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Innocent Dance Moves or Totally Inappropriate?

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Dr. Wendy Walsh: A few weeks ago, my 6-year-old daughter participated in a cheerleading competition where the music had some explicit lyrics. Afterward, I sent an e-mail to the organizers saying that 5- to 7-year-old girls shouldn't be dancing to most of the music that is on today's radio. Thank goodness the girls were dressed in traditional cheerleading uniforms and their dance moves were age-appropriate. Anyway, I got no response.

This week, a video circulated on the Internet showing a troupe of 7-year-olds from the "World of Dance" hip-hop competition doing a risqué routine to Beyonce's "Single Ladies." These children wore bra tops, booty shorts and high boots and did a bump-and-grind that was fit for a Vegas strip club. I was appalled. What has the world come to?

Sexualizing children to this degree can only hurt all children everywhere. If this is the new benchmark for dance competitions, what are we teaching our baby girls who are just out of diapers? That their value lies in how well they can tempt and engage in sexual provocation?

And I gotta ask: What are we dangling in the faces of men, whose natural responses to visual cues can so easily be triggered? With suggestive material like this available worldwide, it's no wonder that the proliferation of the child sex-slave trade continues. Clearly, Nancy Grace will always have her job on CNN as the voice for abducted little girls.

Shame on the promoters of this event ... and shame on the parents who allowed their girls to dress this way!

Do YOU think this dance routine was out of line ... or no big deal? Comment below.


next: 7 Marketing Mishaps Aimed at Children
160 comments so far | Post a comment now
Sol May 13, 2010, 12:34 PM

Song doesn’t bother me, choreography is fine. I think the culmination of the those skimpy outfits being thrown in is what makes this inappropriate for that age group, at least for myself.

Caryn May 13, 2010, 12:40 PM

I think its wrong for a young child to be wearing those kind of outfits and doing a dance like that one! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I just know that my daughter would never be wearing anything like that or dancing like that, not anytime soon! The parents are wrong for exploiting their children that way.

angie May 13, 2010, 12:41 PM

This is soo sad and so wrong on so many levels. I just have to ask, “where are these girls’ moms?!” How do they justify this to themselves as parents? It’s sick. The girls only know what their parents make as the norm. Parents like these shouldn’t be allowed to have kids in the first place.

Reenie May 13, 2010, 12:44 PM

What were the parents thinking???? I’d NEVER have allowed my child to participate in this type of display of sexuality! How anyone could see this as pure entertainment is beyond me. We allow our kids to see these videos, listen to the disparaging comments and lyrics on the radio….and wonder why they are so provacatively dressed in public and making themselves targets for pedophiles? Come on! There is an audience for this kind of routine, but definitely NOT this and NOT with this age group!

mollysmom:) May 13, 2010, 12:46 PM

that’s sad that an adult woman (i’m assuming) thought this was cute adn appropriate. she’s also one of those moms who dress her daughter as a mini-me thinking it’s cute. and there is no way my daughter would be dancing to that. the parents had to know what song they were dancing to (i knew 3 weeks into my dd’s class her songs) and when it came time to order the costumes i would have said something then (if i hadn’t already yanked her out of that class!) it’s so sad to sexualize young girls.

Iris May 13, 2010, 1:13 PM

Those little girls probably don’t think or know that how and what their dancing to and wearing is suggestive and sexually exploiting them. They are just out their having fun, because they are young. But shame on their parents! They should have better sense and judgement than to allow their little girls to be exposed like that! My daughter is 6 years old and if her dance class pulled out a routine like that, she would be done with the class! We need to protect our children from being exploited like that! They make think it is all “cute” and “fun” but there are differant ways to do that with out dancing or dressing suggestively! Parents need to instill better values and morals in their children than this!

JD (New England parent) May 13, 2010, 1:13 PM

I am the parent of an 8-year old. It is certain that my opinion is in the minority…

Why are other parents so terribly frightened of playful sexual expression by their pre-pubescent child. Do they think that children are sexless? Who decided that a little awareness of sensuality is wrong? And…

Perhaps my most inciting/inflamatory comment: Why does the thought of some middle age man finding this dance sexually enticing influence your deicision to tolerate or condem the behavior. It seems to me that parents are no only prudes, they FEAR (or loathe) that their youngster may turn on a dirty old man.

Protect the child? Of course! Suppress the natural play of kids emulating adults? That just doesn’t seem productive. Children are sexual whether we like it or not. This dance is certainly irritating to some and disgusting to some. Perhaps to some it is cute, and clearly to some, it is sexually thrilling.

That’s life. It doesn’t make it right or wrong. Find more serious issures to raise your blood pressure!

mollysmom:) May 13, 2010, 1:22 PM

ARE YOU KIDDING JD?!! WHY DO WE FEAR OUR CHILDREN MAY TURN ON A DIRTY OLD MAN?! IT’S CALLED RAPE, CHILD MOLESTATION AND DAMAGING OUR CHILDREN FOREVER. AND IF THIS DOESN’T MAKE A PARENTS BLOOD PRESSURE RISE THEN SHAME ON THEM.

momof4 May 13, 2010, 1:40 PM

I cringed at the little butt/crotch swirly thing at the end, but otherwise the routine wasn’t so bad. Put some clothes on those little girls though! I would not agree to let my girls wear something like that…or do that swirly thing lol

Melissa Wardy May 13, 2010, 1:40 PM

In response to JD - the reason most parents and concerned adults feel this video is so grossly inappropriate is that it BLURS THE LINE OF TABOO. There is nothing sexual about our children. Children have gender identity at an early age, but the age compression of hypersexualization is a dangerous game this country plays. There is NO amount of sex that is appropriate during childhood. Natural curiosity is one thing; sexualized dance costumes and racy, suggestive moves performed by little girls who psychologically are too young to understand sexual awareness is another.

