A Petition against the Sexualisation of Children in Dance

“Any teacher who encourages a young child to dress provocatively for a stage performance is culpable of gross misconduct”

 “..what is deeply troubling is that (dance) schools are actually soliciting obscenities.” “it is not the kids who should be held accountable. Adults decide costumes & what the pre teen kids perform”

 “Teachers are supposed to protect the innocent and nurture values that better the individual.”

On May 25, 2008, Queensland, Australia’s Newspaper The Courier Mail, published these lines in articles entitled “Dance of Innocents” and “Children Pawns of Errant Teachers”. Rather than stand by and watch, it is possible for you to take social action.

Mary Bawden, an American dance teacher from California writes:

I am writing to let you know about an issue I am deeply concerned about.  Over the course of the last decade, dance for young children, particularly little girls, has changed. Alarmingly, young girls are becoming increasingly sexualized through dance. If you have recently attended a dance recital or viewed any one of many reality shows on television, you have no doubt viewed choreography that exploits and sexualizes children, using sexy moves, adult costumes, and mature, sexually charged songs to make little girls look and act like mature women.

When the beauty of dance is used to sexualize young children, it is a departure from its intended purpose. Because of this, I have decided to partner with ECPAT-USA and start a petition that brings education and awareness to dance studios so that we can stop this trend.

ECPAT-USA, the leading policy organization fighting the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC), belongs to an international network of organizations that have offices in 73 countries around the world. They have agreed to support this petition.

I hope that you will join me in this effort by signing. Thank you!

This is the petition link: http://www.change.org/petitions/dance-studios-stop-adult-sexual-choreography-and-costumes-for-girls-under-12

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3 thoughts on “A Petition against the Sexualisation of Children in Dance

  1. Andrew Park says:

    Petition signed. A very important issue, and Mary Bawden puts things very well. It is a major social justice issue because the sexualisation of children demeans their rights and cheapens their dignity. We must confront commercial interests who do this. It is dangerous and exploitative of children – and children represent people at their most vulnerable stage in life. Full marks for social justice Mary Bawden.

  2. Jack says:

    Ridiculous. The costumes are necessary for moving around in properly (you’ll notice the boys, who wear more costume, don’t do explosive techniques). This is just dancing – many of the moves are genuine dance moves despite looking sexual. And at competitions, you do whatever it takes to win and good parents encourage that – so if that means dancing sexually whilst wearing clothing that barely covers you, that’s what you do, regardless of how young you are.

    • icdfnetworks says:

      You do whatever it takes to win?

      The end justifying the means has done extreme harm to cultures, people’s, races and individuals.
      From stealing people in Africa to work as slave in the US as a means to the ‘end’ to make farmers rich and become powerful landholders…
      To western males getting over stimulated by the sexual images everywhere in our cultures then going to certain Asian countries to get their fix on often under age child sex slaves.

      The end never justifies the means.
      Have you considered sexualising children in dance moves and costuming, has got to be put in the category of child abuse. Knowingly or ignorant of the fact of, making them the target of criminal behavior. We need to have a care for people and protect the young to have any sort of culture worth living in.

      Making a ‘name’ for an individual’s dance studio by these means, is selfish, shortsighted and needs to be exposed for what it is.

      Beth

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