Boston Teen Helps Ban 'Daggering' At Prom

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It's a given that the days of the sock-hop are over. But saying a modern dance movement goes too far, a Boston teenager has convinced her school to keep her peers from "daggering" at this weekend's prom.

In an interview with Here & Now's Robin Young, Shanasia Bennett, a senior at the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers in the Greenway, explained that daggering simulates sex — rough sex — on the dance floor.

“Sometimes (boys) might not have control in their own lives so maybe they find it in the dance floor."

-- Shanasia Bennett

"One of the most popular moves is for the girl to bend over and the guy just starts to dry-hump her," Bennett said. In another move, a girl splays herself on the floor and her male partner jumps on top of her.

Bennett says the new phenomenon is debasing and dangerous. She says daggering isn't about the expression of sensuality through dance; it's about power.

"Sometimes (boys) might not have control in their own lives so maybe they find it in the dance floor," Bennett said. "They're like, 'Oh I have control over this girl, she's going to bend over and let me do this to her, pull her hair and stuff like that.' "


Bennett says that, among most of her peers, daggering appears to be perfectly acceptable.

"I'm just disturbed every time I see it," Bennett said, "and I ask myself, 'Why? How did this become a dance and why is it a dance and how is it a dance if it's just dry humping?' "

The dance form came out of the dance halls of Jamaica — where the government has actually banned songs and videos that encourage it.

Bennett is hoping that daggering will stay out of her prom, too. Several weeks ago, she showed a YouTube video of the dance to her principal, Dr. Caren Walker Gregory.

"I didn't go to her telling her, 'Ban this dance,' " Bennett said. "The dance speaks for itself."

Walker Gregory has said that any student caught daggering at the prom will be escorted out.

Bennett faces criticism from her peers for her stance against daggering, but she doesn't care. In fact, she can't wait for prom.

"This is prom, it's supposed to be a classy event, you know?" Bennett said. "It's at a nice hotel. Why would would you want to degrade yourself in a nice dress that you paid over $100 for maybe?"

This program aired on June 4, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.