Friday, May 24, 2024

Is Dance Age Appropriate.

July 10, 2018 by  
Filed under Ent., News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( I grew up around New Orleans marching band, cheerleaders, pep squads and majorettes. Though football season was important I admit I paid attention most during Mardi Gras season. I loved watching the performances and the young ladies were amazing during parades. This was what came to mind when a friend of mine introduced me to a show called “Bring It” while I was visiting with her. She explained to me it was a show about hip-hop dance teams, and the competition was fierce. I was rather excited, while in the back of my head hoping it would not carry some of the messy elements of reality tv.

My initial thought was these were maybe high school age girls, but after inquiry my friend corrected my thought stating there was an age range from 10-17. This was an immediate red flag in my mind. My friend was excited about watching this, and I didn’t want to be a kill joy so contrary to my gut I tried to keep an open mind.

I realize drama sells, and many of us huddle around the tv to keep up with the next drama filled show. However, I admit I often see it as a cancer in our community that tends to sub-consciously control thought, behavior and what we deem appropriate. As is we are poisoned thought the shows we deem “innocent”. We sat down to watch the show and all I could think as we got into it was… is this age appropriate? Is this healthy for a 10-year-old? My mind began to reflect on if those younger girls were my daughter, and though I have a great appreciation for dance. No ten year old would be on a dance team of that type.

She would not be dancing in a manner that is well beyond her years. What message would I be sending my child about the value she should place on her body? How can I expect her to behave like a child when she’s in a situation that anything but child like? She would be around girls that are worlds apart from her in age…and she will want to be them launching her into a world she isn’t prepared for mentally or physically. The more I wanted the more I found myself trying to mask my concern, and in some instances, disgust.

The drama was rather intense among the coaching, sisters, for this to truly be about the young girls dancing. There is pettiness and foolishness of epic proportions, and I’m left wondering what kind of example is this setting for our young girls? We can be competitive without being enemies. I know this won’t be a popular position to take, and I may be told I’m taking it too seriously as its just a show.

However, we know representation matters. We know that what we see on tv has a way of manifesting in out community. In the world we live in I don’t think its safe for a ten year old to be exposed to this form of dance on any level. Everything is not merely entertainment, and our children should not be exploited for such. Dance is beautiful, but for me “Bring It” was disturbing.

Staff Writer; Chelle’ St James

May also connect with this sister via Twitter; ChelleStJames.

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