If you’re reading this article, you already know that there’s been a radical change from healthy educational dance to harmful hypersexualized children’s dance in adult costumes, choreography and music. Sociologist Dr. Gail Dines calls it ‘a pornified culture.’ Researcher Phillip Adams calls it ‘Corporate Paedophilia.’ Cultural transformation has come through exposure to on-going internet, media and pornography industries. It has arrived in the dance studio through media icons and cultural outlets that have copied a toxic sexual culture exposing many young children to adult costumes, choreography and music. Children need caring adults to protect them from these influences.
In November 2023, DA:NCE Awareness launched our newest project. It’s called My DA:NCE Why, and we invite YOU to participate. The idea really comes down to this: Why are you passionate about protecting the art of childhood dance? Why is it important that our culture end the hypersexualization of children through dance? This video gives some great examples of submissions:
Grab your phone, record a short video or audio message that starts with, “My DA:NCE Why is…” and upload it on our website. It’s that easy. Our collective voices have the power to change hearts and protect children in dance.
And just in case you need a refresher course about your ‘why’, or you need help to articulate the hypersexualization of children in dance, invest in a few articles below to further your education:
- DA:NCE video released in March of 2023 that interviews 3 women who were hypersexualized as children: 3 Survivor’s Speak
- Examine a recent article about Aitana Ocana, a rising young media star, who influences children for the wrong reasons. She was a child icon who stepped from age-appropriate innocence into full blown harmful dance. A warning. The article video shows inappropriate sexual movements. From my perspective, Aitana has been manipulated by unsavory adults to make money. At the same time, children who watch her are groomed to accept adult sexuality as the norm.
“Every day at the current affairs table we address the issue of the hypersexualization of childhood, the consumption of pornography…”
- From NDEO (National Dance Educators Organization)
a. “In the Land of Dance: Unpacking Sexualization and the Well-being of Girls in Competitive Dance“
“This research emphasizes that social-cultural processes of sexualization acting on the bodies and lives of young girls who dance should be of concern to all dance educators and privately-operated studios and suggests strategies for cultivating resistance and alternative approaches.”
“The sexualization of girls, currently pervasive in our society, has entered the field of dance education with a vengeance. This critical issue is so ubiquitous as to have become normalized. After examining the dangers of sexualization, this article presents a curriculum that places girls at the center of the dance-making process. Readers gain tools to design nonsexualized, creative dance programs for private studios with the goal of empowering girls through the use of creativity, somatic education, and identity. Although much of what is written could also be applied to K–12 dance programs, the focus of this article is on the private sector of dance education.”
- National Center on Sexual Education (NCOSE)
a. Healthy or Harmful Children’s Dance: What the Experts Say About Hypersexualization (endsexualexploitation.org)
“This normalization of the sexual objectification occurs in (at least) two distinct ways. First, the audience and society at large become comfortable with looking at a child dressed up and acting like a stripper. Second, the child involved is taught that this sexualized portrayal of herself is attractive and therefore normal. In these ways, children are being trained to submit to sexual requests and are being groomed for potential predators that may approach them online or in-person.”
“Where are the positives for teaching girls that they are merely conduits for physical objectification? By continuing to turn a blind eye to the practice of hypersexualizing children’s dance, parents and dance educators are teaching their young children a dangerous lesson. Sexuality is not inherently wrong. In fact, it is a beautiful thing. But for children, who are still in critical stages of emotional, physical, and mental development, dance should not be yet another way for girls and boys to be morphed into sexual objects instead of recognized as holistic human beings.”
Will you share your dance why with us? You can learn more and see some fantastic submissions on our website at www.danceawareness.com/mywhy. Scroll down and fill out the form. After clicking submit, you’ll be requested to upload your video or audio file. We appreciate your ongoing support and are hopeful you’ll join us in this powerful project.
Share your voice. Upload your reasons for protecting children in dance at ‘My DA:NCE Why’.
And have a very Merry Christmas!