She wrote me because she was a concerned parent.
“My daughter got invited to try out for the (dance) competition team, made it, became captain of the team, and was doing amazing things. Then I started feeling uncomfortable with song choice and costumes. After I voiced my concerns, they (the studio) told me that my daughter wouldn’t be able to dance anymore. Because of my beliefs, they kicked us out of the studio.”
Why did dance studio leadership kick this woman and her daughter off the competitive team when she raised age-appropriate concerns backed up by research?
Friends, hear my heart. When I first started taking dance at 11 years of age, my parents dropped me off at dance class and I danced. Later, my parents picked me up. Healthy, age-appropriate movement was the norm. No one exposed me to harmful, adult sexual material. Because of that, there was no need to define the differences between healthy and harmful dance. But today, there’s been a cultural shift that has flooded the dance industry. That seismic earthquake has impacted children’s dance because of three words: the internet, the media and the porn industry. Abusive, traumatic fault lines expose children to adult sexual material. It’s called CSAM (child sexual abuse material) and its influence is everywhere. Investigate the eye of the hurricane with me:
Dance is the only art form that integrates information into the mind, the body and the heart of a child at the same time. That fact makes it a very powerful, influential, developmental medium with future impact for children in two distinct ways: healthy or harmful. There’s no middle ground. The brain research shows that children copy what they see. Experts call this phenomenon ‘mirror neurons.’ That means that children will imitate whatever they are exposed to. If they are exposed to healthy dance patterns, they exhibit improved academic performance and cognitive development, creativity, critical thinking, social maturity, confidence and much, much more. However, if they are exposed to harmful dance patterns, children exhibit low self-esteem, objectification, poor academic performance & cognitive development, an inability to recognize abuse, increased porn use, increased rape culture, increased relational abuse and much, much more.
In contemporary culture, the internet, media and the porn industry remain the default to impact a culture that has normalized harmful dance. But harmful, hypersexualized dance is not normal. It sets children up for abusive life-long traumatic outcomes. And the push-back? No organization has challenged the corporate entities that are making money from the children who are commodified by watching or experiencing harmful dance. Except for Dance Awareness: No Child Exploited. We’ve been on the front lines to educate you about this trend with a vision and a mission to change the culture.
Friends, DA:NCE needs your financial support to continue to be a cultural change agent. When you donate to DA:NCE Awareness, you give to protect children from harmful dance. You give to educate adults about the differences between what is healthy and what is harmful in children’s dance. You give so that caring adults understand how to connect the dots from hypersexualized children’s dance to the media, the internet and the porn industry. These serve as the gateway to child sexual abuse material and adults need to understand this connection. And you give so that we can create researched based resources to shine a light on this problem and its solution.
As a donor myself to many worthy organizations, I often find it helpful to know not only what an organization plans to do with my gift, but also what they’ve done in the recent past. In the spirit of this giving season, we thought we’d share a few highlights of our 2022 accomplishments:
- We’ve had an increasing number of concerned adults writing us on social media platforms about the hypersexualized dance world. And we’ve answered them with support and education. The opening story in this blog is just one example of on-going connection with YOU.
- Our newsletter continues to expand subscribers with relevant articles from national experts and dance educators who want hypersexualized dance for children to be a thing of the past. And their expertise arms YOU with expertise. Just a few weeks ago, we released articles from Fareedah Shaheed , John Michael Lander, Jaime Logan, and myself.
- Speaking has increased: A partial list of 2022 conferences where we were asked to present include CAHPERD (California Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance), NRB (National Religious Broadcasters), daCi (Dance for the Child International), Kiwanis, Safe Haven, grand-parenting and the international CESE (Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation) Summit.
- ‘Share Your DA:NCE Story’ continues to Interview dancers that have been harmed by dance. This month we are releasing an excerpt from one of those interviews around Giving Tuesday. In January, we plan to release a new DA:NCE trailer highlighting three stories of abuse. These stories open eyes and hearts and while providing a first-hand account of how hypersexualized children’s dance harms children and adults.
- After collaborating with composer and music producer Steve Siler to create the song, ‘She Loves to Move’, we announced our $5,000 Call for Choreography challenge that will be open until June 2023. It’s an international invitation and our hope is that people will understand the value of healthy dance and its benefits while we reach dance teachers, studio owners, choreographers, and concerned parents with an uplifting, positive message.
- We are in the final throes of completing a new ebook with personal interviews from dance professionals who have been harmed by abusive dance patterns.
- We have expanded the DA:NCE Board and are actively looking to increase DA:NCE staff for more cultural outreach.
- Radio/ Podcast Interviews have reached the point of no return. We field more requests than we can accommodate. This is a good problem. The culture is beginning to see the need for awareness and change.
We have big plans for 2023. Hear my heart and sign up for cultural change.
Join the movement.
Join us with a donation to DA:NCE and make a difference in your child’s life and children all over the world!