ACU struck down its long standing no dancing policy causing a stir across Abilene. Many students celebrated, but many people didn’t really see much of a change happen.
A cynic would point out that the Churches of Christ are behind the Baptists, citing Baylor’s repeal of its no-dancing policy 20 years ago. Indeed, many have picked out ACU’s insistence on a no dancing policy as a point of contention against the university, blowing out of proportion into something seemingly draconian and severe. (See Footloose)
The truth is, many students knew the dancing policy as something that was more talked about than enforced, except for the women’s social clubs. This is a far cry from the days when ACU chaperones were rumored to be stationed at the bars around town to make sure that no ACU students were partaking in the dancing regularly featured at such establishments. At least that’s what we hear.
Dancing has gradually crept its way onto the ACU campus. Many dance groups have formed on campus and have become mainstays in campus events. Just think of how many times you’ve seen Shades perform at an event you’ve gone to. Sing Song 2012 featured probably the most dancing of any before it, and even a couple of last year’s social club formals featured dancing, though they were punished for it.
In the typical student’s life, dancing is more of a regular, natural thing. That, combined with the abundance of dance and dance-centered events on and off ACU’s campus shows that striking down this policy was the next logical step. It adheres more to the third pillar of ACU’s three-word mantra: real.
Since dancing is a real part of the average student’s life, from having fun to a form of courtship, the campus’ policies should change to reflect this; in other words, to be more real. Though since it has already invaded most of campus life, this change is almost ineffective.
The only real change we’ll see is that the policy won’t be enforced at all anymore, rather than rarely before. We probably won’t see a spontaneous explosion of choreographic synchronization take place around the GATA fountain, or a sudden uptick in the number of flash mobs. Life will stay pretty much the same for ACU students, except now you can dance if you feel like it.