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In the wake of Miley Cyrus, schools introduce no-twerking dance rules

Robin Thicke, left, and Miley Cyrus perform at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013, at the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York.

Scott Gries/AP

Students may not bend over 45 degrees while dancing.

Both feet must remain on the floor.

No dancing that looks like you're having sex.

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Those are the new dance floor rules at a Washington high school still dealing with the fallout of Miley Cyrus's not-so-balletic twerking fit this summer.

Officials at River Ridge High School are forcing students and their parents to sign a "dance contract" that prohibits "vulgar or provocative" moves at school events. Sexy dancers will be given a warning on their first violation and booted off the dance floor or barred from future events on their third violation. (You can just imagine the enforcement on this one, hawk-eyed teachers reviewing Cyrus's VMA performance for clues.)

"Kids express themselves differently these days," is how school district rep Courtney Schrieve put it to, where he clarified expectations for school functions. ("They forgot to include, 'Leave room for the Holy Ghost,' wrote one shrewd observer on the Gawker piece.)

In May, a San Diego school suspended 33 students and banned them from their prom and graduation ceremony after the pupils filmed themselves in a massive group twerk-off on school grounds in school equipment. Now, Gawker reports that pre-emptive "dance contracts" are proliferating in the United States. One Maryland high school has banned "freaking," "grinding" and twerking, leaving room for little but the chastity shuffle. Administrators at South River High School have clearly been doing their research: "No hands on the knees or on the floor with buttocks facing or touching a partner or in the air," reads one rule of many in the contract.

These moves make the nineties look like a purity ball.

Older readers on Gawker got nostalgic about the relative innocence of their own school dances, but felt for the current randy generation. One wondered: "But can they still dance like no-one is watching?"

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Zosia More


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