North Greenville: We're now allowed to dance

Carrie Hendersen, Vision Magazine Staff Writer

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Over the years, North Greenville University has been known for it’s no dancing policy. A series on YouTube about the school, “North Greenville 101,” even included the fact in its theme song.

“North Greenville! We are a Christian school! / North Greenville! we are really cool! / North Greenville! Give it a chance! / North Greenville! We’re not allowed to dance!”

“It’s just been a long standing tradition in the Baptist Church and Baptist schools and some other places that you didn’t dance,” said Billy Watson, director of student services.

However, with the new year coming, North Greenville reevaluated some of its policies, including the no-dancing rule.

“When we looked at the dancing policy, we wanted to have different types of social interaction,” Watson said.

Elizabeth Nelsen, a junior broadcast media major, said she was excited whenever the new policy came out, as she didn’t have the opportunity for school dances before college since she was home schooled.

“That’s another great part about North Greenville,” she said, “Adding a new dancing policy adds to the community we have on campus.”

The new student handbook emphasizes NGU’s focus of building a community of grace.

“It is a place where rigid rules kept in place by strict enforcement are replaced by right living through a covenant agreement based on the shared values and marvelous grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

This is part of what NGU is striving toward with it’s new policy. As Watson said, NGU is still holding true to its motto of “Christ makes the difference.” Dances are planned by student life and only certain appropriate dances are allowed, such as swing dancing or line dancing.

“It’s a big group activity, more than what people would conceive as a dance, or what people see as dancing that happens at clubs. I don’t think it’s anything like that or ever will be like that,” Watson said.

The goal is to allow students to interact and have fun without compromising any of NGU’s values.

North Greenville’s first dance at the beginning of the semester was a success, according to Watson. The students were able to have fun and there were no issues with violating NGU values.

“It’s up to the students and us to make sure it’s done in a proper way,” Watson says.

Nelsen said she enjoyed the first NGU dance.

“[It] was a lot of fun. . . We could just dance and be goofy,” she said.

The plan is to have five or six dances a year with a formal closer to the end of the year, Watson said. Nelsen said that she is especially excited about having a formal dance.

“[We’d] get to dress up, get asked to dance. . . It’d be super cute,” Nelsen said.