DA:NCE Newsletter – January 2023
Now Accepting Submissions: $5,000 Call for Choreography ChallengeIn our last newsletter, we announced the launch of our international call for choreography. Today, we want to remind you that submissions are now being accepted!

Our goal with this project is simple: Restore the wonder of children’s dance! The art of children’s dance has been hijacked. Hypersexualized music, costumes and choreography have become commonplace in children’s dance classes. But we are changing that! This challenge is opening the hearts and minds of parents, adults and dance instructors to rethink the choices they make for children in their lives.

Want to participate? Visit DanceAwareness.com/SheLovesToMove for all the details. Entering is free. The first five eligible submissions will each receive $100 and one grand prize winner will walk away with $5,000! Submissions will be accepted until June 30, 2023.

And if you know someone that may be interested in participating, please share this information with them. We are hopeful thousands of individuals can be reached with this message of age-appropriate, healthy children’s dance. Copy and paste the following into an email, text message, or social media platform and share it with those you think could benefit from receiving this information:

Have you heard about the DA:NCE Awareness $5,000 ‘She Loves to Move’ Call for Choreography? I thought of you when I read about it. The challenge is aimed at putting a spotlight on age-appropriate, healthy children’s dance and encourages parents, adults and dance instructors to speak up and take a stand against hypersexualized children’s dance. Submissions are being accepted until June 30, 2023. Get all the details here: www.DanceAwareness.com/SheLovesToMove

AND THEN…. A Personal Invitation for ‘She Loves to Move’

This project has been a labor of love for our organization. If you want to learn more about the inspiration behind the song, ‘She Loves to Move’ as well as meet the composer and many members of the DA:NCE Team involved with this project, read Mary’s recent blog here.

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Guest Blogger: 
Heather HarringtonDance Teams: Scoring for Appearance “I would have put myself in a better position if I had just worn red lipstick,” explains Kayleen Babel (2021) who gives advice for trying out for college dance teams on her YouTube channel. She later explains that make-up and hair are part of your appearance score, and that you should try to look like the members of the current dance team. You want to blend in, not stand out as an individual.”
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Sign Up for Cultural Change
Mary Bawden
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.”
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Healthy Dance Studio

One of the goals of the DA:NCE is to highlight organizations we feel embody healthy dance. We are pleased to present: Dance 4 Joy Ministries, located in Orange County, California.

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Guest Blogger:
Lisa SandlosFrom “Pretty in Pink” to Provocative Posing: Looking at Sexualization of Young Dancers from Multiple PerspectivesI started dancing at the age of four in the 1970s and I have been a dance educator since 1991. Becoming a parent of young dancers in the early 2000s allowed me to revisit the dance studio environment with new insight and inspired me to conduct research on contemporary trends in dance training for children and adolescents
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A Gift of Goodness: the CESE Summit
Mary BawdenI spotted my first gift in 2013 at the inaugural CESE (Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation) Summit in Washington DC. The Summit is sponsored by  NCOSE (National Center on Sexual Exploitation) and it is an amazing experience. There are countless sessions to attend about our ‘pornified culture’ that expanded my limited background on harmful cultural patterns from experts.
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DA:NCE Happenings:

Share Your Dance Story
CESE Summit 2022 Panel Presentation Wholesome to Hypersexualized: What Happened to Children’s Dance? Panel with Mary Bawden, Mary Montgomery, and Jen Ray

Upcoming Events
California Dance Education Association (CDEA) Conference January 14-15 in Fullerton, California
Society of Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) National Convention March 28-April 1 in Seattle, Washington
Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAAST) Speaking Presentation April 18
National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) Conference May 22-25 in Orlando, Florida
Magazine Resource with VAT (Voices Against Trafficking)
New dance trailer with interviews on harmful dance
New ebook with dance educator interviews on harmful dance
New video PowerPoint for caring adults and dance educators: ’Wholesome to Hypersexualized: What Happened to Children’s Dance’

Click the button below to Donate to S2S Choreography to help end child exploitation through dance. DA:NCE is a program of Soul to Sole Choreography, a Section 501(c)(3) organization, EIN 20-0370145. Contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Educate and inform your local dance studio to stop adult, sexual choreography, lyrics and costumes for children.

At an early age, young children are often being taught how to approach relationships and how to approach intimacy in the wrong way. The art of dance should not be used to divert young girls(and boys) from healthy sexual development. We need to carefully evaluate the cultural choices that entice young children to be viewed as adults. We need to produce healthy boundaries in dance so that girls and boys are protected relationally. Then, when they experience the beauty of dance, they can move as young children, not as adults.

You can make a difference by starting a petition in your own community. Your signature, and those of other concerned adults, can raise awareness and give a voice to end the sexualization of young girls through choreography and costumes in your own community!

Our Step by Step Guide to Educate Dance Studios provides helpful tips you can use when collecting signatures, and also outlines best practices for presenting the signatures collected to your local dance studio owner or teacher. And if you are ready to dive right in, download the local dance petition signature collection sheets and start collecting signatures. Your efforts will no doubt make a big difference in protecting young dancers in your community!

DOWNLOAD: Step by Step Guide to Educate Dance Studios
DA:NCE works towards bringing international awareness and education to stop the exploitation through hypersexualization of children in dance.  Join our team as a volunteer to help us fulfill our mission through building partnerships, advocating for change and educating the community.  Volunteer opportunities are currently available in our Partnership Department and our Education Department.
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