Stevenson Cracks Down on Dance Moves, Dresses

New rules govern what girls are allowed to wear to formal dances and prohibit "unsuitable dance moves."

students attending school dances will be held to stricter standards when it comes to attire and physical activity at the events, under new rules adopted for 2012-13.

Girls attending formal dances — Homecoming, Winter Formal and Prom — must adhere to rules that restrict the shortness, tightness and cuts of their dresses. 

Specifically, the dress code states:

  • Length: Long dresses are strongly recommended for Winter Formal and Prom. Female students may wear dresses that are not floor length provided the length of the dress does not exceed 4 inches above the top of the knee and is not excessively form fitting 
  • Neckline: Necklines on dresses may not at any point plunge drop/rest/go below the bust line; no excessive cleavage.
  • Low Back/Backless: No dresses that drop/rest/go plunge below the height of the belly button on the back; no abdomen or torso may be exposed.
  • Slits: Slits may not extend above the length of fingertips when the female's hands are at her side.
  • Sheer Fabric: Any part of the dress comprised of sheer fabric constitutes the exposure of skin and can be used to enforce a dress standard violation.
  • Undergarments: No undergarments may be exposed at any time.

Stevenson High School spokesman Jim Conrey said in the past, dance attire was regulated by the school’s general dress code. “This takes it to a deeper level,” he said.

The new guidelines, he said, were developed last spring by the Stevenson Leadership Advisory Council. Composed of presidents of more than 40 student clubs, the group meets monthly with Stevenson’s director of student activities to discuss topics such as school spirit and atmosphere, Conrey said.

“I think there was a general sense that things had to change,” he said of the new rules pertaining to dances. “They had just sort of reached a point to make sure the atmosphere changed and that there’s more decorum at these events.”

Students were made aware of the new rules, which were added to the 2012-13 co-curricular code, during orientation last month. Reminders are being handed to those who purchase tickets for the Sept. 22 Homecoming dance. 

Administrators will enforce the dress code “based upon appropriateness and good taste. A student who fails to comply with these dress standards may receive disciplinary consequences and/or loss of privileges, including but not limited to denial of admittance or removal from the dance,” the policy warns.

School officials will also be on the lookout for public displays of affection, including “suitable dance moves,” per an addition to Stevenson’s behavioral code. 

Students are expected to adhere to the following standards on and off the dance floor:

  • No grinding.
  • No bending over.
  • No straddling legs; both feet must remain on the floor.
  • No touching of breasts, buttocks, genitals or pressing up against one another in a manner that is inappropriate.
  • No “making out” (overt and/or prolonged public displays of affection).
  • Hands on waists or shoulders only. 

Violators may be denied admittance or removed from the dance, the code states.

“The chaperones will have to be on guard. We’re hopeful that it’s not that big of an issue for students,” Conrey said.

What do you think about these new rules? Tell us in the comment section below.

