What is Harmful Dance?

Detailed Definition of Harmful Dance:

Harmful, Hypersexualized Dance as defined by YPAD (Youth Protection Association in Dance)  

Dance students should NOT be instructed or encouraged to do dance movements that:

  • Are sexually suggestive such as twerking (this excludes African, Afro-Caribbean  or Brazilian Dance moves or any movement of hips, pelvis, buttock and torso that promotes a sexualized message),“booty pops”, lip licking, finger licking, and breast or groin stroking, patting or pointing towards breast or genitalia, lip pouting, or winks that promote a sexual tone.
  • Mimic obscene gestures, drug or alcohol use, or gang activity (i.e. flashing “gang” symbols, middle finger, licking the hand and grabbing the crotch).
  • Include sexually suggestive grinding, humping the floor, sexually straddling a prop (like a chair), back arches with bottoms to the audience in a suggestive manner.
  • Use props that are sexually suggestive or meant to depict violence (whips, chains, guns or knives) unless they are part of age-appropriate storytelling (Pirates of the Caribbean, etc).
  • Staging the dancers in a row touching each other and then rolling their bottoms or gyrating their hips in sexually suggestive way.
  • Spanking themselves or another dancer on the bottom or running their hands up another dancer’s body in a seductive manner.
  • Crotch drops in a deep plié with knees and feet turned out, either by itself or multiple bouncing while engaged low on the floor.
  • Contain artistic concepts or themes with sexual connotations or references to drug or alcohol use (such as “partying at the club”).
  • Contain expressions that connote an “invitation” on the part of the audience to view the dancer as a sexual target (e.g., “come hither” looks, winks, long gazes and provocative stares directly into the eyes of judges or audience members.

Nominate a Healthy Dance Organization

Wholesome to Hypersexualized: What Happened to Children’s Dance?