Join the Conversation

Can I encourage you to join the conversation about DA:NCE? We continue to work hard to educate the public about the damaging effects of hypersexualized children’s dance. I am so appreciative of your support of our work and the energy you bring to this important issue. I wanted to let you know we recently released a new video called ‘Coffee and Conversation’ that you may find motivating to share. It is a short and sweet 45-second teaser inviting adults to join the conversation around the hypersexualization of children in dance. We need to get this message in front of as many people as possible in order to educate and raise awareness around this issue. Can you help us share it? [...]

By |2019-04-23T10:28:52-07:00April 19th, 2019|

‘Coffee and Conversation’ at Cal State Fullerton

“In an art form that is ripe for play, creativity, and imagination, as an industry and society we are settling for selling our girls’ childhood to the lowest common denominator.” Elizabeth Gough Schultz, Master of Fine Arts in Dance, UCIrvine When I spoke at 'Coffee and Conversation' 2 weeks ago,  I addressed the lowest common denominator in children’s dance: hypersexualized choreography;  during that time, I also discussed a partial definition of harmful choreography developed by YPAD(youth protection advocates in dance): • Any sexually suggestive movements such as twerking, “booty pops”, lip licking, finger licking, and breast or groin stroking, patting or pointing towards breast or genitalia, lip pouting, or winks that promote a sexual tone. • Mimic obscene gestures, drug [...]

By |2019-04-22T16:17:52-07:00March 23rd, 2019|

CAHPERD: Cultural Trends

It was a joy to attend and speak in Anaheim at the 2019 CAHPERD(California Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance) Conference. Their educational foundation emphasized current cultural trends about the importance of body health. That provoked me to think about an LA Times article from August 19, 2018 that I read last summer which discussed how adult professionals can easily stray from healthy standards of care. It’s a difficult but timely article. From USA gymnastics to churches and dance studios who cover up sexual abuse, it is important for institutions to call out and resist cultural trends that are unhealthy.  “If that tone is set well and is healthy, then the system will be healthy. You have to have systems [...]

By |2019-03-03T13:32:12-07:00February 28th, 2019|

How to DANCE

How to DANCE? Go to a CDEA(California Dance Educators Association) conference to enjoy incredible expertise about ‘How to DA:NCE(you know Dance Awareness: no child exploited)’. In January I spoke at UC Fullerton for the 2019 State Conference and was welcomed by teachers who love dance and who love their students. From the opening with Co-Presidents Nicole Robinson and Kim Hoj to the closing session at the end of the day, the day was flooded with opportunities to learn about ‘How to DANCE’. Let me list a few of the offerings there: Masterclasses in the Responsive Body, Movement Matching through Dancefilm, Refreshing your Musicality, Dance Advocacy, Jazz, Salsa, Body to Body Transfer, and Ensemble Thinking. Wonderful Teaching & engagement with the [...]

By |2019-01-24T15:20:55-07:00January 24th, 2019|

Where Is Mary Speaking Next? – spring speaking schedule

Where Is Mary Speaking Next? January 12 at Cal State Fullerton for CDEA State Conference(California Dance Educator's Association) February 19 at the Kiwanis Club of Redlands February 21-23 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County in Garden Grove for CAHPERD (California Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance) Click Here to invite Mary to speak to your organization.

By |2019-01-10T14:55:27-07:00January 10th, 2019|

Kaleidoscope Dance Company

One of the goals of the DA:NCE is to highlight dance organizations we feel embody healthy dance. We are pleased to present our first featured dance organization: KALEIDOSCOPE DANCE COMPANY Is the longest-running modern dance company in Seattle, founded in 1981 by Anne Green Gilbert. Is a modern repertory dance company of boys and girls between the ages of 6-17. Alumni can be found dancing professionally, choreographing, attending college, and working in fields such as health, research, design, education, technology, and the arts. Works with well-known choreographers including Wade Madsen, Pat Graney, Bill Evans, Tom Truss, Christian Swenson, Shirley Jenkins, Jurg Koch, Paige Barnes, Eva Stone, Vincent Thomas, Mary Kay Bisignano-Vadino, Debbie Gilbert, Joanne Petroff, Ellie Sandstrom, Maya Soto, Anna Mansbridge, Marlene Strang, Karin Stevens, [...]

By |2018-12-21T22:20:27-07:00December 21st, 2018|

Twerking: The Sexualization of Young Girls in Dance

Guest Blog Post By: Leslie Bryan, CSUSB Theatre/Dance Faculty The greatest joy for me as a dance educator is to help students find the movements from within and to explore their own sense of aesthetics in the art of dance.  For the past 20 years, I have been a lecturer in the Theatre Arts/Dance department at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) teaching dance education courses for pre-service teachers.  The courses focus on the pedagogy and technique of how to implement dance in public school classrooms.  We explore how to be inclusive in decisions of who gets to dance, how to add depth and scope to dance lessons and how to develop future dancers and patrons of dance who will [...]

By |2018-12-21T21:40:10-07:00December 16th, 2018|

A Christmas Card in Listening

A Christmas Card in Listening incarnates hope into my soul. Last Christmas I wrote about noise pollution.  It’s a year later and now I’m pondering the opposite of noise. Quiet. I often listen in silence so I can hear my heart. And God’s voice: ” 'Faith comes from hearing(listening), and hearing through the word of Christ' (Romans 10:17)." I’ve also learned that "listening" faith grows my ability to hear other people: “to look not only to my own interests, but also the interests of others” (Phil 2:4). In DA:NCE (dance awareness: no child exploited), personal hearing has gone beyond myself into advocating for the best interests of children. Initially, a Christmas card in listening started an organic journey of my own [...]

By |2018-12-18T10:45:24-07:00December 7th, 2018|

Gobble, gobble, gobble: Dance Coalition Newsletter

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 [...]

By |2018-11-03T10:07:11-07:00November 2nd, 2018|

NDEO Connections, Knowledge and Leadership: ‘Children’s Dance: Educational or Sexualized’

What a wonderful national conference this NDEO(national dance educators organization) gathering turned out to be. Hats off to the NDEO board who worked so tirelessly to make the conference possible. An additional thanks to Kristin Kusanovich (past president of CDEA, lecturer in the department of Theatre and Dance at Santa Clara University and Kusanovich Dance Company), Susan Gingrasso (NDEO board member, CDEA member & presenter, DEiP’s practical resources column, and Associate Director of the Language of Dance Center), and Jennifer La Curan(Chair of Dance and Co-President Irvine Valley College, CDEA) for supporting me to speak on 'Children's Dance: Educational or Sexualized' at the NDEO national conference. Let me share a few flavors of what happened in La Jolla from Oct 4-7. [...]

By |2018-10-16T18:59:02-07:00October 11th, 2018|