I looked at my soultosolechoreography website and I saw Leslie’s email. It was a breath of fresh air.

“I have so much on my heart to write u about but I feel almost paralyzed as finding your petition on change.org was like cold water in a very dark and dry desert. Thank u so much for your boldness and answering God’s call for what is breaking His heart” (By the way, check out Leslie’s website: www.edifymovement.org. That’s short for EDUCATE, DANCE, INSPIRE, FAITH, YOU).

She was referring to the online petition about dance studios and children on change.org: http://www.change.org/petitions/dance-studios-stop-adult-sexual-choreography-and-costumes-for-girls-under-12. The sexualization of children in this culture is not just a dance issue–it’s everywhere and very few people are talking about it. Children need to be allowed to be children; they’re not adults. If they’re put into adult clothing and choreography in any context, how can they enjoy and develop in an age-appropriate childhood environment? How can they experience the beauty of dance alongside the fun that it includes? Let’s remember that no child is capable of making consistent, healthy choices for themselves. That’s why they depend on wise adults to do this for them(“no–you can’t have chocolate cake for every meal”).

The American Psychological Association(APA) report concludes that research links the sexualization of children with three of the most common mental health problems:

-eating disorders
-low self-esteem
-depression or depressed mood

Can the beautiful art form of dance afford not to speak out against this exploitation? I can’t. Please help me. Sign the online petition and take action at the national and local level. All of us need to unite as adults for the well-being of our youngest citizens. My heart is broken on this issue.

So is God’s.