Scandalized by youth dance "competitions"


#1

Let me say first off that I am not a parent. However, as a dance instructor and choreographer, I think I can speak with a little authority about what I've been seeing from a host of dance competitions. I'm not naming any names, they all sound the same anyway. And another thing they have in common, sadly, is a tendency to support dances which involve children in inappropriate costuming and choreography, often dancing to inappropriate music as well, with hairstyles and makeup that recall the sad case of Jon-Benet Ramsey.

Is it a matter of some parents being so desperate for recognition or fleeting fame that they are willing to parade their children on stage looking and moving like this? So vicarious...and that's not to excuse the others involved- the dance teachers, choreographers, studio owners, competition owners, teachers, and judges.

I judged one dance competition, not really knowing what I was going to see. Never again.:eek: And that was one of the more conservative ones! I also judged a beauty pageant one year and in their favor, I will say that that pageant is sponsored by conservative Evangelicals, there is no makeup allowed in the pre-teen and under divisions and only minimal makeup in the junior teens and up. There is no swimsuit competition in that pageant either.

Is it any wonder that teen promiscuity and abortions are rampant, when some adults have such little regard for the innocence of youth?

I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced these events, and what your thoughts are. I'm also wondering why, with so many millions of faithful Christians in America, there aren't more alternatives?:confused:


#2

I have a problem with modern dancing, as much as I used to like to dance. After years of being interested in body language and with the knowledge of ancient cultures and customs where ritual promiscuity parties were a fixture, I just can't not make the associations when observing the moves.

Plus, the music is made to be trance-inducing, which is particularly effective on women (low, nasal sounds etc.), numbing down their brains and reducing their defences.

Sorry to be ranting. English waltz is still great.


#3

What would your opinion be on Irish dancing?


#4

[quote="chevalier, post:2, topic:252154"]
I have a problem with modern dancing, as much as I used to like to dance. After years of being interested in body language and with the knowledge of ancient cultures and customs where ritual promiscuity parties were a fixture, I just can't not make the associations when observing the moves.

Plus, the music is made to be trance-inducing, which is particularly effective on women (low, nasal sounds etc.), numbing down their brains and reducing their defences.

Sorry to be ranting. English waltz is still great.

[/quote]

Which genres, dubstep, trance, psychadelic trance, hardstyle, techno, Eurodance?


#5

[quote="Faithdancer, post:1, topic:252154"]
Let me say first off that I am not a parent. However, as a dance instructor and choreographer, I think I can speak with a little authority about what I've been seeing from a host of dance competitions. I'm not naming any names, they all sound the same anyway. And another thing they have in common, sadly, is a tendency to support dances which involve children in inappropriate costuming and choreography, often dancing to inappropriate music as well, with hairstyles and makeup that recall the sad case of Jon-Benet Ramsey.

Is it a matter of some parents being so desperate for recognition or fleeting fame that they are willing to parade their children on stage looking and moving like this? So vicarious...and that's not to excuse the others involved- the dance teachers, choreographers, studio owners, competition owners, teachers, and judges.

I judged one dance competition, not really knowing what I was going to see. Never again.:eek: And that was one of the more conservative ones! I also judged a beauty pageant one year and in their favor, I will say that that pageant is sponsored by conservative Evangelicals, there is no makeup allowed in the pre-teen and under divisions and only minimal makeup in the junior teens and up. There is no swimsuit competition in that pageant either.

Is it any wonder that teen promiscuity and abortions are rampant, when some adults have such little regard for the innocence of youth?

I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced these events, and what your thoughts are. I'm also wondering why, with so many millions of faithful Christians in America, there aren't more alternatives?:confused:

[/quote]

Back to the OP's comments or questions.

We did experience what you are describing when my daughter was first interested in dance. It didn't become apparent until the recital was coming up and we were told exactly what the costumes would be, the makeup the girls had to wear and the poses they would have to make for the pictures for the recital program. None of the parents were consulted in the decision making, every costume was hand picked by the studio owner/instructor. I was horrified with the costumes (very sexy) and how much makeup my daughter was required to wear, not to mention the sexy poses they wanted the girls to strike for the pictures. Unfortunately, or we were extremely blessed depending upon how you look at it, my daughter got the stomach flu the day of the recital and didn't perform, but we had already made up our minds we were going to look for a different dance studio.

