“Dance Moms” Trend Needs to End

The Charger Bulletin

By: Amanda Kehoe

In the midst of the dance world, where moms with curling irons and fake lashes reign supreme, the talented youth seem to be growing up a lot quicker on the stage than off. In my eighteen years in the competitive world of dance, I have seen it all. Mental teachers yelling at eight-year-old children, mental mothers yelling about their eating habits, and have seen my fair share of tears. What has shocked me in the last 6 years or so are the costumes, or lack there of, that grace the stage at young ages.

When I was younger, parents would “ooooh” and “ahhhh” over the adorable little tutus we wore or the fringe tap skirts. Going to a recent competition, cute wasn’t a word I used at all. Little girls as young as six years old strutted out in tiny pieces of fabric, some smaller than any bathing suit I owned.

Mothers were frantic backstage as they stuck double sided tape to hold the whole thing together; creating a 25 year-old in a seven year-old’s body. It wasn’t about talent, while many of the smallest costumes belonged to the most experienced and skilled dancers’. It was the message behind it.

Then when I thought the agony of seeing a practically nude seven year-old didn’t scare me enough, the choreography wasn’t any better. Little ones dancing to Beyonce songs in bikini type costumes weren’t what I was expecting to see. Many of the songs seemed way too advanced for children to understand and the sexy and provocative movements were not something that any father would want to see his little girl sporting.

My own cousin, ten years old, was among some of the belly bearing youngsters. Though I felt her costume was not risqué in any sense, it seems to be the emerging trend that little innocent girls dress trashier than street walker Julia Roberts. To me, a bra top and sparkly underwear are hardly a costume.

It was then that my cousin told me of her studio dress code. All dancers must wear booty shorts and a sports bra to every class. This to me sounded absurd. Not everyone is a size two, and little girls should not have to bear everything because of a rule. I didn’t dance any better half naked. What happened to the traditional leotard and tights sported by prima ballerinas everywhere?

I feel like this dance trend has given license to young girls everywhere to dress like a 25 year-old, because being older is being cooler. From my own eyes I have been noticing more makeup on my ten-year-old dancer, and a sharper and older mentality. According to Family Circle magazine, parents feel that the media is to blame for their young children growing up too quickly. Overall statistics reveal that 88 percent of parent feels that all children in general are growing up way too quickly in today’s society.

As a proud dancer, instructor, and future dance mom, all I can say is that this trend needs to end. Too much pressure to win and have a “look” is being instilled in young children, causing them to become competitive, insecure sore losers by the time they are fifteen.

I think dance should be fun, and sparkly cute costumes can be a part of that. It should be a learning experience as the child grows up. If they work hard enough they can get better and achieve anything. That is what competitions instilled in me at a young age, and I wasn’t wearing booty shorts and fishnets to prove it.

Parents should take a stand, as wearing yoga pants or an old leotard to class is not a crime. I mean when was the last time you went to the gym and saw women wearing bedazzled bikinis or red lipstick? If you are not going to wear it as adult woman, then why would you ever put it on your seven year old?