I love to watch shows like Dancing With the Stars, and on occasion I will watch So You Think You Can Dance. I love movies that deal with cheerleading. Heck, at one time in my life I wished I was coordinated enough to be a cheerleader myself. I took ballet for almost a decade. While I won’t actively seek it out, I love to watch figure skating.
All of those things have several things in common: Athleticism, coordination, grace (well, not me in ballet, but in general grace, yes), and performance skills. They also have something else in common. They often feature itty bitty costumes. And I love those costumes.
However, there is a big difference between a teenage girl wearing a skimpy outfit or a grown woman on television dancing the tango in a dress so tiny it barely requires any fabric and a group of extremely young girls wearing very little clothing while gyrating wildly and inappropriately to Beyonce on a stage.
I love the song “Single Ladies” even though it’s annoying in the sense that it can get stuck in your head for days. I like the video because good lord Beyonce can dance (though I disagree with Kanye “Imma Let You Finish” West because I don’t think it was the “best video of all time”). I really enjoyed the “All the Single Babies” video that went around awhile back. What I do not love in any way whatsoever is this performance done by 7- or 8-year-old girls at some sort of dance recital or talent show.
It bears noting that each of these girls is a fantastic, spectacular dancer. However, if they’re all able to dance that well and learn that much choreography then someone could have taught them a more age-appropriate routine that would have been amazing. All this ends up being is a disturbingly creepy oversexed performance by little girls who should not be gyrating their hips like that.
I don’t know which bothers me more either – the dancing itself or the fact that people in the audience are hooting and hollering like they’re at some kind of burlesque show. No wait, I know what bothers me most, it’s the people in charge of putting the routine together and the parents who are perfectly okay with their daughters being up there like that. If the parents were unaware it’s one thing but surely they must have caught some bits and pieces of the performance while the kids were practicing it at home.
If I was in the audience and my kid was up there on that stage I guarantee I wouldn’t have been cheering. I would have been sitting there with my jaw on the floor and as soon as it was over my daughter would have been yanked out of that dance class in order to find a more appropriate one.
Somewhere out there I’ll bet that Beyonce is shaking her head thinking, “that’s just not right” and Noah Cyrus is thinking, “AWESOME, I have to get that one down!”
When are people going to let little girls just BE little girls again?