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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
college_girl May 15, 2010, 3:15 PM

The routine was really impressive for those girls at that age to pull off. It’s undeniable they had worked hard to pull of that routine and are pretty talented.

Though I do disagree with the level of skin shown for young girls, there is something to be said about the culture shift in that children are being exposed at earlier ages to sexuality.

For any mom that lets her daughter do that, I hope they’re also adult enough to talk with their daughters about what exactly being sexy and dancing provocatively entails. It’s a pretty fine line, though empowering a young girl’s self image is as important and difficult to talk about as the sex talk.

Anyway, young girls are already set up with standards of beauty and attractiveness from the moment we see a billboard or get our Barbie doll. No parent has the ability to shield their kid forever, though in the least keep your kid safe and aware of what the world is, to some degree anyway.

Julia May 15, 2010, 3:18 PM

There’s nothing to worry about here aside from the costumes the girl’s were wearing. The moves are fitting for the song and the dancing genre they were performing in. Hip-hop is a little dirty and these girls are clearly very advanced in their dancing ability; had their costumes been covering more it probably wouldn’t have caused such an uproar in moms across the country.
Bravo girls, the performance was excellent.

Sheerle  May 15, 2010, 3:18 PM

That dance was extremely inappropriate for those girls i AGREE.

Jag May 15, 2010, 3:19 PM

Well, now we know all those girls are going to grow up to be… sluts!

Good job Moms! Way to get your daughters to follow in your footsteps.

Jaimie May 15, 2010, 3:23 PM

do you moms have nothing better to do than gripe about some children that aren’t even your own? These girls are just expressing themselves. The style of dance is not ‘stripping’ it is called ‘crumping’. If you’ll ever learn one thing as a parent, is it that you must allow your children to do what they love and express themselves as they wish. Forcing them to fit in and not allowing risque behavior will only lead to them revolting more throughout puberty and teen years.

Quite empowering ladies, but really.. Don’t be that mom.

a 16 year old May 15, 2010, 3:23 PM

Yes, of course all men turn into sex crazed paedophiles when they see all girls in bikini’s, that’s exactly what happens, no man could have the same response that you had no all men in the world would “Abduct” the girls.
Crawl out from under your rock and see the world fo what it is, CHANGING

a 32 year old May 15, 2010, 3:26 PM


Raquel May 15, 2010, 3:26 PM

As a dancer i must say the song is fine, but the costumes are terrible, way to reveling. Some of the dancing was stripper dancing but i also understand how they got to the world dance competition, this is ridiculous those girls are portrayed as whores no child should be dressed like that

Peebs May 15, 2010, 3:29 PM

This is very inappropriate, but what is this meant to mean:

“And I gotta ask: What are we dangling in the faces of men, whose natural responses to visual cues can so easily be triggered?”


Concerned Parent May 15, 2010, 3:36 PM

Anyone who sees anything sexual in this is just plain sick. Those kids are FANTASTIC dancers! Maybe adults use moves like that in a sexually suggestive way, but those girls aren’t communicating anything seductive in those moves— just great energy and athleticism.
If you see it as sexual, I feel sorry for you. You need to quit projecting your sick fantasies on to some “boogey man” of your imagination and realize that it is YOU that has the problem.

Lisa May 15, 2010, 3:51 PM

I got a little shocked too but then I figured I was kinda biased because I had read the title of he article before I watched the video. Then I tried to watch it without any prejudice and you know what I think? It wasn’t that bad.

Those girls can dance! I don’t know about you but I see nothing sexual about them… If they were adults it would have been different but the fact that they’re 7-year-olds removes all sexuality, provokativeness or anything of the kind, at least for me. Chicks can be pretty hot in bathing suits, but do you find children in swimsuits sexual?

Sure as hell, the outfits are a bit extreme, but it’s not as if they would wear them anywhere but in competition. What do you think about ice-skater costumes?

