DA:NCE Newsletter – September 2023
Announcing our $5,000 She Loves to Move Winner!Months of hard work, dedication and celebration of healthy, age-appropriate children’s dance have led us to this moment: the announcement of our $5,000 She Loves to Move Call for Choreography Winner!

Throughout 2023, thousands of individuals were touched by the DA:NCE Awareness She Loves to Move Call for Choreography! Culminating with a $5,000 prize, each and every submission received during the project was a testament to the potential healthy children’s dance has in our culture.

Celebrating the She Loves to Move Call for Choreography
We celebrate everyone who participated in this call for choreography in any form. From the beautiful dancers, to the inspiring choreographers behind the submissions, to the parents who supported everyone along the way, and anyone in-between, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

We have a lot to celebrate but also a lot of work left to do. Healthy, age-appropriate dance is something we believe every child has the right to experience. We invite you to join us as we work to continue to reach the hearts and minds of our culture and ensure all children are protected from hypersexualized choreography, costumes and music.

Learn more about DA:NCE Awareness
She Loves to Move Call for Choreography Reflection
Marlita Hill, Lead Adjudicator for DA:NCE’s $5,000 Call for Choreography

With an aim to publicize DA:NCE Awareness’s mission and celebrate the healthy, age-appropriate dance happening throughout our communities, DA:NCE launched its inaugural choreography competition, ‘She Loves to Move.’

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Guest Blogger
Erin Sanchez

Healthy Versus Harmful Dance Environments: Stopping Harm and Supporting Joy Through Effective Challenges 
How can we ensure as teachers that we create healthy environments for young dancers who want to dance as a professional career?

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Guest Blogger: 
Artem Maksimenko

Protecting Our Children: How to Identify and Address Hypersexualization in Dance 
Childhood is a time of innocence, exploration, and discovery, and this should extend to all areas of a child’s life, including dance. However, in recent years, there has been an increasing trend toward the hypersexualization of children in dance. As parents, educators, or concerned adults, it’s essential to understand how to identify and address this issue.

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‘My DA:NCE Why’: Reflections on Innocence

Innocence: Ignorance, freedom from cunning; lack of worldly experience

DA:NCE just released a new resource called ‘My DA:NCE Why’. In that video, along with others, I recorded a brief statement about why I founded DA:NCE. It was a brief statement that needs a longer explanation into the journey of innocence. This blog is my chance to go deeper.

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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: Barefoot Dance Center, located in West Park, New York.

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How Hyper-Sexualized Children Can Become Sexually Addicted Adults – The Connection Between Hyper-Sexualization and Porn Addiction
Tamara Kelly

Hyper-sexualization and porn addiction are two issues that are becoming increasingly prevalent in our society. The hypersexualization of women and children in media and advertising has become so normal that it is often not even noticed or questioned.

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NRB and DA:NCE Celebration
Mary Bawden

So DANCE Team, what in the world do I mean by a DA:NCE marriage? Lean in. The nuptials took place in Orlando Florida from May 22-25. It’s a partnership that’s taken a few years to plan. But it was worth it.

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Guest Bloger
Cordisco & Saile LLC is a law firm that is dedicated to helping victims of child sex abuse.

Preventing Child Sex Abuse
The responsibility to protect children from sexual abuse falls to all adults around them, including counselors, teachers, doctors, and parents. You can help protect your child through vigilance and active engagement.

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**New DA:NCE Website Resource**
Beneath the Surface of Hypersexualized Dance in Children
Dr. Anne Redelfs MD

Growing up, I learned to split the light and dark sides of people. My conscious self lived with the light, while my unconscious self lived with the dark. Because no one in my conscious life spoke of this darkness within most people, I too learned to never speak of it and ultimately, to forget it entirely.

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DA:NCE Happenings:

Share Your Dance Story

SHAPE Arkansas Conference has invited Mary Bawden to speak at the State Conference using a revised DA:NCE Video Resource: ‘Wholesome to Hypersexualized: What Happened to Children’s Dance’

Steve Siler Composer of ‘She Loves to Move’ hosts the Music for the Soul Podcast. It features candid discussions about challenging topics and dovetails them in with stories of transformation and healing through music. Each of their 45 podcasts highlights a different topic pertinent to our world today.  By interviewing knowledgeable professionals in the arenas of mental health, parenting, faith, and music they offer inspiring dialogue that embodies their tagline, “Where Music, Hope & Healing Come Together.  Listen to a sample of the Music for the Soul Podcast, featuring our Founder Mary Bawden, with this link:

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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