A flashback from a 1964 episode of the popular 'American Bandstand' reminds us of how far we've come. You have to wonder, though, if we're really better off.
Before there was YouTube, before there was MTV, there was 'American Bandstand'. The show ran from 1952 through 1989, and was the biggest influence on cultural trends pertaining to music and dance. Watching some of the old episodes that aired about 50 years ago makes you realize just how much American kids have largely lost their youthful innocence.
In one 1964 clip, host Dick Clark introduces a group of kids ages 16-17. The kids are all neatly and conservatively dressed, and they proceed to demonstrate the latest dance craze for Clark: the 'Romeo and Juliet'.
During the dance, the girls form one line and the boys form another line. As soon as the music begins, so does the footwork. There must be at least two feet between each couple as they hop back and forth from one leg to another. They sway, moving a few inches closer, then a few inches farther from each other. They turn around, lean in, lean out and swing their arms.
Compare it to modern day dancing. Now you'll find typical teens on the dance floor grinding, twerking and pumping like they're stand-ins for a wild porno flick. It seems like kids these days go from crayons and dolls to bumping uglies in 0.2 seconds.
You don’t have to be a conservative prude to think that there just may be something wrong here. Adult role models are marketing these dances to kids in videos, teaching them to writhe and rub against each other in hormonally-charged exhibitions. It makes you wonder how the envelope got pushed this far—and (a scarier thought), how much further can it go?
No one wants to deprive kids of their fun. Hopefully one day society will learn again that kids don’t have to act like sex machines to do that.