*Originally posted July 30, 2013*
I just watched this group of 8-12 year old boys dancing on America’s Got Talent called Struck Boyz. And it reminded me of why I hate televised competitions that have dancers on them.
Watch the video here.
1) As dancers, these boys aren’t that great. Yes, they’re kids. I’ll cut them some slack. But I’ve seem 8-12 year olds that are more in sync with each other than these boys. I’ve also seen choreography for 8-12 year olds that is way better than that. I’ve also seen 8-12 year olds that have more energy and execute moves better than these boys. Their facial expressions and stage presence was good. I’ll give them that.
2) This dance was horribly disturbing because these boys are 8-12 years old and they are gyrating and showing off their “abs”. We’re used to seeing little girls being sexualized on TV, in dances, in pageants, etc. These boys were highly sexualized and it was not okay. (Thank you Howard Stern for commenting on that.) Who are they trying to impress by lifting up their shirts and rolling their hips around? Who the hell is their choreographer who thinks this is okay? Why are their moms who were interviewed and showed before they danced okay and proud of their kids for doing this on national television? This dance was not cute. It wasn’t funny. It was grossly disturbing.
And dance on television is almost always grossly disturbing. So You Think You Can Dance Canada, anyone? What a horrible excuse fir a talent show. The Hip Hop on that show was not Hip Hop. It was not creative or entertaining in any way and it gave a bad name to Hip Hop. All it ever was was tiny, revealing outfits and booty shaking. That is not Hip Hop. That’s producers wanting ratings.
That is exactly why these little boys were on America’s Got Talent. Ratings. They were cute when they first auditioned for the show. They were kept on the show for their personalities. And now they are trying to push the envelope by being sexualized by mainstream TV and their disgusting excuse of a choreographer who is going along with what the producers of this show want.
We need to be careful with what we teach children. We always worry about what messages we’re sending to our young girls. What about boys? Do we need to teach them that if they love to dance they should be Hip Hop dancers? Do we need to teach them that if they are dancers they should be gyrating and showing their abs? Do we need to be teaching them that they should even have abs at that age? At the beginning of the segment, I don’t think it’s shown in the clip I posted, one of their moms is seen saying, “The girls will be screaming in the audience.” Really, mom? That is the message you want to send to your 10 year old son?
Everything about this, the dance, the choreographer, the publicity of it all, the message it is sending to these kids, the message it is sending to other kids, the adults involved, it’s all disgusting.