A YouTube video of a dance class of 8 and 9 year olds in skimpy and suggestive clothing and dancing to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” has been circulating the internet today. Here it is, but be warned … it’s bad.
Following widespread internet outrage, attempts to view the video on the news site I originally found it on were now met with “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by World of Dance Tours.” From that site, WMUR:
The girls, and their teacher, along with many parents, don’t see the controversy.
“This is taken completely out of context,” Cory Miller, father of one of the girls, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Friday.
Miller said viewers need to understand that the girls’ performance was “completely normal for dancing.”
“Just know that the kids are doing something that they completely love to do. They compete in dance competitions … in front of family and friends,” Miller said.
Uh … riiiiiiiiiiiiight, Mr. Miller. Do you relate to this creepy father?
Okay, so one of my Journalism students came in this afternoon and asked if I’d watched the news this morning. Actually, I hadn’t, so she told me about these little kids dancing like hookers to a Beyonce song. I asked her to find the video so the class could see it and, after a brief delay, we were all grouped around my laptop watching this horribly creepy video. I mean, it was like kiddie porn, I josh you not. My students suggested that I write about it (they have been very supportive of my work here, patiently reading some of my pieces then responding in their daily journals), so here we are. Thank you, wonderful amazing Journalism class, for this great tip.
Back to WMUR:
But some YouTube viewers said the moves and outfits are inappropriate for girls that age.
“They’re extremely talented but some of the moves are way too adult,” one viewer wrote. “They could have chosen better costumes for them. They look like mini strippers … even Beyonce was more covered up.”
That viewer was diplomatic. I was so appalled that I couldn’t watch the entire video—it made my stomach churn. I know this sounds trite, but children grow up so fast these days. Why on earth would you want to have them gyrating around a stage dressed like prostitutes? It’s just sick!
Another parent, Melissa Presch told GMA that her daughter has never seen Beyonce’s video, only the cartoon performance in the recently released children’s movie “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.”
Yeah, and that makes it completely all right. Let’s just keep on passing the buck. That makes so much sense …
I remember going clothes shopping for my older daughter when she was a baby and being taken aback by the available attire. The lace and the short skirts and the not-so-subtle sexual innuendos on t-shirts. I walked out of one store in a daze because I couldn’t imagine anyone dressing a little girl like that.
Children learn their values primarily from their parents, and this begins at a very young age. Speaking for myself, I would have refused to allow my child to dress in those completely ridiculous costumes. I mean, the dance instructor and I would have had a very long chat. There were quite a few kids there—how was it okay with such a large number of parents that their second- or third-grader looked like a pole dancer? I mean, these little girls could teach Lindsay Lohan a thing or two.
How subjective is the line between appropriate and inappropriate when you’re talking about elementary school kids?