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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
JD (New England parent) May 13, 2010, 6:39 PM

Moms: We are debating a pretty tame dance routine. These kids are simply having fun (and they are quite talented in their form). Their mom’s are neither criminals nor bad parents! Seriously, I think that the dirtiest thoughts about these kids are between the ears of the armchair editorialists in this thread. Sexy? -Absolutely. This arises in our minds, because it is built into our nature by evolution. But dirty, shameful or immoral? Poppycock!

Many mainstream venues - even in the west - go further in the eroticization of pre-teens. Yet all of these examples exhibit undeniable talent:

Ballet Blue: www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_THqHqUXZU
Nicole SanMartin, Latin star: [Removed…Too racy for this forum]
Ashley Edner (from feature film): www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1fxjzvtHss

Renae May 13, 2010, 8:36 PM

I know I may be more conservative because I am a ballet teacher, but to me formal dance attire is what should be expected inside the studios also. I believe in conservatory rules. This choreography was obviously strictly for entertainment and it does not emphasize that dance is an art form that we should respect, and not just shake our rumps in sleazy costumes to beyonce music.

Anonymous May 13, 2010, 9:06 PM

that was ridiculous. have these people never herd of paedophiles? where do you think these disgusting people hang out and that lil display is just feeding them.

i would have never let my girl out of the house in that outfit period or dance like that. someone should be losing there job after that horrible display.

i use to dance as a girl as well but after all or this crap i’ve seen it’s a shame i am concerned on letting here do that.

Rita May 13, 2010, 9:17 PM

Wow. Ok. First I’m going to say those 7 year olds have ENORMOUS dancing talent. They need to focus more on talent and expanding it. About the outfits, they were a little provocative and they should have had black tights under the dance shorts and a nude-colored (NOT transparent) fabric around the tummy and front. There are ways to showcase dance without making the girls look provocative beyond their years.

I am a dancer and I’ve had my daughter in dance, most recitals involve a leotard and skirt or tights. It’s only when they get older should they be allowed to wear more provocative dancewear.

Also, children are NOT sexual beings. It is the sick-minded people out there who are seeing these little girls as potential sex objects. I didn’t see that. All I saw were enormously talented girls with a bit too revealing dance uniforms.

Desiree - Mother Musing May 13, 2010, 9:55 PM

I saw this earlier today & was completely horrified!! I’m far from prudish but these are CHILDREN not adults. They most certainly do NOT need to be dancing in this style or dressing in this manner. PERIOD.
It just makes me wonder what were the parents thinking when they allowed this? What were the dance teachers thinking when they created this?
It makes me incredibly sad for the loss of innocence of these girls and our children in general as this is only a drop in the bucket.

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CheerMom May 14, 2010, 5:00 AM

As a daughter of an 11 year old who has been in competitive cheer/dance for years. For those who state this is the nature of competitive dance (booty shorts and sports bras) that is not an across the board standard. There are plenty of organizations who have set morals and limits to what the children attending their gym are allowed to do and wear. Parents need to wake up and remember what their job is.

Ken May 14, 2010, 5:07 AM

As a 42 year old dad I sit at my computer and cried as I watched this. These are little girls. Just little girls. Innocent little girls that some unresponsible parents are trying to live through in the pursuit of fame or some other fleshly desire. We wonder why pedophilia is so rampant. Do some of you ladies who would endorse this or say it’s no big deal understand the evils of men’s hearts? Our Lord Jesus who created us did not intend for us to parade our children to entice the lusts of men’s hearts as they have done in this video. If you don’t think it does then you have no understanding of evil. Ask the parents of the slain children who have been molested and killed by the perverts that lurk around every corner. Lord forgive us and protect these innocent little girls from evil. They’re just doing what their parents are telling them to.

Rhiannon May 14, 2010, 5:44 AM

I think the only thing wrong with this is the outfits. It is a hip hop dance competition. I think these little girls are thinking they are doing a dance not trying to be sexy and now with the big fuss we are making theses girls feel as though they did something wrong by doing something that they love. Yes red and black outfits aren’t ideal for them but hip hop dance includes some hip action and most of the dance was very technical. Leave these little girls alone and let them do what they love, DANCE!

Karen  May 14, 2010, 5:46 AM

I just watched the interview with George and the 2 of the parents on GMA….WOW! These 2 were just trying to back their way out of it with spin. Saying who knew this would be put on the internet. What rock are they living under….seriously? I am guessing the girls are sweet innocent young things but by their parent’s letting them do this dance they have been allowed a get glimpse of sexual future. There is plenty of time for that…let them be little girls.

I am the mother of only one daughter. When she still wanted dolls for Christmas at age 13 I said why not? It keeps her a little girl longer.

