Sexy little things: children who dance to popular music

20 Feb

We’re not a particularly sporty family here at Chez JB. We’ve tried the kids in a bunch of different activities, and none of them ever really captured their passions. Baseball, soccer, diving, bowling. All rejected as boring.

With one exception: both my son and my oldest daughter love to dance. They are crazy mad for dancing. The louder, bouncier and stompier, the better. These are no graceful ballet dancers. Nope.

Hip hop.

hip hop

That’s their thing.

Hip hop doesn’t have to be, but CAN be, a very *ahem* mature sort of dancing. They wiggle their butts and pump their arms in ways that can get a little risqué, and when I see the kids practicing their moves, I will sometimes think, “oh shit, is this a good idea?”

dance 2

I’m a right bitch about costumes, and the dance instructor knows if Pinky or LittleDude are in a performance, she will have to tone down the bare skin element. No bare midriffs!

I think one of the most important parenting decisions Mr. JB and I have made is to ban commercial television from our home. Our children do not watch advertisements and cannot mindlessly flip through endless channels of uninspired or inappropriate programming. The kids can watch Netflix, but only in a main room under direct adult supervision and their YouTube surfing occurs under the same conditions.

At this stage of the game, they mostly watch funny cat videos, but they take as a given that Mom and Dad will be looking over their shoulders, no matter what they watch.

cat

The kids go to hip-hop and musical theatre classes twice a week. They are reprising a scene from The Little Mermaid for their theatre number, but their dance number is a little more mature. They will be dancing to a cleaned up (lyrically) version of Will.I.Am’s “Scream and Shout”, which is a pretty jazzy little number. It’s all “sassy” and not “sexy”.

So of course they wanted to watch the official music video.

 

JBwarm

 

Yeah, that’s me. For real.

A couple of interesting things: first, my kids are 100% aware that they are singing and dancing to cleaned up lyrics and the profanity of the actual song came as not the slightest surprise. They find the language giggly-snorting-hilarious. Apparently, the entire Sixth Grade class knows the REAL lyrics to “Scream and Shout” and has taught the entire school (it’s a small school), right down to the kindergarten class, how to sing it.

That’s what they do at recess!

recess

Great job, supervisors.

Meh. Doesn’t fuss me too much. I think it’s good for kids to know that there are acceptable and unacceptable forms of language and if their idea of rebellion is to sing an uncensored version of Britney Spears, well, I think we’re doing okay.

The second thing I noticed when we watched this video is that both my kids were watching through a filter of TECHNICAL PERFORMANCE. They watched how the dancers moved their hands, their feet, their bodies, their heads. Instead of just taking in a spectacle, they were watching dancers perform.

feet

Ultimately, I think this is one of the best weapons I can equip my kids with to confront the hyper-sexualized world of popular music. They see Britney thrusting her hips and whirling around and rather than thinking about what that means in terms of her sexuality and her desirability, they think about it in terms of sticking to the spot and getting that back leg in perfect position to whip her whole body around.

twirl

The performance of sex becomes just that: a performance.

It’s not some deeply mysterious, strangely compelling world of secrets and whispers: it’s a set of moves and techniques that take varying degrees of skill to master.

I’m keeping my eye on this experiment. This could be a mistake. I’m not quite sure.

But for now, all eyes on us!

Short post today. It’s Literacy Day at the School, so I’m going to read books to the First Grade class. Of course, I’m bringing Taro Gomi’s fabulous, Everyone Poops!

poops

Because everyone does!

Lots of love,

JB

21 Responses to “Sexy little things: children who dance to popular music”

  1. robertcrayle February 20, 2013 at 15:40 #

    Maybe the ladies of Jezebel were never exposed to the wonderful “Everybody Poops” and that’s why they think women need to fart to liberate themselves.

    Sweet Merciful Crap, maybe each of them thinks they’re the ONLY WOMAN IN THE WORLD WHO POOS!?

    Also, wicked picture of you. Was this the first time you’ve made an appearance on your blog (in photo form)?

    Like

  2. judgybitch February 20, 2013 at 15:42 #

    Nope. I dressed up as Lara Croft for Hallowe’en this year, and that photo made it on, too, but it was taken with my phone, so it’s pretty small.

    Me and Pixie will be filming our first YouTube show this weekend, so you’ll be seeing more of me!

    Like

  3. TMG February 20, 2013 at 15:56 #

    Among the many mendacities of the mainstream feminist movement is their depiction of the sexualization of children as caused by male sexuality.

    “Men” do not want sexualized children. The few who do are an abberation, and accompanied by a not-insignificant number of women. But that screws up the feminist narrative, so it is ignored. Meanwhile, we have an entire society that thinks “women don’t do these things” while some mothers dress their daughters like slatterns and boys and girls become prey for female sex predators.

    I honestly think that feminism would rather see these children suffer than lose the narrative of “Man bad, women good”

    Like

  4. Marlo Rocci February 20, 2013 at 16:02 #

    I feel there’s a danger in over protecting your child from the culture at large. They’ll either come to a point where they reject everything you’ve taught them about it and go in the extreme opposite, or they’ll embrace your caution to the point where they become socially isolated. Once the culture at large becomes “The Enemy”, it’s the wall you build around it that does the most harm.

    Like

  5. gregariouswolf February 20, 2013 at 16:29 #

    Liked for no other reason than everybody poops.

