7-Year Olds Dancing to “Single Ladies” Spark Viral Internet Outrage
Just how young is too young? Where does the line between performance and perversion get drawn? Do parents have the right to put their children at risk through condoning their participation in sexually inappropriate behaviours? And can charges of exploitation be brought against the adults involved?
The interweb nets are abuzz with these questions, and more, since a 2-minute video showing a group of 7-year old girls performing a dance routine set to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” appeared on YouTube recently. So much so that the producers of the video, YAK Productions, have pulled it from the service. Even so, there are still copies of it around (try this link if you want the YouTube version). We found a good quality version of it on World Star HipHop, embedded below.
Clad in outfits that have been referred to by the more polite commentators on YouTube as “burlesque”, “stripper-like” and “lingerie in disguise”, the five Grade 1 girls were performing in a World of Dance competition event in California.
The event bills itself as ‘the largest U.S. urban dance competition taking place in nine major markets across the nation. With focus on the art of street dancing and today’s new aged choreography, World of Dance is the largest touring event embracing urban dance and youth lifestyle.’
Apparently, there are no age-appropriate guidelines for choreography. Which is a fairly obvious observation judging by both the sexually-themed choice of song, the outfits, and the heavily sexualised moves and actions that the girls use. Again, commentators use terms such as “bump and grind”, “pole dancers” and “stripper moves” to describe the choreography used in the performance.
Although Larry Peters, spokesperson for World of Dance Competition, says “There was NOTHING provocative about what they were doing,” MANY parents beg to differ. The Washington Post even has a column dedicated to a discussion revolving around the topic of how these outraged opinions are not “prudish” but “prudent.” In other words, 7-year-olds should be acting like 7-year-olds.
I agree entirely with them. Whilst the dancers are undeniably very talented, they are being turned into sexually suggestive objects to satisfy a panel of adult judges in a competition.
There must be a 100 better songs, and a multitude of more age appropriate dance steps that they could have produced to showcase their talents just as effectively. And don’t tell me that the outfits are even vaguely suitable and an expectation of dancers even in a competition environment.
I for one would be very uncomfortable with my daughter performing any of these moves in front of an audience, regardless of what she was wearing at the time:
The silhouette of the cameraman in front of the stage alone worries me. This is surely fodder for the weirdoes, perverts and paedophiles that plague society?
But maybe that’s just me being prudish. What do you think?