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What??! A dance at Wheaton College?


Tim Willson
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I 'bout fell over when I saw this: Wheaton College is having a dance. Yup, after the school permitted students to see movies, it only took 30 years for this to happen.

-tw

College Holding First Dance in 143 Years

By DON BABWIN, Associated Press Writer

WHEATON, Ill. - As many as 1,200 students at Wheaton College will gather in the gym Friday night for the first real dance in the Christian school's 143-year history.

Which explains why students in recent days have been seeking out classmates who know this stuff and looking for places where they can practice. And it explains why on Monday night and Tuesday night, dozens of students packed a room on campus for a quick dance lesson.

Andy Morgan, one of the students at the lesson, said he figured he was in no danger of embarrassing himself. He went to a high school that did not permit dancing. And when it came time to pick a college, he settled on a school that had not allowed social dancing since the war. The Civil War.

"I've had a great excuse all my life," 21-year-old Morgan said.

Not anymore.

"It's crunch time," said 20-year-old Steve Paulus, sounding more like he was talking about cramming for a final than learning to hold his own when the swing band the Rhythm Rockets take the stage.

"We are kind of trying to downplay it because it really is another event," said Bethany Jones, a student leader and organizer of the dance. "But on the other hand, we do realize it is historic. It is a big deal."

Part of the reason is that change, any change, does not come quickly or without great deliberation at this quiet campus 25 miles outside Chicago.

It was not until the 1960s that the school lifted the rule prohibiting students from going to movies. For generations, students were barred from dancing

"Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?"

« Nous connaîtrions-nous seulement un peu nous-mêmes, sans les arts? »

Quoted on Canada's $20 bill; from Gabrielle Roy's novel La montagne secrète. The English translation, The Hidden Mountain, is by Harry L. Binsse.

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The Associated Press wrote:

: It was not until the 1960s that the school lifted the rule prohibiting

: students from going to movies.

Whoa, and of all the decades in which to lift that ban...!

: . . . Rich Nickel, a local dance instructor . . .

A dance instructor with a Mennonite last name? This gets worse and worse! wink.gif

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Ooh, they're really pushing the envelope with songs like 'Sunny Side of the Street' -- I hope no-one gets 'sinfully erotic or harmfully violent' while dancing to that tune!

And we wonder why Christianity looks ridiculous to the unchurched...

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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I 'bout fell over when I saw this: Wheaton College is having a dance. Yup, after the school permitted students to see movies, it only took 30 years for this to happen.

I can't make fun of Wheaton over this. My undergraduate school (Milligan College in upper East Tenn.) also didn't have dances when I was there in the early 70s, although they did allow us to see movies. We had our own set of weird rules, I'm sure most or all of them are no longer in effect. Mostly they were a blatant double-standard. Men could smoke, but not women. Women had a curfew, but not men. Women had to sign out of the dorm after 6 p.m. putting down where they were going and with whom. Women could not sign themselves out for overnight, even with parental permission. Drinnking was verbotten on or off campus (even in theory during breaks when one was at home.)
A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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You know, I don't think that my oh so liberal state school* ever has any dances. Not by policy I suspect, but rather, what if they planned one, and all 40k students showed up 8O

*ok, so Texas A&M is probably the most conservative state school in existance. still more liberal than a private christian college.

Scott -- 2nd Story -- Twitter

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AlanW wrote:

: I'm surprised Peter didn't pick up on this one: So they can get unsinfully

: erotic? On the dance floor?

Ha! Hmmm. Well, now that I've got a girlfriend and all, I definitely find something erotic about, oh, kissing, so if there's kissing on the dance floor, I would say that that's unsinfully erotic. I mean, to say otherwise would be to say that my girlfriend and I are sinning ... smile.gif

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Ooh, they're really pushing the envelope with songs like 'Sunny Side of the Street' -- I hope no-one gets 'sinfully erotic or harmfully violent' while dancing to that tune!

And we wonder why Christianity looks ridiculous to the unchurched...

Interesting...bit it seems to me that almost anything Christians do looks ridiculous to the unchurched and, quite possibly, it should. They should know we are Christians by how we love one another NOT whether or not we allow dancing.

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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  • 1 month later...

Listen, if Wheaton gives into THIS worldiness, then what other filth, dross and lifestyles of Satan that the FATHER of lies has planned for these poor unsuspecting students will only go to solidified their souls into the eternal flames of a Christless HELL. Do you LIBERAL Christians (or should I say sinners supposedly saved by grace) want that on your conscience???

Look at the debauchery already being committed!

http://larknews.com/december_2003/secondary.php?page=2

Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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  • 1 month later...

There's a similar furor at Taylor (my alma mater and a similar school to Wheaton.) I think the 'dance = bad' policy is still in effect, but it's come into serious question of late, especially when it was pointed out that newlywed students are technically not allowed to dance with each other UNLESS they are in the presence of their parents! I also remember a comp-sci prof making somewhat snide remarks about what he's technically allowed and not allowed to do with his wife.

So you ladies and you gentlemen, pull your bloomers on...

-Joe Henry

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