Dance Routine Raises Eyebrows, Concerns

A national dance competition is creating a worldwide debate. A group of 8 and 9 year old girls perform at a high skill level, but the choreography is called 'too risque' by critics.

In light of the debate, Newscenter 11 talked to a local experts about how the genre is changing in society.

As a teenager, Mary Alpha Donnelly started teaching dance. As the owner and founder of Alpha School of Dance, she says over the years the art form has changed.

'The way you danced has changed a lot. I mean in my day you couldn't raise your hip. You couldn't do some of the things they do today," said Donnelly.

When it comes to the changes, Donnelly says she has mixed emotions.

'Some things better and some things are worse. It's hard to say," she said.

Child psychologist, Dr. Lee Lee Marlow says change does not have to be bad but it does need to be monitored.

'It's very important for parents to set the bar," said Marlow. "That's the responsibility of the parent because kids aren't going to set their own bars. That's why we have parents."

When I interviewed Dr. Marlow, at the time, she had not seen the video of the young dancers on YouTube so she could not comment on that case in particular. However, when it comes to children and maturing, she says in many ways they are now doing this faster than in the past.

"We've seen it happen before our eyes," said Marlow. "We know that frequent exposure to things make them more acceptable to us, and I think though, the biggest change at this point is parents allowing their children to do things that aren't acceptable by many people's standards."

With this in mind Donnelly says, as in years past, her students continue to win top honors in competition without being what she calls "too risqué." When it comes to children and dance she says it's a partnership.

She says the parent and the dance studio hold some responsibility.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Observer on May 20, 2010 at 08:56 AM
    Laura, you crack me up. You rip the story, but YOU keep coming back to it. If it bothers you, stop coming back and reading comments. That's a simple solution to your problem, don't you think? Or maybe getting a life?
  • by Laura Location: Meridian on May 20, 2010 at 08:13 AM
    The same comment I made on the other post qualifies for this one. This idiot article should have never been given the time of day to begin with---it is not local---we saw it on national television---who cares? Take this one off your entire "Comments" section, and do it quickly----you are whipping a dead horse.
  • by ISSUES on May 19, 2010 at 11:11 PM
    Issue number one: This dance routine (for these kids) would not have been thought of/played out if the world didnt think it was so "cute" to see TODLERS dancing to the song.....The todlers got "good reviews" and so the ppl in charge of this "dance compettion" wanted some of the pie too. Issue number two: Why is it that when TODLERS are dancing "too risque" to these ridiculous songs, it seems to be CUTE and ADORABLE but when teens do the SAME thing it becomes a problem?
  • by Anonymous on May 19, 2010 at 05:04 AM
    Mary Jane, who in their right mind would be jealous of this? And being a backup for Brittney Spears is not what I would call a career.
  • by maurice on May 18, 2010 at 05:19 AM
    They have made alot of men very happy. This is sick but, not surprising. The other day I was having lunch in a resturant and a large group of teens came in. All the boys had their pants hanging below their butts, the girls had very short shorts on and they were unzipped all the way, flapped open and no panties. The tops barely contained their breast. There was quite a bit a groping going on while they waited in line to be seated. This is the animalistic behavior that has come to be accepted,and don't dare say anything or you are a recist.
  • by MARY JANE Location: seed rd on May 18, 2010 at 12:01 AM
    So how about yall are all just jealous because your kids can't dance like that and will never persue a career being brittney spears' backup! (: and did.
  • by Bubba Location: my front porch on May 17, 2010 at 11:55 PM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs8sui4N3wE everyone here is the DANCE TEACHER...BACK OFF HER STUDENTS!
  • by sue on May 17, 2010 at 02:47 PM
    I agree with you Kiyote & I've wondered how in the world they can consider that cheerleading! It may be as athletic as ever but that is not rooting for the team, it's waving your stuff at the crowd. and these trashy "chearleaders" are not 9 years old so these so these parents, the schools & these teens should all be ashamed of the things they're doing. Let welfare come to my house & see a 9 year old doing that for her uncles & brothers in my house, want to guess the results!
  • by Kiyote Location: Lauderdale on May 17, 2010 at 10:08 AM
    So now let's start with the High School, or any school for that matter, Cheerleaders and their routines. Be honest .... I have seen more provacative antics in public at our local schools games than that video showed. So come on people... quit talking out both sides of your face.
  • by Anonymous Location: Meridian on May 17, 2010 at 04:54 AM
    Those parents should be ashamed of themselves for allowing their daughters to perform that dance. I would never let my daughter peform like that and I would take her out of the dance school as quick as a heartbeat. Parents need to step up and be parents and not their child's best friend. What is the world coming to? What happened to having morals and being a little modest about showing our bodies. Children shouldn't be parading around in those costumes either.
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