Gobble, gobble, gobble! 

Ps 118:1  “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever.”

I can’t believe that November is already here. It’s turkey time and I’m getting ready to host my extended family at the annual Thanksgiving feast in 2018. Through the years, I’ve enjoyed a lot of memories around this holiday. Here’s a gobble, gobble idea: I make homemade gingerbread turkey cookies and have different icing colors available for each person to decorate  their individual table place card. After dinner, everyone eats their place card. At the gathering, my husband and I also oversee a gobbling contest that ends as everyone shares their personal expression of thanks for the year. This year I give thanks to God for Elizabeth Knight, Steve Carroll, Bruce Herwig, Cheryl Schneider, Neal Thibedeau and Lara Hoefs for their on-going work on behalf of DA:NCE. God continues to bless me as I work with them (and many others).

Another blessing includes more details about the DA:NCE Coalition newsletter. Most of you know that the focus of DA:NCE is to provide free, researched materials to you and other adults so that we protect the art of dance, avoid the hypersexualization of children, and bring awareness to the culture on this topic. The newsletter will be an extension of this goal.

I want to extend a personal invitation for you to join the DA:NCE Coalition so that you can receive the quarterly newsletter.  If you are involved in dance, I’d encourage you to consider writing a newsletter article based on your observations regarding healthy or harmful dance. The DA:NCE Coalition Newsletter is also welcoming personal dance stories focused on the benefits or harms of personal experience with movement(encourage friends to share too) with an option to high-light recommended dance venues (ie Anne Green Gilbert’s ‘The Creative Dance Center’). That way we can all be excited by the many wonderful dance platforms that offer age-appropriate dance.

I’d also like you to consider 2 articles put out by Melinda Tankard Reist and Jemma Nicoll  by Collective Shout.  Both articles are worth reading. To give you a taste of what they contain, I’d like to quote one part of Jemma’s article; she lives in Australia.

“In April 2015, the first of a series of articles I had written surrounding the sexualisation of children in the industry was published here on MTR. Titled ‘The Sexification of Young Dancers Inside Australia’s Booming Dance Studio Scene’, the article gained traction quickly – reaching thousands of readers nationwide and attracting  mainstream media attention. It was said to have generated the largest and most widespread discussion so far on the state of children’s dance education. What was originally a final assignment to complete my Journalism degree, it so very nearly was filed to collect dust and remain unread before I sent it on to MTR, in the hope she might be interested. The article’s publication has now lead to my involvement in a national call for a total overhaul of the industry as it relates to children.”

Of course, Australia is much smaller than the USA. However, research shows that our country tends to shadow the dance patterns that have developed in Australia. DA:NCE Team, join me. We’ve got to stop normalizing the hypersexualization of children in dance.

Please sign up for the DA:NCE Coalition newsletter(and scroll down to find the additional buttons to write an article, share a story or high-light a dance venue). I look forward to hearing from you soon.

With thanks and excitement as we look to the future!