Anonymous May 14, 2010, 6:53 AM

THIS IS SICK AND DISGUSTING!….who in there right mind would allow there little girl to dance and dress like that!!…there are now perverts out there sexually pleasuring themselves to this video and its sick!(and everyone damn well knows its the truth!)….I am sickend!..little girls should NOT be seen a sex objects! So many children are being raped because of the fact that children are being put out there as sex objects and its causing people to see nothing wrong with inappropriatly touching children! What is this world coming to? Soon 8 year olds will be having sex! Oh wait that’s already happening! I am so disgusted by this! Oh an jd I am in nooo way a prude! Im a 21 year old mother of 2! Who’s is atheist and goth and yeah every once inawhile I get a family member to watch the kids so I can party it up for a night! so don’t say everyone who is against this a prude! I just don’t think children should be put out there as sex objects! And also I have been dancing(ballet jazz tap) since I was 5 this is not expressing anything artistic whatsoever! And we were NEVER allowed to wear belly shirts or short shorts at dance classes !

christy May 14, 2010, 6:54 AM

THIS IS SICK AND DISGUSTING!….who in there right mind would allow there little girl to dance and dress like that!!…there are now perverts out there sexually pleasuring themselves to this video and its sick!(and everyone damn well knows its the truth!)….I am sickend!..little girls should NOT be seen a sex objects! So many children are being raped because of the fact that children are being put out there as sex objects and its causing people to see nothing wrong with inappropriatly touching children! What is this world coming to? Soon 8 year olds will be having sex! Oh wait that’s already happening! I am so disgusted by this! Oh an jd I am in nooo way a prude! Im a 21 year old mother of 2! Who’s is atheist and goth and yeah every once inawhile I get a family member to watch the kids so I can party it up for a night! so don’t say everyone who is against this a prude! I just don’t think children should be put out there as sex objects! And also I have been dancing(ballet jazz tap) since I was 5 this is not expressing anything artistic whatsoever! And we were NEVER allowed to wear belly shirts or short shorts at dance classes !

OUTRAGED!!! May 14, 2010, 7:37 AM

I saw this video last night on Showtime Tonight and I thought I was going to vomit. Last year my then 13 year old daughter’s cheer team was working on a dance routine for competition. Their coach was a 16 year old and she had put some booty shaking into the routine. Myself and a few other mothers objected to it. After watching this video…OMG! What my girls were doing was tame compared to this and we still objected to it. I can’t believe a parent would let their 2nd grader dress and dance like this! I showed the video to my 14 year old daughter and she said it made her mad! This is a quote from a 14 year old’s mouth: “They are babies mommy! They should not know how to do that! I think daddy would have killed someone if I came home with a costume like that and showed him my routine! What was their dance teacher thinking?” she then later came back out and said…”I am coaching peewee cheer this year (ages 7-9) and there is no way I would ask those babies to do anything like that!” Thank God I have a level headed kid! These parents should be ashamed of themselves! They need to realize these little girls are WAY to young for this. Yes these girls had great talent, but they could have done way better hip hop moves without the sexual content. I hate what we are doing to little girls these days! JD, you disgust me. They so could have used that talent in such a better way!!!!

Suzy C May 14, 2010, 8:05 AM

As a young mother of a girl, I listen to this type of music and love it when she tries to dance to this move-y music, of course she doesnt bump and grind, shes small so she just wiggles like with all other music, but I do not! DO NOT! and WOULD NOT! let my daughter dance some of those “provocative” moves and much less dress like that! These parents are getting way out of hand with competition! Doesnt it bother these parents that there could be a pedifile (sorry for my spelling) …child molester having an eye on their precious girl and showing much more than a swim suit would show! What a disgrace these parents are! All of this just for prizes, money and titles HAVE SOME MORALiTY!

Jeri May 14, 2010, 8:20 AM

Those girls were strickly doing what they love to do which is DANCE! Regardless of the age the dance was done to their perfection. Good job girls!

Susan May 14, 2010, 9:33 AM

JD - “Natural play of kids” is playing doctor and being naturally curious. These 7 year olds are being exploited by their own parents: dressed up as hookers and taught to do a bump and grind. This is not “natural play.” Or maybe your little girls on the East Coast do things differently than the rest of the states.

Sickened May 14, 2010, 10:32 AM

I think their parents and their teacher made a huge mistake allowing children this young to perform in a sexually explicit manner; I think the parents were extremely naive to have not realized a video of this performance would end up on the web; I think any parents who believe they can get the video off the internet now are delusional. I hope that none of the names & addresses of these girls are available online to sexual predators — you can be sure they’re going to be trying to find these girls. Too bad such great dance talent was exhibited in such an age-inappropriate fashion. These kids are way too young to realize the implications of what they’re doing — their parents should have done a better job of protecting their interests.

Julie Ehles May 14, 2010, 4:54 PM

in my opinion those girls are amazing dancer, expecially for 6 or 7 year olds; i could never move like that…

the only problem i think were mainly the outfits and the little bit of sexual moves… if the girls were more covered this would have been way better.

Kelley May 14, 2010, 5:25 PM

This is disgusting. I will say that they are obviously great dancers who have praticed a lot, so it is a shame that they put all that work into something like this. The outfits were the worst part, but so is the pelvic thrusting. I have an 8 year old daughter, and she would never be allowed to do that or wear that. yuck is all I have to say. No wonder there are 12 year olds having sex and getting pregnant and
strutting around school and town acting like prostitutes. It is very, very sad.


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