Forum: Competitions

Sexy Jazz for Kids? (karma: 1)
By Superlove
On Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:21 AM

So I've been working with the competitive team at my studio for about 2.5 years now. Previously I was in the modern dance/theater world. In this time I've gotten really frustrated with a lot of the jazz dances I see at competition. Basically I feel like the majority of dances I see are super sexy. From the costumes, to the lyrics and especially in the movements. I don't mean sassy, I mean down right strip tease sexy. Like throw dollars at the stage sexy. Of course it's all subjective, and maybe I'm a prude. I'm just wondering how other people feel about this, does anyone else notice a trend? I've had a fair amount of hip shaking in my dances too, but at this point I feel like if I don't let me girls show more skin and be more risque they might not do as well. People are calling out child pageants for sexualizing children, but I don't think the dance world is too far behind...

10 Replies to Sexy Jazz for Kids?

re: Sexy Jazz for Kids? (karma: 1)
By DaNcInIsMyLiFe10
On Fri Nov 21, 2014 01:45 PM
At the studio I work at modesty is our policy and refuse to give into these ways. All of our parents are very supportive of this mission statement and we continue to grow because of it. All our students wear costumes that don't show the midriff, minimal makeup and age appropriate music. Regardless, our students do very well at competitions bringing home many top overall high scores and special awards as well. However, I believe we attend competitions that support our mission as a studio and see dance as an art instead of how many tricks you can do. Not to say those dances still don't exist at the ones we attend, but it's not as popular. Overall, though, stick with what you believe, create from the heart. Dance is about the art and expressing oneself and I don't believe your students will be hurt because of what you create.
re: Sexy Jazz for Kids?
By ChristinePremium member
On Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:04 PM
Another vote for genuine dance skills.

There is an excellent point to be considered here...

Competitions that promote, encourage, or even just tolerate, inappropriate routines and costuming for children should be avoided by all who value childhood, modesty, and quality dance education. By supporting this trend we feed the beast.

The more I see of this exploitation of children the more I fear for the future of these kids. If we rob of children of their childhoods, is it any wonder that so many of them are hobbled adults? They are denied the experiences proper and instructional in their early years and enter adulthood without a decent foundation.

How did we let this happen?

Keep On Dancing*
re: Sexy Jazz for Kids?
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Fri Nov 28, 2014 07:58 AM
I am careful to consider age appropriateness and do not have a positive view of the dance competition culture, because of the lack of age-appropriateness you mention and some side issues. I have left a job because of disagreements on what is and is not "too sexy" for kids. There is not one good reason to do that, and plenty of good reasons not to, so I always choose costumes that at least cover the middle, are not tight-all-over, make choreography age appropriate without calling attention to any sexual movements. I wish more dance teachers would make it a personal moral ground to advocate for age-appropriateness in costumes, music, and movement, the same way we advocate age-appropriateness for pointe study, and the same way some advocate age-appropriateness in movement progressions.
re: Sexy Jazz for Kids?
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:18 PM
We are another studio that takes great pains - GREAT PAINS - to keep our costumes and choreography age appropriate. We may go with the occasional bare midriff, but those costumes are always for high school aged girls, and even at that, we only allow that sort of thing when it's body type appropriate. Cause we've all seen the poor girl that still has her baby fat, that gets sent out there with her midriff showing, and can hardly stop pulling on the costume, she's so miserable in it. :(

I feel like our sense of ...honesty? Personal integrity? About doing competitions hurts us sometimes, but I think it helps more often than it hurts. Since we don't have to busy ourselves with teaching our kids how to grind and do pelvic thrusts, we have all that free time to work with them on real, actual dance skills! And judges can just only turn their back on that so far, before they look worse than the kids that they're judging.
re: Sexy Jazz for Kids?
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Nov 28, 2014 01:06 PM
Count me in, I'm an owner and we reject that style completely.
re: Sexy Jazz for Kids?
By miss_anna_dance
On Tue Dec 02, 2014 08:39 AM
Keep kids kids... most students wont move on to be professional dancers, so I feel like the life lesson is more important that pushing them to dance like adults. Sure, older teens it's ok, and a bare midriff doesn't bother me as much as the no tights crotch kick to the audience. I know many professionals don't wear tights, I get that, but let's be honest. Most of our kids aren't and won't go pro. That's the truth. Let's instill not modesty persay, because I want them to grow up confident with their body, but appropriateness. Sexuality is something that can be explored in college. School aged children shouldn't go their.
But that's my opinion, and opinions are like belly buttons. Everyone has one.
re: Sexy Jazz for Kids?
By vfdtPremium member
On Wed Dec 10, 2014 03:00 PM
This topic was discussed to death here, after the viral video of the 7 year olds doing all stripper moves in "My Boyfriend's Back" and WINNING Top Award, at a Hall of Fame Competition, several years ago. Most of us agreed to boycott those competitions known for attracting and awarding this risqué style for very young children.

It appears to be more popular with west coast studios and comps, who call it "edgy" and parents who think it's OK. Thus this issue will never go away, and it's up to SO's to investigate first. I do this by going to nearby competitions I'm considering, and seeing for myself. Despite what they say in their online rules, comps are profit-driven and won't disqualify their biggest and best customers - turning a blind eye.
re: Sexy Jazz for Kids?
By RileyA
On Thu Dec 11, 2014 02:00 PM
None of our routines are like that, even for our senior team who are aged 16- early 20's.

We don't use that type of choreography, music or costuming. Our routines do very well at competitions.

There is a lot less prevalence of the "sexy" moves here in Australia. I do get shocked at what I see in youtube type videos of dance comps and studios in the USA. Our kids just don't dance like that at all.

You see that move where the kids shake and gyrate their bodies in some videos from very young kids. It seems like a standard move for IS schools, but you never, ever see a move like that on any age at our comps.

Comps have rules and dance like that would be marked down or even disqualified.

But even the bare legs look that has come through a lot in the Us, you don't see that very much here. Most everyone routine the kids have tights. Some of our comps even have the rule that they are disqualified if they don't wear tights.
re: Sexy Jazz for Kids?
By Sumayah
On Thu Dec 11, 2014 02:44 PM
Context. For me a lot is context. I teach for contemporary modern studio and we have lots of bare feet and bare legs and bare midriffs. But we also aren't bedazzled and blinged out and nor are we doing sexualized movement. My kids have good lines and technique and minimalistic costuming shows them off. But we also do a lot of leggings and flowy tops or tops with texture.

Pretty sure our last jazz dance was in crazy patterned leggings with a solid top and the other one was jean shorts with white lace appliqued on and a black tee shirt. It's the contemporary styles that tend to be the ones where the costumes get pared down more. We don't do sexy jazz, even our more sassy pieces tend to be more fierce contemporary jazz than sexualized jazz. We do just fine at competitions without the sequins or hip thrusts.

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