My daughter was in first grade, she told me herself she felt extremely uncomfortable with the costumes and what was being required for her to be in the recital. We did find another studio, the owner was much more relaxed about costumes, makeup was optional, and the choreography was kept age appropriate. The owner of this studio didn't do competitions for many of the reasons you have stated. In her opinion, the competitions were becoming less and less about the actual art of dance.

There's a show on the LIfetime network that focuses on these competitions called "Dance Mom." I checked out an episode or two because the studio featured is my area and my niece is heavily involved in these competitions herself. After watching it, I just do not understand the appeal of the whole thing. I understand wanting your child to study dance if that is their passion, but these competitions are another thing all together.


#6

My daughters were never involved in dance competitions, but they were (and still are) involved in figure skating competitions from the time they were very young.

Perhaps it is a different situation in singles skating competitions, where the parents and skater have some say in what music and costume will be used. In dance, perhaps the families and dancers don't have that option?

When my girls were very young, I saw a six-year-old skate a competitive number to Carmen. She wore the flaming red dress, and had "flirtacious" choreography . I was disgusted by it, and vowed that my girls would never skate to music that was inappropriate for their age and level.

So our family was always careful that our girls used competition music and costume that was age-appropriate and not insulting to the Lord Jesus. Our coaches were generally quite conservative, and went along with us on this. No skating coach wants to become known as the "risque" coach.

Synchronized skating is team skating (more like dance competitions?) and parents have to be careful. My best suggestion is to select a team with a coaching staff that is conservative. Last year, I saw a beginning team (girls ages 8 and under) skate to Mrs. Robinson. The other parents and the judges were shocked. I can't believe that none of the parents of those little girls spoke up and told the coach, "No." I'm wondering if perhaps they were too young to realize what the music was from. At any rate, I would steer clear of that team if I were a parent, unless the coach demonstrates with this season's programs that she/he has learned a lesson about age-appropriate music. (Personally, I don't think Mrs. Robinson is appropriate skating music for anyone.)


#7

My high school principal got a real number done on him by the media when the cheerleading squad decided to raise money with a car wash. The news stations showed videos of the girls standing out on the corner in nothing but bikini's, soaking wet, asking dirty old men for donations. In his defense, he probably didn't tell them to do this. However, he got fired over the situation before he even had a chance to rectify it. The cheerleading squad continues to have car washes to this day


#8

[quote="Allegra, post:7, topic:252154"]
My high school principal got a real number done on him by the media when the cheerleading squad decided to raise money with a car wash. The news stations showed videos of the girls standing out on the corner in nothing but bikini's, soaking wet, asking dirty old men for donations. In his defense, he probably didn't tell them to do this. However, he got fired over the situation before he even had a chance to rectify it. The cheerleading squad continues to have car washes to this day

[/quote]

My daughter participated in a car wash for cheerleading very recently and I was afraid it would be just like you described. I told her under no circumstances was she to be in a bikini on main street. I dropped her off dressed and drove by several times, much to my surprise they were all dressed every time. I was told there was one girl in a bikini top and shorts waving cars in...


#9

[quote="Dakota_Roberts, post:4, topic:252154"]
Which genres, dubstep, trance, psychadelic trance, hardstyle, techno, Eurodance?

[/quote]

Anything that's repetitive and features low, nasal sounds.


#10

[quote="chevalier, post:9, topic:252154"]
Anything that's repetitive and features low, nasal sounds.

[/quote]

I'm thinking of Barry White for some reason. Weren't his songs supposed to be the perfect seduction music, back in the day? I wouldn't know, personally- honest! That was just the urban legend or something.


#11

From what I’ve seen of Irish dancing, it’s pretty squeaky clean, aside from Michael Flatley baring his manly chest whenever he would perform. But certainly the movement isn’t what I’d call suggestive. However, in the dance competitions I’m referring to, these little kids are all pelvic movements and suggestive touching. I don’t shock easily, but it’s unbelievable!

