Sunday, June 1, 2014

Gaby's Dance Recital: Why "dancing" may not be for us!

Today we attended Gaby's first ever dance recital; she has been dancing ballet for a few months now so a recital was the next step...
The idea of a dance recital sounded like a great one; I mean what can be wrong about seeing my cute 4 year old in a cute outfit dancing with her little friends? Right? 
Cute outfit aside, I must say the idea of putting make-up on my 4 year old didn't sit completely right with me but for art's sake I decided to go with it...a little eye shadow, light lip gloss and mascara *could* be cute for a few hours...and it "kinda" was...(see pictures below)
We arrived early and ready for the big day, Gaby looked gorgeous and I proudly shared her pictures with friends and family. When her turn to dance came around (among the first few numbers) I was so proud to see her on stage; she surprised me by actually doing all the dance moves and looking sharp the whole time. She did unbelievably great and definitely showed some dancing potential...(yay Gaby!)....
But somehow, this dance recital was not what I had expected...in between the little kids dancing to cute princess songs were all these other "big" kids dancing vulgar numbers while half dressed (or should I say half naked?!). It suddenly dawned on me that maybe I'm just not ready for a world in which it's normal to see a pre-pubescent child with her butt cheeks sticking out and thrusting her pelvis while dancing aggresively to an "angry" tune...
I started to think...since when is it ok to sexualize children in such a way? Why should my family feel compelled to clap after a dance number that was clearly offensive to us? Why can't I expect my 4 year old to just learn ballet and dance like a child, without make-up and crazy outfits? 
And while I realize that there are different music and dance styles and art can be expressed in many different ways, I also feel very strongly about "age-appropriate" behavior for children...some of the kids today were clearly too young for the kind of performance they were in...
And yes, I could probably avoid the recital altogether (and I probably wil in the future), but I remain disappointed at our experience...
Additionally, I think the recital costs were insane ($50 to participate, $80 for the dance costume, $25 per person to get in, $10 for a recital program, $20 for a flower bouquet...you get the idea!). But who knows maybe I'm just part of the wrong dance studio (am I?) or maybe I just wasn't born to be a "dance mom"...
So here I am pondering about what the next step should be...should I just pull
Gaby out of dancing? Should I wait and see if next time is better? Should
I just opt out of future recitals? Am I just too conservative? Old fashioned maybe? 

So, I leave you with some pictures of Gaby's first (and probably last) recital...

Happy dancing! ;) 

                                      
                

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