Melissa Wardy
Owner - Pigtail Pals
Advocate - Redefine Girly!
www.pigtailpals.com

leslie May 13, 2010, 1:44 PM

Totally agree with Sol above. It’s definitely the outfits that make me feel very uncomfortable watching this.

Other than that, these girls are amazing dancers!

Michelle  May 13, 2010, 2:16 PM

I don’t know what bothers me more….the outfits which barely cover these children or the fact that they seemed comfortable strutting off stage like modern day prostitutes.

The song does not bother me. The moves were a bit much for their age but the clothing bothered me most. The dance prob would not have been so bad if it were not for the outfits!

LouAnn May 13, 2010, 2:35 PM

I have to say that the beginning wasnt so bad, but the ending was really out of line…as were the outfits. I would find this inappropriate for anyone under the age of 18. The girls im sure have no idea as to what they “looked” like and I not only hold the coaches responcible but the mothers as well. While I understand alot of places close their gyms to parents there had to be a time when the parents got to see a preview, not to mention, they had to see the outfits as they were paying for them! To the girls…they did a great job for 7 year olds but…they should have had something more age appropriate

so,sad May 13, 2010, 2:37 PM

What is wrong with this picture? Well, let me think…EVERYTHING. No wonder the morality of the nation is in the sewer..If these 7 year-old girls are taught that there is nothing wrong with this kind of “dance” now what are they going to believe is ok at 10 years, at 12 years and older. The girls is this video look to be very talented but looks like they are headed for a dancing career as a pole dancer. I never had a daughter and now I know why…I have been spared a lot of sleepless nights……

LouAnn May 13, 2010, 2:42 PM

JD, you cant possibly have read what you wrote! And if you seriously believe that then perhaps you shouldnt have children. If your child were to dress like that and dance on stage and a “middle age” man was watching while his mind was wandering..you would think thats ok? These are 7 year old children! first and second grade students! My daughter is 10 and she does cheerleading and trust me, ive seen some uniforms that are very skimpy. We as parents are suppose to protect our children not display them as ” playful sexual expression”. Perhaps your one of those parents who are living your dream through your child, god knows in the world of allstar cheerleading, there are alot of those mothers out there! When your daughter starts to dance around the house like that, and the next door neighbor sees it and decides he wants to see what other ” playful sexual expression” she can perform, maybe you will think differently! You should be ashamed to call yourself a parent!

Renae  May 13, 2010, 3:18 PM

as a dance teacher, this is why I hate competition dancing. Most of it is a money making scheme and there is less focus on technicality. I’ve also seen the shock factor (as was done here) with skimpy outfits and popular music used to win over the audience. Dance is an art, and just because in America we see dance as a form of entertainment does not mean we should perpetuate that idea. That being said, I would have never let my students (even the teens) wear costumes like this.

Danielle May 13, 2010, 5:31 PM

WOW!! They have talent but I thought the end hip thrusts were too much. I am a dancer and I would never spread my legs and thrust like that, NO WAY!! Would be great if they wore black leggings instead…that’s how I would change the outfits. Their current outfits made me fear that soon poles would rise from the floor and they’d start giving lap dances.

Marena Groll May 13, 2010, 5:54 PM

Horribly sick sexualization of these children. Absolutely child abuse.

aDancerWhoKnowsWhatShesTalkingAbout. May 13, 2010, 6:10 PM

obviously none of you have been a dancer or in the dancing world. If you go to a dance studio, everyone is in booty shorts and a sports bra. thats appropriate dance attire. Also thats choreography not porn. they are really good dancers, and the song is from beyonce they are supposed to be immitating her dance moves which is a little belly roll, and some popping. so what? its not like they got and floor and was crawling around like a stripper, and air humping. they did get on the floor, but they did a leg kick, a leg spin and all of those moves are fromt he video. if you judged dance you would see nothing wrong with this. i see so much worse at some competitions. i garuntee this got a platinum, and 1st place in their age group. i mean really this is an overreaction. ITS DANCE. get used to it. and they are truely GREAT dancers, i wish i was that good at 7 years old. im done. reply to this if you have any disagreements that i can debate with you on(:

Chris May 13, 2010, 6:13 PM

I think that most of the comments on here are justifiable, yet taken out of context. This performance was for a dance competition and not designed for a public forum that it unfortunately has been exposed to. By no means is this type of behavior out of line for such a venue where several if not all of the performers are acting in such a manor. The fact that the headlines of articles and absurd open forum comments by stay at home moms who know nothing about the content which they comment on is where the problem lies. Please research a little before you come onto these open forums and blast your negative reactions to something you clearly do not understand


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