I Googled “Catholic dance competitions” by the way, and came up empty. There are dance competitions produced by evangelical Protestants, however, though not very many. Perhaps it’s time. If I had the financial backing I would seriously consider putting a Catholic dance convention together. I’d leave out the word “competition,” because the whole scene is ridiculously obsessed with trophies. I applied at a dance studio a few years back, and they had a twenty foot high case full of trophies. I wanted to ask, “What do you do with those trophies? Do you take them down and gaze lovingly at them occasionally, or march around holding them, or ?” It was a real turn-off for me, and the whole trophy thing affects how the kids are valued by the dance studios, IMO. Dance studios use them as a selling point to parents of prospective students. Easily impressed, and for the wrong reasons, I say.


#12

As for cheerleading- I'm just finishing up the cheer course from the American Sport Education Program. The guidelines are specific- no bare midriffs and skirts are to be of a modest length for all youth cheer teams (and that includes high school). However, many cheer teams dance to choreography licensed by cheer workshop providers, and in some cases the music is "clean" versions of pop songs where the original versions are laced with profanity, sexual references, etc. I think this is disingenious, as some if not most of the kids on the cheer squad and in the stands are going to know the original lyrics, if it's a song that is on YouTube. I used a "clean" version of a song by Gwen Stefani years ago. The original was pretty mild, actually, but still, I won't do that again. There is plenty of music out there that doesn't have to be censored before it can be used with young people.


#13

I’m with the OP.

I love house music, by the way! :slight_smile:


#14

[quote="Faithdancer, post:11, topic:252154"]
However, in the dance competitions I'm referring to, these little kids are all pelvic movements and suggestive touching. I don't shock easily, but it's unbelievable!

[/quote]

I think that's what dancing anywhere, at clubs, parties, home parties and so on, looks like these days. It's almost inevitable. Human dancing is generally very similar to what mating rituals certain animals perform, even if not immediately sexual (show off physical strength, agility, whatever physical or related traits are associated with being able to give birth, protect a family etc.). This is why, while dancing certainly is fun and pleasurable, and doesn't always even have a non-innocent vibe to it, it's always a tough exercise when approached analytically especially when you're fully aware of all the overt or veiled sexual references, even remote ones.

Besides, dance often serves as a justification for sexually charged gesture, which is then referred to as just a figure in that dance (same as the clothes that would otherwise not be deemed acceptable), just a dance step, theoretically loses its significance, but... and the but remains.

I don't want to stir doubts without offering a solution but dancing may require reflection and perhaps should stop being seen as "just dancing". There used to be cultures where whole days in a year were designated as a leave from morality, so it was "just that day". We can seamlessly cross our boundaries if we aren't careful with the "it's just" excuses.


#15

[quote="chevalier, post:14, topic:252154"]
I think that's what dancing anywhere, at clubs, parties, home parties and so on, looks like these days. It's almost inevitable. Human dancing is generally very similar to what mating rituals certain animals perform, even if not immediately sexual (show off physical strength, agility, whatever physical or related traits are associated with being able to give birth, protect a family etc.). This is why, while dancing certainly is fun and pleasurable, and doesn't always even have a non-innocent vibe to it, it's always a tough exercise when approached analytically especially when you're fully aware of all the overt or veiled sexual references, even remote ones.

Besides, dance often serves as a justification for sexually charged gesture, which is then referred to as just a figure in that dance (same as the clothes that would otherwise not be deemed acceptable), just a dance step, theoretically loses its significance, but... and the but remains.

I don't want to stir doubts without offering a solution but dancing may require reflection and perhaps should stop being seen as "just dancing". There used to be cultures where whole days in a year were designated as a leave from morality, so it was "just that day". We can seamlessly cross our boundaries if we aren't careful with the "it's just" excuses.

[/quote]

Waltzing is about as dirty dancing as I'll go


#16

I think waltzing may have even scandalized some, back in the day. Seems so innocent now, compared with what one sees on MTV.

The kids are innocent- they think it's cool to move just like what they see in the "choreography" contained in the music videos produced for contemporary pop and hip hop stars. It's the adults who are responsible for the vulgarity in dance competitions. And what kind of parent puts their own 8 or 9 year old child on stage with 80% of their skin surface showing? (just an estimate, but I don't think I'm far off). At the beach, it's called swimwear, and there is a practical reason for it, although I don't think children should be wearing bikinis, either. But in dance competitions, I call it reprehensible. I won't even put adult dancers on stage in what I see a lot of these kids wearing!


closed #17

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