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Dance schools shake up in Australia


pastel
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This is sad news for the kids involved, but finally someone has been charged and the result will hopefully begin a way-overdue process of change to the kids dance industry in Australia. My dd has been in two schools which I've pulled her out of after seeing their end of year performance. Thankfully, in both cases, her actual dances were ok. She competes in classical sections of eisteddfods (I think you call them festivals in the UK) and the jazz, contemporary, tap etc sections are just unbearable.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-06-03/dance-industry-demands-regulation-after-teachers/4730738

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I must admit am not a fan of the street dance type routines for under 16 year olds but in the same way don't really like children under 16 singing adult type songs and never watch Britain's Got Talent and X-Factor and The Voice shows (UK tv) any more as cannot stand the hyped up audience reactions all the time and kids singing inappropriate songs etc. I don't care how talented an 11 year old may be they should just wait a few years before being tempted by these shows.....will any resulting fame do them any good either? Sound a bit like an old grouch but it is how I feel.

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In my day the adjudicators would remark on any dance that was not age appropriate and I have to say that I am shocked by some of the routines I've seen. Both the costumes and the movements are ultra "suggestive" and not the sort of thing children should be doing.

 

The trouble is that something like this case will probably stir up a can of worms about teachers physically touching their students in order to correct them.

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It is very sad.  I have not heard of any major case within the dance world in UK, but there is an on-going major investigation into some of Britain's most prestigious music schools at present.  I think that the high profile cases regarding former BBC personnel have meant that more people have come forward with their stories.  Many of these cases are decades old, but complaints at the time were ignored.

 

I whole heartedly agree that some of the movements and routines around are totally unsuitable for children.  However this seems to be just part of today's hyper-sexualised society.

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I whole heartedly agree that some of the movements and routines around are totally unsuitable for children.  However this seems to be just part of today's hyper-sexualised society.

 

Yes it's very subtly got worse I think....in that younger and younger children are now involved and when you hear of 10 year olds going on "dates" something is wrong!! But in the end every parent has to be a bit vigilant because every time one gives in to certain clothes demands etc one is contributing to this whole thing. Not easy I know.

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This has been very sad to follow - and I have done extremely closely, as I had (note HAD) a lot of respect for some of what RGDANCE stood for. It is awful that such horrible things were (allegedly) being done by one man that has since destroyed so many lives. I think in the UK we are luckier in that there isn't the 'hypersexualised' routines and costumes that are seen in the USA and AUS. There are much worse competition routines and costumes in America - you only have to watch Dance Moms, or look up dance competitions on Youtube to see it, yet sadly this is all being overlooked and the incidents that allegedly occured in Sydney have all been blamed on costuming and choreography. If someone is inclined towards behaving that way, they will do so anyway. Putting a child into a costume won't suddenly turn a 'normal' person into a predator. If that were the case, no-one would wear bikinis on the beach! 

 

Another slight grumble I have about the video clip posted is that it was implied that these young dancers were winning competitions because of their costumes and their choreography. I totally disagree, having seen a lot of videos of these dancers. I DIDN'T like their costumes, or the choreography in a lot of cases, but the strength, skill and technique as well as the work ethic, motivation and positive performance skills that the dancers had was second to none. THAT'S why they won trophies etc and have travelled the world. There were a LOT of very positive things going on at that studio that sadly will be glossed over or turned into something sinister now.

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I think there are two very separate issues in this news "story".  One is what we are discussing here about the appropriateness of costumes, rountines, etc.  The other is the more serious issue of what this man has actually been charged with (which we shouldn't really discuss as there is a legal process being followed).  This is a very serious situation with devastating consequences for families involved.

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If we could restrict discussion to the appropriateness of choreo, costumes etc then the thread can remain for now.

 

I would ask for no further discussion of the RG Dance case though please.

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What they should do in these competitions is mark them down for any inappropriate moves or music in their routines. This would bring appropiate dancing back in line very quickly.

Edited by Spax
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The other thing that would ensure appropriate dancing would be if parents voted with their feet - or wallets as the case may be. My DD does festivals and her teachers have never choreographed anything for her that I felt was inappropriate, or asked her to wear anything that I wasn't comfortable with.But I have seen pupils from other dance schools wearing costumes that frankly would look more at home in a strip club (not that I've ever been to one - I'm just guessing!) and dancing to music that I consider totally unsuitable. But I assume the parents must be ok with that as they are allowing their children to perform? Without any shadow of a doubt, if my DD was given dances that I thought were unsuitable I would not allow her to perform. Nor would I leave her in a school where I didn't trust the teachers to maintain proper standards of decorum. I think parents sometimes just get swept along in the dance world, (and probably in other pursuits too) but we need to remind ourselves that actually we are the paying customers and we are in control of what our children do. Teachers would not be choreographing raunchy routines with skimpy costumes if more parents stood up and said no. There are teachers who stick to age appropriate costumes and routines so if anyone is in the situation of feeling uncomfortable with what their child is doing, then look for a different teacher. Nobody should feel like they have to let their child participate in something they feel is wrong.

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We know someone distantly whose dd used to compete in disco freestyle. She said that some of the costumes were staggeringly revealing and totally inappropriate for children, especially combined with the make-up, the false eyelashes, fake tans etc etc.

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If anyone has been watching Dance Moms the costumes and dances on there are very inappropriate for 8 year olds. Even in class they are showing more flesh than I think appropriate.

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Sorry - I did not intend on opening a can of worms. I posted the link with regard to the general culture, not the specific school mentioned.

 

I agree with Pupsmum, it is our responsibility as parents to find out what our kids are dancing to and ensure the costumes, choreography and music is appropriate. I have spoken out by walking away from such situations.

 

Unfortunately, many competitions here DO mark up for sexual moves, lyrics, costumes etc. At a recent comp we attended, inappropriateness was highly rewarded. Even the 10yrs and under section was appalling! In the contemporary and modern sections, none of the girls wore more than a skimpy bra and knickers, boys wore skimpy, skin tight undies and no tops. My dd was the only one who wore a dress (a lovely costume I bought from the UK).

 

There is also an issue of themes, which was not addressed in the video report but is of almost equal importance. The trend in some places is for the dances (choreography and lyrics) to be about death, suicide, drugs, alcohol, insanity etc. I realise that not every dance will be uplifting, but it is disappointing when the majority of them are negative and the adjudicator rewards ONLY negative emotions.

 

On the other hand, there are certain comps who state that they will not allow kids to wear or dance inappropriately.

 

The thing I've found most scary, is that the parents of these kids are clapping, cheering and whistling.

 

Hopefully, there will be some positive changes :).

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