Friends, do you have 20 minutes? It’s time for a showing of our new DA:NCE resource. Grab some pop-corn and educate yourself as you watch ‘Healthy or Harmful Children’s Dance: What Do the Experts say about Hypersexualization?’

It’s been quite a journey to produce an original resource for DA:NCE. Our staff has been working full-time since July to create this video. Special thanks go to Neal Thibedeau who filmed experts at the 2019 CESE(Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation) conference last June and who worked tirelessly with me to edit this project. An interesting sidebar to the process involves the child you see dancing in white.  Although we had many experts talking about the differences between healthy and harmful dance, we wanted to include a storyline in the film that would represent all the children that we want to protect. Voila. Neal put her images into the film after the fact.  Did her character help you understand this story?

In 2020, alongside the coronavirus pandemic, the cultural media onslaught continues to give us the message that the hypersexualization of children is normal. However, in this new resource, you can see and hear national experts dispute that conclusion. In fact, many of these experts have devoted years of their time to researching a difficult topic and communicating their concerns to all of us. DA:NCE is proud to present their voices. And now, as we respectfully educate others, there is a growing list of adults who are deciding to engage in courageous conversations to protect children.

On Feb 12, 2020 Staff Writer Mandi DeLong stepped up to the plate with an opinion article about hypersexualization in children’s dance. The article quotes Dr. Tomi-Ann Roberts, an expert already featured in DA:NCE materials. Dr Roberts says “The problem is that this(hypersexualization) objectifies the dancer’s body. The movements and the body are now separated out from the person, the dancer,” Roberts said. “They come to feel that their bodies are not their own but rather ‘belong’ to others. This can make them more susceptible to harm. Children can begin to view themselves as objects, only appreciated and valued for their sexy appearance, as opposed to their competence, training and skill.” Note the mention of DA:NCE in the article😊

On February 29, 2020, I received two articles raising serious concerns about what we allow children to be exposed to. How long will it take us to stop a drag queen from doing a lap dance in front of a child? Come on folks: article 1; article 2.

Remember my blog on the 2020 Superbowl half-time show? The FCC received 1300 complaints about it. I’m encouraged that responsible adults like you are defending children and their innocence. “Why are we showing pornstyle dancing during prime time?” reads one complaint, out of South Carolina. “This is family time. Our children are being bombarded with porn, as if it is normal.”   It takes a village.

Just 1 ½ weeks ago (March 14, 2020), I received an email at DA:NCE (mary@soultosolechoreography.org) from a judge of dance competitions. She does not plan to participate in the increasing hypersexualization of children by rewarding dances that include adult sexual material. Bravo. I plan to talk further with her.….

Now what can you do?

Can I ask you to educate the culture with this new 20 minute resource on your social networks? Here are some sample social media posts to use:

Direct URL YouTube: https://youtu.be/mXaG8Nwtul8

Sample social posts (Feel free to edit or use as is)

Facebook: (Tag us: @soultosolechoreography)

Must Watch! In children’s dance classes around the nation, young children are learning to dance with choreography that hypersexualizes them and their bodies. Why is this dangerous and how does it impact our kids? Hear from the experts, including myself, now. https:// youtu.be/mXaG8Nwtul8

Twitter: (Tag us: @Soul2Sole_DANCE)

Must Watch! The new trend in children’s dance classes: Hypersexualized dance. Hear from the experts, including myself, as to why this is dangerous and how it impacts our kids. https:// youtu.be/mXaG8Nwtul8

Instagram: (Tag us: @dance_awareness)

In children’s dance classes around the nation, young children are learning to dance with choreography that hypersexualizes them and their bodies. As awareness grows, more and more dance educators, parents and concerned citizens are speaking out against this cultural shift toward normalizing the hypersexualization of children in dance. We were recently interviewed by @dance_awareness, where they asked us to share our thoughts on the subject. Their recently released video, “Healthy or Harmful Children’s Dance: What Do the Experts Say about Hypersexualization,” is a must watch for concerned parents and adults or anyone who has a child in dance.

Suggested hashtags to use on Twitter and instagram:

#dance #healthydance #justdance #danceforhealth #endexploitation #getinformed #protectourkids

Coming in April and May 2020: Get ready for me to reveal more new DA:NCE resources! Woo-hoo!