Students at Eastern Nazarene College just outside of Boston can dance on campus without fear of punishment now, but there still will be absolutely no twerking.
Officials at the private, Christian school recently clarified a policy that had prevented students from dancing for decades, reports The Patriot Ledger, a local newspaper.
“It’s something students have wanted change and clarification on for a while,” Eastern Nazarene’s student government president Ryan Piesco told the Ledger.
The old student dancing policy followed the very strict rules set forth by the Church of the Nazarene Manual, which outlaws “all forms of dancing that detract from spiritual growth and break down proper moral inhibitions and reserve.”
No one was exactly sure what that meant, though Scott MacFarland, a college spokesman, noted that “informal dancing would occasionally occur” at events such as homecoming before the rule change.
Piesco said the student government worked with the administration to craft the new dancing policy, which details exactly how students can shake a leg at school events held both on and off campus.
From now on, dancing is allowed at Eastern Nazarene-sponsored events as long as school officials approve the event and the songs to be played in advance.
The new policy stipulates that dance moves “must be appropriate and not sexually suggestive.” Also, the music selection cannot be “vulgar or overtly suggestive in nature.”
The school is set to host its first dance since anyone can remember.
“Not everyone came to ENC for the Christian aspect, but a majority of us embrace what the school is about and understand there are certain things that are going to be different from a state school and other schools,” Piesco told the Ledger.
Eastern Nazarene requires chapel attendance and definitely has some pretty stringent policies concerning student behavior. According to the 2013-2014 Student Handbook, alcohol, tobacco, drugs and weapons “including sling shots” are forbidden. No advertising for alcohol or drugs, either, and no gambling.
Short shorts, bare midriffs, spaghetti strap tops and tube tops are similarly banned.
Opposite-sex visitation in the dormitories is strictly policed and sex outside of marriage is prohibited.
“Excessive public displays of affection are unacceptable” as well. “Excessive displays of affection include couples sleeping or reclining with one another, passionate kissing, fondling of body parts, removing clothing or being covered with blankets.”