INDEPENDENCE - "Let's dance," screamed Kevin Bacon in the 1980's flick, "Footloose." In the classic, Ren McCormick, played by Kevin Bacon, challenges his fellow high school students to host a prom after he learns the minster of the small town he moved to has banned rock 'n' roll and dancing.
Twenty-eight years after the dance classic, Brandon Niro is Independence's "Kevin Bacon" in this Ohio version of the movie "Footloose."
"Back in our grandparent's age, they had the 'Twist' and back then, that was considered immoral and not right. Unfortunately that's something that comes along with each generation. There's always going to be something that we want to do but our parents don’t like it," said Independence High School senior, Brandon Niro.
The high school senior is planning a private dance of their own after Independence High School's principal prohibited "grinding," or the dance where boys and girls rub up against one another.
"A lot of people find it in poor taste and treating young ladies poorly...I think our community isn't comfortable with that kind of message," Principal William P. McGuinness said.
McGuinness explained that many of the parents and students stressed concerned over the close dancing. So students were asked to either stop or leave after they were told not to "grind" at their "Home Coming" dance. McGuinness said he wants to create a comfortable and respectable environment for all students.
You can't help but notice the parallels of Independence and the movie "Footloose." You’ve got the small, close-knit high school.
"We have a grand total of just over 400 [students] so we're kind of small," said McGuinness.
You've got a dance or type of dance that's being banned.
"It's inappropriate and I think it sends the wrong message to students in the way that it occurs. Again, we want to promote a culture of respect for everyone and for people to feel comfortable when going to our dances," said McGuinness.
But here's the interesting twist:
When NewsChannel5 asked Niro if he then planned on "grinding" at this proposed off-school property dance, the teen answered, "No. Haha. That's not my style. I'm more of a 'Shout' pick your hands up and scream kind of guy."
Even Independence's own "Kevin Bacon" or Niro said he doesn't want to allow "grinding" at the private dance.
But Niro said the "no grinding" policy prompted the student council to cancel or not plan about three of the five traditional school dances.
So in the end, Niro said his purpose in trying to organize a private dance is because he just wants his senior year back.
"As Seniors, we want to be able to have that social experience. I mean, to us it's not just a dance. It's kind of like our last hurrah or whatever you want to call it. But it's our last chance to be together as a whole school, as a city … before we're all gone," said Niro.
McGuinness said he's proud of the students who have respected the policy and is not passing judgment on the students who hold a function outside of school or off of school grounds. He also said no students were reprimanded for "grinding" at their "Home Coming" dance.
Niro said he's trying to reach Independence's Mayor in hopes they can plan a coordinated event together. So far nothing has been set in stone. Niro said he's only been in contact with the mayor's secretaries on the matter.
But as far as the private dance goes, Niro said he wants police monitoring and breathalyzer tests to be administered. The senior also said he wants to keep with the "no grinding" policy to make for a fun time.
"We're not here to rebel, we're not here to go against the city or the school, we're not here to cause a 'grinding-fest' or whatever you want to call it … the main reason we are having this is to … provide an experience for kids to safely enjoy themselves without anything getting out of control and just to have fun and bring the school together."
NewsChannel5 plans on following the students' efforts and will keep you updated on this story.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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