Clever Alias September 13, 2012 at 05:56 PM
I would posit that these high schoolers are merely mimicking what they witness in the greater realm of pop culture. They're intent is to be cool, accepted, and not just dance. It is also very unsightly to see 15 year old's trying to get down and doing it all wrong. The rules should be that of Bar Mitzvah's in that there should be enough distance between the boy and girl equivalent to the unwanted erection the boy is experiencing at the moment. We need some cha cha and electric slides up in there, perhaps a little Macarena and Cotton Eyed Joe. This way dances are universally coreagraphed and no one experiences any unwanted consequences of adolescent biology.
Mark Bushey September 13, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Is Lincolnshire going to become Bomont (Footloose)? There was no point in these rules. Stick with general dress code. Chaperones just do your job and stop anything inappropriate. If the administration feels these rules need to be made, that means the chaperones weren't doing their jobs prior to this. I remember in high school the teachers would tell us to get our hands off our dates butts when we were dancing. We had no written rules, it was just common sense.
Jamie September 13, 2012 at 06:04 PM
As a recent graduate, this is a display of Stevenson going way too far in taking advantage of the authority they have over students. First, with the new rules for dresses for girls, do you actually go to stores and see dresses that fit that description anymore?! These girls are going to a high school dance, for god's sake, not church!!!! As a fashion minor, I can tell you the style now is body-con (tight) dresses, and yeah, a lot of dresses are made with slits because new technology in fashion allows cutting razor-sharp lines that create an element of interest on the garment, as an embellishment or something like that would. I'm not saying girls should look like women in their 20s going to nightclubs, they should dress a bit more tasteful than some things I've seen them wear since I graduated, but the rules that have been put in place are taking it too far. On the topic of dancing, specifically the "no grinding" rule, good luck to the deans with enforcing that. I haven't seen teenagers dance in another way than that besides during slow dances since Bar and Bat Mitzvahs in 7th grade, and even then people started grinding. These new guidelines aren't going to last for more than one dance, but I'd love to hear a follow up story after homecoming to see how this all failed.
Mark Bushey September 13, 2012 at 06:21 PM
That is mature coming from Mike Hunt. What next? A comment from Ben Dover?
Bro September 13, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Can I still do the Bernie?
Janet Sirabian September 13, 2012 at 07:20 PM
I agree with Mark that the chaperones should be able to monitor inappropriate behavior and deal with it. None of this would be necessary if parents would monitor what their daughters are wearing. Parents are likely paying for the dress, so they do have a vote in the style. I was at an 8th grade graduation 25 years ago where about 25% of the graduates literally looked like hookers. Parents need to parent.
Golazyvine September 13, 2012 at 07:38 PM
I feel like Stevenson is like the Apple Corporation. It's doing things that it thinks will help itself, when really all it does is make people hate it. Did we really need any more people to think Stevenson was composed of a bunch of stuck-up rich assholes? I went to Stevenson, and I think this rule is absolutely ridiculous. Let high-schoolers be high-schoolers.
Teppi Jacobsen September 13, 2012 at 07:39 PM
If parents can't monitor their kids dresses and teach them decent behavior, the school should not get involved. This is absurd, I graduated high school in 1975 and had 2 daughters graduate from Stevenson. I never dressed like a slut and neither did they. It comes from the home, not from the school.
Ethan Ford September 13, 2012 at 08:09 PM
The "Back in my day" comparison is a fallacy after a decent chunk of time, and it would be almost redundant of me to list the reasons why.In short, things change. A)If Stevenson wasn't too fond of the kind of dancing, perhaps they should see that having B96 turning homecoming and various other dances into more of a Club-like environment might be part of the issue. B)It still isn't too hard for the students to evade the chaperones and continue doing their 'inappropriate dancing'. . . simply put, roughly 4,000 students aren't going to be able to be monitored by a handful of parents and teachers, and the methods to implement these rules may only provoke apathy towards them.
Ethan Ford September 13, 2012 at 08:10 PM
C)The committee of overly-concerned soccer-moms have noble intentions, but their strategy at best only causes a few awkwardly placed mosquito bites on the cause they're against. Conjuring up a few rules is the lazy, half-arsed way to go about it vs. properly educating them at home (Remaining calm, collective and efficient as you display your thoughts. Let them display theirs, avoid getting angry because they disagree,it will most likely shut them down from seeing your point of view.) You are their parents, you took the responsibility conceive them, thus raise them properly.They should be able to talk with you about their problems and concerns, even if they may be awkward for you(though you must keep in mind that you most likely had a similar experience.) Stevenson isn't the best middle-man for your thoughts
