Mosh pitting: dangerous and now banned at dances

December 9, 2019 — by Sofia Jones and Kavita Sundaram

Last Saturday, about 560 students walked into the Large Gym and were greeted with decorations that included oversized white curtains, chandeliers, flashing lights and gold and white couches for the Roaring 20s themed Winter Formal. A photo booth with a silver sparkly backdrop provided students with on-theme photo opportunities.

However, the fun and casual atmosphere soon became more chaotic as the music started playing. Eventually the dozens on the dance floor began moshing even though administrators have banned it last year. 

Moshing is an aggressive style of dance where participants push or slam into each other. It usually happens in the center of a crowd. Although deeply discouraged by the administration, it has occurred numerous times in on-campus dances, despite the physical harm it can cause. 

The first moshing incident that sparked turmoil recently was at last year’s Winter Formal, when two students were injured from getting bounced around and being jumped on in mosh pits. After the DJ played “Mo Bamba” by Sheck Wes, the rowdiness caused someone to end up with a concussion and others to break their glasses.

“People get pushed into dangerous situations without their consent and we don’t want anyone getting hurt,” senior dance commission member Lillian Wang said. 

  After this, moshing was banned by the administration, along with songs like “Mo Bamba” that cause students to mosh.

“Students are warned not to mosh, and if they continue, we will kick them out of the dance,” assistant principal Matt Torrens said.

Even with this policy, though, moshing happened during a majority of popular, upbeat songs last Saturday, including  “Havana” by Camila Cabello. 

One measure the school has taken to prevent moshing is asking DJs to turn down the music when students mosh to prevent it from getting out of control. At formal, the DJ would occasionally pause the music to remind students to behave themselves, and he even cut off a song and threatened to only play slow songs until students stopped moshing.

Along with this, administrators and other chaperones have stationed at dances to prevent moshing if they see it. Torrens and assistant principal Brian Safine stood off to the side and watched students dance, and would intervene when students started acting rowdy.

But students said observers can’t always see what is happening on the floor. 

“It's hard to differentiate between students jumping up and down or students jumping into each other,” Wang said. “People get pushed into dangerous situations without their consent, and we don’t want anyone getting hurt.”

Because of this, dance commission is looking into having a code of conduct form required for every dance, one that spells out the consequences of moshing.

Students who do mosh will face repercussions such as detention and being kicked out of dances.

“Even though a lot of people find moshing fun, it is dangerous,” senior dance commission member Ashleigh Abe said. “We’re just looking after the safety of everyone.” 

 

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