Why "Sexy" Dance Costumes For Girls Need To Stop

Why do professional dance classes mean "sexy" moves and costumes, even for the youngest girls?

I want to preface this blog by saying that I do not care what other families do and I don’t judge people who feel differently. My feelings on this particular subject might be a bit controversial, but they are just that, my feelings and opinions on a particular topic.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…

My daughter has been enrolled in dance since she was 2.5 years old and now, just shy of 7 years old, we have had her at three different dance studios. Her first dance studio had the best costumes. My daughter wore this insanely adorable poofy pink sequins get-up. All of the costumes at the recital were fun and bright and colourful. I never gave any of it a second thought.

This might all sound very superficial, but, as it turns out, it really isn’t. At least not to me.

We moved to a new dance school when we moved to a new town. My daughter was 4.5 now and her costume, thankfully, was adorable, as were the other costumes for kids her age. But at the recital that year, I cringed sitting beside my very conservative mother-in-law as children as young at 7 were bearing midriff and rocking dance moves that made me blush. My husband squirmed in his seat and looked at me in horror thinking next year our daughter might be in one of those costumes too.

That same year, friends of mine shared their own children’s recital photos and I was taken aback by how many of the costumes were down right sexy; sexy 6 and 7 year olds, and older. In some photos it was just the costumes that gave me pause. In others, it was the sexy suggestive poses that made me wonder if I was some serious prude being as put off as I was.

Maybe it’s just that I didn’t notice it at my daughter’s first dance school, or maybe I was just noticing a shift towards costumes and dance moves that are far too mature for young kids.

More and more, as my newsfeed fills with recital pictures every year, I see little kid midriff. The costumes at my daughter’s recital last year bothered me so much that I moved dance schools this year. All over costumes!

I don’t want my child to get up on stage in front of hundreds of people, booty shaking and popping poses while wearing low-waisted, tight pants and a bikini top. It’s so beyond unnecessary. Tight fitting costumes are one thing; some dance styles require it for safety (my daughter does acro. Tutus are not a good idea). But some of the costumes I’ve seen in the last few years have made me reconsider professional dance schools entirely. I would have a real problem with my child wearing a lot of the costumes I’ve seen.

Children’s dance schools are about learning movement, developing their dance skills, getting in some exercise and just generally having fun. There is zero reason for eight-year old kids to be turning their backs on audiences and wiggling their bums, and I don’t need to see three-quarters of an 11 year-old’s torso while they perform their jazz routine. They don’t have to show skin to be eye catching.

Maybe I am a prude. Maybe I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill. After all, these dance schools are packed and I never seem to hear much by way of disgruntled parents annoyed by their children’s costumes. Though, I do have a friend who won’t put her child in a dance school primarily because she hates the sexy costumes and dance moves.

I don’t know when this shift began. Since when has this been the norm? I really do feel like one of the few people who is genuinely bothered by what I see year after year on recital stages.

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