Alum2010 September 13, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Generally schools have been able to superscede students' first amendment right to self-expression under the argument that it would be in the best interest of the student body. But in this case, I can't see how these bans benefit the well-being of the student body: I even endeavor to argue that they do more harm then good by denying students from expressing themselves in ways via current fashion and dancing that, in their generation, have become the acceptable norm, you hurt them from learning how to interact and belong in the contemporary culture they live in. It's not only backwards and reminiscent of the reaction of adults to rock n roll dancing in the 50s, but it's ultimately futile. You can't execute these prohibitions and expect kids to dance traditionally to Flo Rida and similar songs that compel them to grind in the first place. You can't run against nature and prevent sexual tension among adolescents, sexual tension that is better released via grinding than intercourse. You can't all of a sudden dictate an obsolete moral agenda of the past generation and expect kids to when these kids know grinding was tolerated at previous dances...simply unjust and inefficient use of the power of authority the administration has over the students and I hope these kids disobey and protest in some capacity.
MomBG September 13, 2012 at 09:38 PM
If parents wold actually "parent" their children and not try to be their cool friend than these rules would not be necessary. These are children that need guidance and boundaries and am glad to see that SHS cares enough about them to take some parental control when the parents won't.
Walter White September 13, 2012 at 09:48 PM
I graduated a little over four years ago; the things Stevenson did to try and protect its image were flat out laughable. I'm not surprised to see the same old self-serving interests in order to retain its hubristic image, which has already been tarnished for years now. Yeah, it's an exceptional school with quality teachers and great facilities/resources, but the overarching punishments for students do more harm than good. When I was a student, I received three days of detention for walking in the halls to class before the bell rang. The administrators are the ones that need supervision, teenagers will always be teenagers -- that will never change. Regressing and taking away the only fun a student can have at a school-sponsored event is ridiculous. Clearly, there are behaviors and attires that cross the line, but this new set of rules steps way over the line. I mean it's 2012, grade schoolers have dirtier mouths than me -- un-pucker your assholes Stevenson!
Three Seat September 13, 2012 at 10:26 PM
These rules will make the students more motivated to do well in school so they can party and do whatever the hell they want! I support them all the way!
Elle September 13, 2012 at 10:35 PM
I'm sorry, but what exactly are these new dress code rules supposed to enforce? Are they going to stop SHS kids from having sex and doing drugs? I understand the concern for underage drinking, drug involvement/use, and encouraging a less sexual school environment, but this is certainly not the way to do it. Kids will be kids; they're going to keep grinding, "making out", wearing low cut dresses, all the other actions the school deems unecessary. This laundry list of rules isn't solving any problems.
Karl September 14, 2012 at 01:56 AM
You are going to turn stevenson dances where about half the population of the school or more attend into ones like deerfield hs...only having about 10% attend if you enforce these rules as you say you will thats a huge lose for the students and the school
Kim September 14, 2012 at 03:09 AM
I graduated two years ago from Stevenson, and having been to all three dances-Homecoming, Turnabout, and Prom- I can tell you that grinding, making out, and risque dresses is all about what the dances are about. How is it that a few teachers will watch over a crowd in the thousands, or physically move their way into the dance center to pull away a student? Let the kids be hormone-hungry, adventurous rascals before they take on the serious book work of college. What a typical Stevenson thing to do-_-
Lever September 14, 2012 at 03:32 AM
School Sucks, Drop Out
Mama of five September 14, 2012 at 04:14 AM
Hooray for you SHS! Judging by the aforementioned comments by students and recent grads, these kids clearly need some moral guidance. We pay outrageous taxes to school these children and we are at least happy to see a real effort being made to stop the nonsense. They need to learn now. Teachers must enforce the rules. Here lies the problem. I should know as a former public and private HS teacher. We are not your friends, we are here to lead you down a path of moral decency. Take note: my husband and I would never hire you for a job based upon what most of you revealed about your character.
Q September 14, 2012 at 04:42 AM
For people who are not familiar with Stevenson, SHS is a power hungry high school that does not care about students as much as their reputation. No matter what the rankings say Stevenson is not all what they put out to be they just do not show the public the negatives that go on on campus. SHS is a school thats goal is to show how much power they have and will show it however they please. And from the prospective from a student i thought Stevenson was an awful school. Kids were more worried about getting in trouble because of the hundreds of BS rules they would crack down on that kids are not even getting an education that SHS SHOULD have the capability of achieving..If they worried more about their students than their damn reputation to the public.-Q
