Letting little girls, be little girls….

Words by Miss Ashleigh

In a mediated society that is saturated with provocative images, children are being exposed to things far beyond their years.

Celebrities such as Miley Cyrus twerking against Robin Thicke in a barely there costume, can have detrimental effects on future generations.

Sometimes people, particularly in the dance industry, forget that these celebrity  images are of adults! The replication of dance routines or costume design to look like a certain celebrity is understandable, but do we really need 6 year olds grinding on the floor in their underwear???

What we need to keep in mind is the age of the dancers. The intensely competitive nature of the dance industry can make it hard to define the distinction between age-appropriate routines and costumes, and 'keeping up' with other studios.

Yes, it is impressive when young dancers perform amazing routines, but what is more important is seeing young dancers having fun, in age-appropriate costumes showcasing incredible performances.

When I started dance it was a hobby and a way to make new friends whilst keeping fit. As my dance experience expanded to eisteddfods and concerts, it was still about having fun and keeping fit. If we push dancers from a young age to perform routines that are inappropriate for their age, they will have nothing to look forward to when they become old enough to perform such routines. I have very fond memories of sitting in the dance studio watching the older girls practice their routines and dreaming about the day when I would be older enough to be in those numbers. Children these days are only young for a very short amount of time and it is important that we allow young dancers to rise through the ranks with their routines. When they reflect on their dance routines and costumes in years to come, they should be able to say "that was such a cute costume".

Reality TV shows like So You Think You Can Dance is a great way for young dancers to form role models within their industry. It's a showcase of AMAZING talent! It is important to encourage your young dancer to aspire to be as technically good or as flexible as their idols. By aspiring to be just like their dance idols, students create themselves goals and work harder in class to improve their skills.

Vibe Dance Studio is committed to ensuring students perform routines which are fun, age-appropriate and that showcase their talents. At times they are also encouraged to assist with choreography and song choice so they feel valued and part of a team.