet around a dance floor.

But honestly, in the last five years or so the “dancing” teenagers are doing has fallen to an all-time low. If you haven’t seen what I’m talking about you may want to shoo me away as one of those “older folks” (which could get you a kick in the shins from me). But trust me, two typical teenagers at a typical dance remind me of the mating of wild animals you see on nature shows.

I asked one dad about this phenomenon and he actually said to me, “It’s what they do now.  How am I going to stop it?”

Are you kidding me!?

You stop it by having a conversation with your teens about it. Sometimes I think parents just avoid something unpleasant happening in the culture and trust or hope their tweens and teens are smart enough or bold enough not to go along. Excuse me, even dancing can involve peer pressure. And dancing like that can open the window to areas a young person may not realize could be opened.

Talk to your teens and your tweens and explain to them that rubbing their bodies all over a member of the opposite sex while music is playing is not dancing. Do not allow them to go to dances where you do not know if this type of “dancing” will be allowed. Give them alternatives. A group of my teenage daughter’s friends get together and have swing dance parties at each others’ homes.

If this is news to you, work at knowing what’s going on in teen culture. Again, talk to your teens. Parents are often the last to know about the new normal. (Remember last year’s posts about sending your teenager off to a dressing room to try on clothes, sexting, and the mosquito ring tone?)

When it comes to tweens and teens ignorance is not bliss, it’s unsettling and at times, dangerous.