Let Kids Be Kids: Inappropriate Dances at Comps

What do we want changed We, the community of dancers, dance teachers, studio owners, and parents want to see changes made in the standards adhered to by the dance competition industry. Many times we see girls as young as 5 and 6 dressed in revealing clothing dancing in an overly provocative way. Some of these dancers are extremely talented, and deserve to win top honors at competitions, IF they dance to age appropriate music with age appropriate costumes and dance moves. We want to see the competition owners live up to their own rules and disqualify inappropriate dances. This is the only action that will lead the studios teaching this kind of "dancing" to change their standards. Why do we want this changed Girls are being pressured at younger and younger ages to dress in a sexy manner to get the attention of boys and also to engage in sexual activity when they are too young. This leads to low self worth making them give in to peer pressure more quickly. Teaching these girls that it is okay to dress and dance provocatively at such a young age only perpetuates the issues. We want kids to be kids. How do we think this should be changed Guidelines on what is age appropriate should be more clear and concrete. For competitions involving any student 18 or younger the following should lead to large point deductions or automatic disqualification of the number: 1. Purposefully provocative clothing as costumes. 2. Overly revealing costumes, if you are concerned that you may see to much of the child's body, the costume is too revealing. 3. Bumping, grinding, and overtly sexual pelvic thrusts. 4. Music encouraging the use of drugs or sexual activity. For students under 14 the standards should be even higher: 1. Pelvic thrusts of any kind. 2. Music that includes any sexual language or cursing. How should competitions implement these changes They can hire an impartial judge who only determines the appropriateness of the dances based on strict standards set by the competition. Each infraction should have a set number of point deductions, like mistakes in figure skating or gymnastics. Any mandatory point deductions should be enough to prevent the number from qualifying for the top awards. AND/OR Judges can be given the authority to deduct points for inappropriate choreography. In all cases where a dance will be disqualified, the music should be stopped, the dancers asked to leave the stage and the studio owner should report to the competition to discuss the disqualification. We, the undersigned, hope to see significant changes to the competition world in the 2009-2010 season. We will be taking our business to competitions where the appropriateness of material is valued as much as dance ability and technique.

Sponsor

This petition is sponsored by dance teachers who want to see changes made in the world of dance competitions. We want kids to be kids and we dance to be valued as an art, not a means of sexualizing children.

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