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Posted by on May 15, 2010 in Art, Entertainment, Families, Greg | 9 comments

7-Year Olds Dancing to “Single Ladies” Spark Viral Internet Outrage

imageJust 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:

image image image

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?

9 Comments

  1. Nope, I don't like it at all!

  2. I stopped my daughter from doing "modern dancing" for these exact reasons. The dance instructors think it's "cute" I say it's KAK! WAY to young to for this type of situation…..

  3. Good grief! I feel uncomfortable just watching that. Fantatic dancers but hell, thats way too young to be dancing like this. Those parents need some coaching in a serious way.

  4. Okay, so I'm glad that I'm not the only one that sees so much wrong in this. Was worried that I was being very "old fashioned" and had lost my sense of spirit for all things hip and modern.

    There certainly should be a time and place for this sort of performance. Just not at 7 years of age.

  5. I just Googled the lyrics and can't even begin to conceive how a 7 year-old would interpret them…

    I got gloss on my lips, a man on my hips

    hold me tighter than my Dereon jeans

    acting up, drink in my cup …

  6. As a follow up to this post, the IOL yesterday ran a poll asking readers "Are children exposed to sex too early?"

    In the report back on the poll results today, IOL reports that of the 1027 people who participated in the poll; 95 percent (977 votes) said "Yes" and 5 percent (50 votes) said "No".

    The article is here: Kids are exposed to sex too early. It also notes a number of comments made by readers. Many of these find fault with modern parents:

    The problem of today's children must lie straight at the feet of their parents.

    Most kids today are totally bankrupt morally because they haven't been taught and shown differently.

    The biggest problems these days are most parents who don't give a damn!

    Parents dont care enough to know what their underage kids are up to.

  7. If only more people could read this.

  8. You've done it once more! Incredible read.

  9. this is soooo wrong…. :-/

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  1. Topsy.com - [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by The BlaBla Blog, Greg Pillhofer. Greg Pillhofer said: 7-Year Olds Dancing to…
  2. The BlaBla Blog - [...] that we are sexualising women at a younger and younger age than ever before? (See the post 7-Year Olds…

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