Q September 14, 2012 at 05:11 AM
LOL good to hear you would fit in perfectly at shs a power hungry mother that thinks kids still learn by mean old teachers. I can tell you i would way rather try in a class for a teacher that i was close with and respected as a friend than a mean teacher that you can tell thinks they are superior than the student. Treat your students with respect and become close with your students they will learn more and be more enthusiastic in class. Be a teacher how you are saying that "We are not your friends" but "your here to lead us down a path of moral decency"? Teachers like you are the reason kids hate school because this is how people think kids learn by stern mean demanding teachers and it does nothing but make a student want to ditch the class because they do not enjoy a class with a teacher that straight up says "we are not your friends" Saddens me to hear a teacher say something like that and actually realize that probably 80% of teachers are the same way in a way shows once again how schools are more worried about the stats than their actual students.
Mark Bushey September 14, 2012 at 05:21 AM
Let them dress how they want to for one special night. If you are going to enforce a dress code, maybe it should be the rest of the year when girls are.wearing booty shorts so short, you.can practically see their hop has.
Mark Bushey September 14, 2012 at 05:22 AM
I mean hoo has
DA September 14, 2012 at 10:03 AM
people learn from mistakes. you think your kids are doing all this stuff which you call nonsense? if you want it to stop its your job to parent them, not their school. plus, judging by your old fashioned psychology views, you are probably quite old and your kids are probably through high school. they probably, no definitely, did this stuff and did they turn out to be drug addicts or criminals, probably not. The only reason i can see you supporting this is because you never got to experience this kind of fun. i have depression, and i have seen a psychologist many times, and she tells my parents that in order for me to learn, i have to make mistakes. but if they put the rules in place, it would only motivate me to brake them. LET US MAKE MISTAKES: LET US LEARN
Buzz53 September 14, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Read the article. The guidelines "were developed last spring by the Stevenson Leadership Advisory Council. Composed of presidents of more than 40 student clubs, the group meets monthly with Stevenson’s director of student activities. . . " Club presidents are students. STUDENTS developed the guidelines.
Walter White September 14, 2012 at 02:05 PM
The way kids learn are by learning from their mistakes more so than anyway else. I think most of us realize certain rules need to be enforced, but the extent to which the dress code goes does not provide any moral decency -- just resentment among students. Most high school students are immature; it has always been that way, just a part of growing up. Parents should be able to recognize when something their daughter is wearing is inappropriate, before letting them go to a public school dance. Anyone commenting here will probably agree that wearing a dress which barely covers girls' butt cheeks is inappropriate; as is a low cut dress with cleavage pouring out. It seems to me you must be a very religious, probably catholic, mother. I respect your viewpoints, but the bible-pushing method is not the solution. Good parenting and instilling good judgement into your children is, not enforcing these kinds of restrictive dress codes for a homecoming dance. The kids I've known through high school that have mothers like you always turned out the most messed up, especially when they get to college and they become exposed to all the "sins." Take note: I got a job after college, and my opinion on a ridiculous dress code for a high school dance does not reveal my character, just one particular perspective on one particular issue.
2008grad September 14, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Right or wrong, they are in for a shock come college.
Stephanie Rubenstein September 15, 2012 at 11:55 AM
While I agree kids today are growing up too fast, this is utterly ridiculous. People, when you were a teenager, did you not do these things? Did you not drink underage or smoke pot in your parents' backyard? Come on! How about education regarding sex, disease, and oh, I don't know, Math. This is the year 2012. I am a 40 year old woman and I managed to get an education, get married, have a child, and am gainfully employed. I'd say these dance moves and dresses didn't have any bearing on me. Furthermore, why are the clothing restrictions only on the females? Who is in charge at this school because when my son is there in a shorter time than I'd like to imagine, I want to make sure they are gone.
Allyson Paige September 17, 2012 at 09:54 PM
all that Stevenson is saying is that they want the girls to be classy not slutty. if that's a problem, stay home. these rules are not that hard to follow, every school dance dress I have in my closet from 4 years at Stevenson follows these guidelines.
Gurney Halleck September 18, 2012 at 09:35 PM
As a parochial school graduate and parent of 3 Stevenson daughters I am appalled and dismayed by these ridiculous and unnecessary actions. These rules and regulations are typical of the over-reaching authoritarian attitudes of the Stevenson administration. Violations of students' rights to privacy and free expression appear to be routine in the name of preserving the school's reputation.


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