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What’s wrong with dancing sexy?

Some call it spunk and sass. Some call it hyper-sexualization. The debate over age-appropriateness in student choreography has been a hot topic for many years. And even after all the debating and defending, not much has changed in the industry.

So, perhaps it’s time to take another minute to think and consider. Is it really a big deal for a seven-year-old to dance to Beyoncé’s uncut “Run The World”? Is it actually hurtful to a 10-year-old to twerk it out on stage and learn how to sport a cool fish-lip face for the crowd’s benefit? If teachers, choreographers, parents and even the young dancers themselves think these ideas are “fun”, what’s the big deal?

“When studios and conventions make money off children’s sexualized dancing, when the audience claps the loudest for such dances, or when YouTube videos of children rehearsing or performing highly sexualized dances garner the most views and likes, then these children’s bodies are being used.” Dr. Tomi-Ann Roberts

“Be aware of what story you are communicating to your dancers as well as what stories your dancers are communicating to the audience,” she concludes. “Pay attention to what you are reinforcing.” Dr. Christina Donaldson

Learn more about YPAD (Youth Protection Advocated in Dance) and its new campaign #AgeAppropriateIsNoLongerVague at

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