I think those girls were having a lot of fun and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

Ivna May 15, 2010, 4:15 PM

Some of the people defending this routine have made a critical logical error. They make the assumption that people who see something sexual in this routine are actually turned on sexually. This is a gross distortion.
The fact that NORMAL people see the overt sexual nature of the dance moves should tell you all something. The sexuality of it hits you like a fart in a car. There is no avoiding it.
Seeing something sexual in kids at the beach or playing sports would be misconstrueing the situation.
Some of these moves are adult dance moves meant to titillate, arouse, stimulate, etc.
Seeing little girls unwittingly performing sexually provocative moves is what makes this so perverse and wrong.
Plus that lyrics to that song are so trite and superficial only the feeblest of minds would think this is “empowering” to girls.
This so-called “empowerment” is creating a fantasy world made real for men.

Taylor Sch May 15, 2010, 6:49 PM

hey hey hey! This was a innocent dance routine! Theese kids are doing what they are told to do!! If anything dont blame theese 7 YEAR OLDS!! Blame the dance instructer!! Arent they the victims in this whole situation?!! And them eing 7 year olds wouldnt they go home and say “hey mom look what i learned today!” and then show them some of the dance? So, if the parent would have seen something wrong with it wouldnt they tell the instructer? or would they tell the little girl, no dont do that at the dance show…. u tell me…

allyna. May 15, 2010, 9:52 PM

these are little girls. leave them alone! they are probably so upset right now for being critisized like this. they only thought of this as a dance not something provocative. havent your 7, 8, or 9 year old skinny daughter walked outside in a bathingsuit thats not a one piece? CALM DOWN YOU CONSERVATIVE STAY-AT-HOME, LIVING-UNDER-A-ROCK PARENTS. they have tights on, and its choreography. they do not wear that outside of the competition. you show up clothed, change into the costume, perform, and take it off. if you went to a dance competition moe than half the costumes show your stomach, and are booty shorts. but thisi snt hiphop its jazz. thats my issue is that people can actually call this hiphop..

Sara Madison May 16, 2010, 5:05 AM

@JD — Children’s natural sexuality is NOT expressed by dressing up like strippers & dancing like strippers. Don’t pontificate about things you clearly don’t understand.

No one here is criticizing the little girls themselves. They’re terrific athletes and I am sure they worked hard. They didn’t sew those costumes or choreograph that routine. Nor, I am sure, are they surfing the Internet and reading all of these comments (because if they are, then their parents have even more problems than I thought).

It’s the adults who are the problem. The parents, the coaches, and all of the commenters who refuse to even consider that this routine might have been inappropriate for seven year olds.

Stripper costumes. Stripper moves. Seven year old girls. I think that pretty well sums it up. Take a hard look at yourselves, people.

Sara Madison May 16, 2010, 5:10 AM

Also, for all of the commenters who are making idiotic assumptions about people they don’t know: I am not a prude, not a conservative, and not a stay at home mom. I frankly admit to not knowing the world of dance competition — and from what you’ve all said here, I definitely don’t want to.

Fabbsup May 16, 2010, 10:15 AM

7 year olds shouldn’t be listening to hiphop. The roots of Hip Hop are are founded in age inappropriate topics.

2. The clothing they are wearing is laundrey/strip/prostitution inspired. On 7 years olds? Exactly.

3. The dance its-self is first of all very aggressive. Any kind of aggression is something that children should be sheltered from. Second of all the dance’s movements emphazise the girls bodyparts in way that would usually stimulate the male drive. Very inapropriate for 7 year olds, who at that age should not even closely be intruduced to any act sexuality.

Once you take a look at it properly it becomes clear how sickening it really is. Society is moving in a very wrong direction. Fame and success is not equaled with an achievement related to skill, but with the willingness to sexually provoke and expose oneself. Definitely worrying.

a protective mother May 16, 2010, 12:44 PM

These little girls have been exploited in ways they cannot understand. Seeing as it is on the internet, it won’t soon end. The rolling on the floor, coached facial expressions, stripper costumes, and other dance moves should have been objected to from the get-go. No doubt the parents couldn’t resist the allure of their child being on stage for all to see. I would have put my foot down. “If you don’t stand for something, then you stand for nothing.”

barbara May 16, 2010, 1:19 PM

Totally disagree with you Chris. The issue is more on the impact on the young girls themselves. What this kind of “performance” says to them about how to use their talent and about their self worth. The fact that kids this age were participating in a performance where “all of the performers were acting in such a manor” is also disturbing. No one is disputing that they have talent as dancers and performers. It’s the content, the sexualization of young GIRLS that is the issue. THAT we understand.

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