    Like

  6. gregariouswolf February 20, 2013 at 16:34 #

    Just for you:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gas_We_Pass

    Don’t know why this is tickling my funny bone. Maybe it is because I’m fighting the flu and I am feeling distinctly lowbrow.

    Like

  7. Kupo February 20, 2013 at 19:21 #

    Male ballroom dancer here, trained competitively for a number of years. I often go to competitions where there many attractive, toned bodies in scanty attire moving sensuously (esp. rumba/bolero). No turn on. At. All. In fact, never has been. I’m guessing it’s similar to what gynecologists go through. It’s very clinical. But it’s all about context. If you were to take those bodies, same clothing, same movement and put them, say, at the beach, it would be a totally different story for me.

    Like

  8. judgybitch February 20, 2013 at 19:46 #

    Thanks for that, Kupo. I’m hoping my kids respond just the same way to scantily clad dancers in music videos: Just look at the technique!

    Like

  9. Alex February 20, 2013 at 20:04 #

    did not expect you to look so blonde, or that young. suppose it’s to be expected since you have young kids, doubt you would be the type to have kids closer to 40. not entirely sure where that image came from

    Like

  10. judgybitch February 20, 2013 at 20:05 #

    Snapped in the bathroom last night!

    Like

  11. princesspixiepointless February 20, 2013 at 20:06 #

    yeah, we need to talk about that.
    xx
    with love
    pseudo managing editor…

    Like

  12. judgybitch February 20, 2013 at 20:10 #

    Shit! Does Shona own the copyright on my bathroom snaps, too?

    Like

  13. angelowal February 20, 2013 at 20:26 #

    Ha, hardly recognized you without the striped apron 😉 But you ARE a pretty little thing, aren’t you, and you don’t look a bit bitchy! ♥

    Like

  14. judgybitch February 20, 2013 at 20:29 #

    Oh My God!

    It’s true!

    I wonder how many pictures there are of me WITHOUT an apron on?

    Good lord.

    🙂

    Kind of funny, really.

    Like

  15. princesspixiepointless February 20, 2013 at 21:20 #

    Plenty.
    I mean 3.
    But again, hello, pseudo managing editor here…
    (Hi Mrs.Angelowai, nice to see you)
    There are plenty.
    But let’s just keep it at 3, shall we?
    Ball cap, bathroom and striped apron.
    That is all the photos of you that exist.
    3 in total.
    In the entire universe.
    OK?

    Like

  16. judgybitch February 20, 2013 at 21:22 #

    Well clearly, I need to take the next one in the laundry room.

    Like

  17. Alex February 20, 2013 at 21:55 #

    i disagree angelowal, she looks like all you have to do is mention something and her inner bitch mode activates. looks helpful though, since some people might be intimidated (like Shona)

    Like

  18. Rmaxd February 20, 2013 at 23:42 #

    Soooo … you take your kids to booty popping classes …

    Grats on not bothering to teach your kids a real competitive sport … which teaches them real skills, ie how to compete, tenacity AND provides real exercise

    It’s every parents duty to teach their children grit & determination

    Taking your children to classes mimicing the gyrations of lapdancers & strippers, IS sexualising your children

    The WHOLE point of a parent is to prepare their kids with the right skills & qualities

    What EXACTLY are you teaching your kids, by taking them to stripper & lapdance lessons?

    Like

  19. judgybitch February 20, 2013 at 23:58 #

    Hey, I’m not sure I’m making the right choice here, so trust me, I hear you.

    What I THINK I’m teaching my kids is how to DEAL with a sexualized culture by re-inventing it as a form of technical expertise. Dancing is unbelievably physically demanding and it has the potential to be super competitive, although I am keeping my kids out of the competitive stream at the moment.

    My kids LOVE dancing, which is a major factor in why I am encouraging it. I do not have to tell them to practice. They LOVE practicising. They are at the door and ready to go when it’s time for class.

    The wider cultural context exists whether I like it or not.

    I’m trying to give my kids tools to navigate the landscape, and I hope I’m doing the right thing.

    The second I think I’m NOT, I will make a different choice.

    Trust me.

    Like

  20. Liz February 21, 2013 at 12:59 #

    Oh fun! I can’t wait to see the both of you together!

    Cute picture, JB. You look pretty much exactly the way I thought. 🙂

    Brave though, too. I don’t want anyone to recognize me. I put a couple of photos up for a few hours and then thought….wtf am I doing? I’m more diplomatic in the non-cyber world.

    Like

  21. Lovekraft February 23, 2013 at 13:41 #

    Your sincerity is highly valuable and rare in this anonymous internet age, so you get a lot of credit for it. Not many people are willing to do this.

    I think it is safe to say that our culture over-sexualizes waaaay too much (thanks Britney, you tramp you) in order to sell something. Crass commercialism. Not to mention that certain people need, for some reason, to stand out, thus the rush to push boundaries.

    Doesn’t mean its right. Does rejecting pop culture endanger children, as M Rocci claims? Does embracing it do less harm?

    This is for the parents to decide, but since feminism and Market Forces have diluted parental influence to where (liberal) teachers, Oprah, XBOX etc enjoy far too much sway, I believe it is best for parents to continue to BOYCOTT trash until said trash cleans up its act.

    Like

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