One Bump and Grind Too Far

Social dancing through the generations has changed and not for the better! Today when you walk into a nightclub, school dance or party all you see is bumping and grinding. Bumping and grinding has changed since 1990’s. Dance has always represented cultural and societal issues like oppression, women’s rights and sexuality.

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( Google Images – Freak Dance)

Throughout the decades generations have been more open and comfortable with their sexuality and the dances have been increasing sexually. We went from the Charleston in the 1920’s, to Swing in the 1950’s moving into Disco in the 1970’s to back to front dancing in the 1990’s. Since then dancing back to front has shifted about 180 degrees. The only difference between sex and what is occurring on the dance floor is that they have clothes on, barely.

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(Google Images- Grinding Dance) 

It is not okay, it is not cute and it is disrespectful. What is responsible for this? First society and media then lastly the latter part of hip hop movement. Society has been making women sexual objects in history for a long time. Media used women and promoted them as sexual objects to sell products and that influenced society’s views.

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(Google Images -1950’s Ads)

Rappers today use women as sexual objects and belittle them by calling them vulgar names like bitch and hoe. To top it off their music videos are full of women in thongs and tiny bras shaking their butt in all different type of position. What message does that send to the youth? It lowers girl’s self-esteem and sense of worth. It causes young women to think that they need to dress and dance like that to get attention. It tells young men that it is okay to treat women that way and that shapes their expectation.

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(Google Images – Nikki Minaj)

 

 

 

 

 

In order to change these views we must take a stand. Stand up for yourself and demand respect. It is not respectful and no good names can be attached to a person when dancing like that. Make the change; make society change their views, change dance for the better. 

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Dance and the Media

Dance is the new black and everyone is watching it. TV shows like Dance Moms and So You Think You Can Dance are changing society’s view on dance. Dance began as a social movement full of expression and technique but today it’s a competition with lots of tricks and lack of emotion on television. In dance as a child you take technique classes in Ballet, because it’s said that it is the foundation for all forms.

Dance Moms shows the competition side of dance at an early age. It follows six young dancers who battle it out every week in new competitions across the country competing in solos and group pieces for the Abby Lee Miller Dance Company. The girls are learning a multitude of styles and tricks for each genre of dance. You can hear Abby screaming about technique and creating technically sound dancers but where is the passion? How can one find the passion behind the tricks and the flashy costumes.

Image(Google Images- Dance Moms)

Dance Moms is preparing the girls to go on to So You Think You Can Dance. I love the show, however it’s becoming more about the tricks you can do and less about the technique and quality of the movement. I think it’s great that the show makes everyone dance in multiple styles that they usually wouldn’t get, but if it’s a competition let’s make it one, lets take out the dance form “contemporary.” Most of the dancers getting picked to go into the top 20 are jazz or contemporary dancers. Lets challenge them take out contemporary and add African or better yet, take it back to the foundation lets add a Ballet pas de deux.   

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(Google Images – So You Think You Can Dance Lauren)

The issue is dance is more than tricks and flashy costumes. It is a creative and artistic outlet for expression, that serves a deeper meaning. Classical dance forms like Ballet and Modern are being overlooked. Dance on television is just entertainment, it’s the glamourous side. Dance is not glamourous there are many struggles, one has to be determined and passionate to do it. Media should show both sides.  

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(Google Images- Misty Copeland Pas De Deux)