A video of a a group of girls gyrating to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” at the World of Dance tour in Pomona, Calif., (the tour was in Dallas last month) is circulating the web and not in a good way. The dancers, a group of 7-year-olds, in barely there outfits shimmied, shaked and popped it to the hit song as audience members cheered them on. But what some see as a high energy performance others view as exploitation. One You Tube commenter wrote, “that was definitely a little raunchy for such young girls, but they killed it so more power to ‘em.” Others were not as impressed, “these girls do show talent, but in all reality, I’m appalled at the parents who allow their little girls to dance like that. All that’s missing in that routine is a pole.”
So who’s to blame? The parents who sat in the audience with video cameras as their daughter’s danced out suggestive gestures? Or the teacher/coach that thought it was be OK to show little girls how to act sexy for an audience? Or promoters who let second graders display their ability to drop it like it’s hot for publicity’s sake? Or us, the appaled public who seem to be attaching too much sentiment and meaning to what little girls simply see as fun dancing? Maybe it a combination of multiple faults. But what do we expect? These kind of dance moves are all around us–on TV, in commercials, dance competitions etc. Have you been to a major sporting event lately? I’ve seen the Maverick’s dancers splay themselves across half court while children watched in the audience. To a child the thing that pretty girl in shorts does with her legs and booty looks funny not seductive, but I feel uncomfortable seeing a woman thrust her pelvis in the air at a freakin’ basketball game. So is it any wonder that little girls who aspire to be dancers would watch an amazing dancer and icon like Beyonce and not want to move like her? I don’t fault the little girls for wanting to wow a crowd and win a dance competition, but I do question the adults who dressed the girls like mini-women in costumes inappropriate for their ages, who showed them how to be sexy and paraded them out in front of video cameras. The reality is that very not nice people think very bad things when they see little girls in bra tops and makeup. I’m not a parent yet, but I don’t think I could live with the idea that some creep had a video of my little girl on the Internet. Take a look and see if the performance is one you’d be proud of your daughter for?