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kirovgal

Risky dancing

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Lately, at my ballet studio(which also offers hip hop, jazz, and tap) I have noticed some extremely risky and provocative dances being performed. (not by me!) Many of our JAZZ (obviously not classical) dancers are performing extremely provocative movements, often at 9 and 10 years old! I quit jazz at this studio since then, but I just wanted to see if I was the only one who is alarmed by this. :(

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kirovgal, this reminds me my little nieces's dance "recital" (doesn't that word sound genteel?), where the high schoolers did the bump and grind. You'd think that would be an odd move to have sexually mature kids do for their parents, and you'd think at least some of the parents would be dismayed at their under age kids being encouraged to present themselves as sex objects, but the parents seemed to love it. I guess they all watch MTV and think this is how kids can get to be stars.

I'm surprised to hear about it in a ballet studio, but then we do have the example set by "Center Stage." I've always thought classical ballet steps, jazz-inflected or not, can make a dancer much more alluring than today's in-your-face moves. But then I guess mystery isn't what some people are after. ;)

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I certainly don't approve of the premature sexualization of kids barely out of their latency period, but I suppose we cannot be ostriches and pretend that teenagers don't have hormones. (And remember that the tango was once a sexual shocker. Not to mention the waltz -- where the man actually -- yes!-- put his arm around the woman's waist!) Otherwise you just get the two-tier system where the kids dance politely for their oblivious parents and then go somewhere else to do dancing they actually enjoy. I posted a Links item some months ago that reported a number of high schools actually cracking down on sexy dancing, so it may not be gaining universal parental approval.

I don't mind overtly sexual dancing as long as it's done with skill and flair and isn't just plain overt; but I agree with kfw that subtlety never hurt anyone. However, in a culture that shows on prime time television a commercial wherein Britney Spears shakes her booty for an appreciative Bob Dole, well.

kfw's mention of "Center Stage' reminds me that one of my chief beefs with that movie was its depiction of the heroine as going through the motions in ballet class, only to find true release in club dancing (and ultimately leaving the classical company for a new dance fusion group).

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dirac writes:

> I certainly don't approve of the premature sexualization of kids barely out of their latency period, but I suppose we cannot be ostriches and pretend that teenagers don't have hormones.

No, but we can try to channel those hormonal urges wisely and pragmatically. It's nice to see swing dancing make a comeback.

> (And remember that the tango was once a sexual shocker. Not to mention the waltz -- where the man actually -- yes!-- put his arm around the woman's waist!) <

True, but beside the point IMHO.

> Otherwise you just get the two-tier system where the kids dance politely for their oblivious parents and then go somewhere else to do dancing they actually enjoy. <

Did a ballet fan really write that? ;)And there is world of difference between flirtatious social dancing and the sort of dancing which if translated into words would be unpostable on this site.

[ 09-28-2001: Message edited by: kfw ]

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When I managed a theater in Houston, we were often the venue for recitals and <shudder> competitions. I was always appalled to see girls 10 years old and younger dressed like hookers and doing the old bump and grind. It happens a lot.

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As one who, innocent of this world, was shocked into awareness by those videos of little Jon Benet, I agree. I cling to the notion that it is still permissible to say that something is unseemly, and turning small children into baby, sex-crazed adults is unseemly. With teens, it's a bit different, but I'll go with Ken there.

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A swing dancing revival constitutes a return to refinement? Yes, times have certainly changed. :(

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I don't believe kfw was saying that swing dancing was a refinement, just that's it is a more innnocent form of entertainment.

All the jazz I have started to see is just the "bump and grind" and nothing else. When I actually sit down and watch some dance competition on TV (gasp) I realize that most teams just go out and shake their "J-Lo" and can't even execute a double pirouette.

I am 16 and I think it is absolutely disgusting to watch 9 year olds dance in ways that obviously hold no sexual meaning to them. Because, oh, they are only children?!?!?

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I'd definately have to agree here. I go to a tasteful school where the 'pump and grind' is left for the nightclubs or for students in the senior grades - however even then this is nothing that would outrage parents. For example this year we are dancing to Lady Marmalade from Moulin Rouge.

However, what I strongly object to - which i see in other schools - are young kids under the age of 13 strutting around like sex objects. Its terrible! These kids are too young to understand the meaning of what they're doing.

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Originally posted by Azza_4eva:

I go to a tasteful school where the 'pump and grind' is left for the nightclubs or for students in the senior grades

How old are these "senior" students?

For example this year we are dancing to Lady Marmalade from Moulin Rouge.

Just because a song is featured in a movie doesn't mean it's from that movie; "Lady Marmalade" preceded Moulin Rouge by many years.

However, what I strongly object to - which i see in other schools - are young kids under the age of 13 strutting around like sex objects. Its terrible! These kids are too young to understand the meaning of what they're doing.

Absolutely.

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I don't think that this provocative dancing is appropriate for ANY age in a recital. I feel like even "senior" students and "sexually mature" teenagers should, well, keep it to themselves and in the clubs. I also feel that it is the choreographer's obligation in choreographing dances for students in a recital to keep the risky dancing to a minimum. Not only does it spoil the reputation of the studio for the general public to see the dancers performing in such an innappropriate fashion, but also for the dancers.

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Well, you all do have a point that things can get out of hand with some dances at some studios or some competitions. I think it's a mistake to say that all of this "risque" dancing is out of line though. For instance, some people might argue that dance is about expression and a show of confidence.

hmmm...

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Sorry, lalou, but I do think that it is quite possible to show a great deal of expression and confidence in dances that are choreographed in a manner that is tasteful and age appropriate. Unfortunately, a great deal of the work being done in some schools, especially competition oriented schools, is neither tasteful nor age appropriate, not to mention that very little real technique is being taught.

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Who looks more confident, kids who flaunt their sexuality, or kids who present themselves as more than their bodies? Which look like the more interesting people?

[ 10-19-2001: Message edited by: kfw ]

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Ken, I'm with you on this -- but it may be a generational thing. 20/20 (I think, or one of the other news shows) did a feature on sex and image a few years ago, with grade school kids. They showed someone who looked like Mary Tyler Moore -- the "nice girl" of the 1950s and she was judged sort of haughty and not very nice. Then they showed someone who could be a pin up girl in a not nice at all magazine and they all smiled -- "SHE looks real friendly," was the consensus.

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Originally posted by dirac:

A swing dancing revival constitutes a return to refinement? Yes, times have certainly changed. smile.gif


But isnt swing a little provocative as well???

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