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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dancing Away from Good Taste

I have a friend whose stepdaughter attends the Expressions Academy of Dance in the small suburb of Seminole in the Tampa Bay area. She has been disturbed for a while, because for two recitals in a row they have had the older girls do a dance routine out of the Broadway play "Chicago", which is hardly suitable material for young girls.

The last two times they had a recital, the girls dressed like sluts and danced very suggestively. The first year, the tableau was in a jail cell, where they danced to a number about the different ways they had murdered the men in their lives. They did this while performing a campy dance number which included spreading their legs apart a great deal. I actually attended that one, myself, and can attest to this from first-hand experience.

The second time, they sang about how expendable boys were, and that they were only to be used and thrown away. This was again accompanied by dress that would make a hooker blush. There were a couple additional routines that were just a boy short of a Paris Hilton sex tape.

Today my friend called me, quite angry, to tell me that she tried to talk to the owner. My friend (let's call her Samantha) is known to be very straightforward. That can sometimes be taken as rude, but anyone who is intelligent can tell the difference. Sam doesn't swear, she doesn't try to pick fights, but she does want answers and she digs for them. She holds a juris doctorate and she's no dummy.

Sam called Lara, the owner, to ask her if there was going to be another offensive number this year. She was blunt enough to even state that she found it offensive during the last two years. At this, Lara bridled and told her that she wasn't going to discuss any upcoming routines.

Sam persisted in trying to get an answer. As she told me later, if the material was offensive again, only her husband would go (to show support of his daughter). If the material wasn't offensive this year, the entire family could go. That includes Sam, her husband, their two sons, and her mother.

Lara told Sam that they repeatedly got rave reviews for those particular routines, and again stated to Sam that she wouldn't tell her the details and wouldn't tell her what was going to be on stage this year. Finally, as Sam persisted, Lara hung up on her.

Sam then called one of the main sponsors of the dance studio, in hopes of getting an answer. As she told me later, she figured that a sponsor was tacitly sanctioning the material and might be close enough to know what was on the programme. The sponsor started out a little friendlier, but ultimately refused to help Sam pursue the matter any further, telling her that if Lara refused to help Sam and her family, then she would too.

Upon a little investigation, I found out why the sponsor was so defensive of Lara. This 'sponsor' is actually an employee of Lara's.

Sam had called both anonymously, as she was afraid of getting her stepdaughter into any trouble. As Sam says, their family has classic morals and they're born-again Christians, and most people find such beliefs to be more offensive than a proctologist at a hemorrhoid convention. Sam now tells me that she is exceedingly glad she stayed anonymous.

But Sam is in a quandary: What should she do?

I told her that I think it's time for Sam's husband to talk to his ex-wife about the 'quality' of this dance studio, when there are so many dance studios they can choose from! But Sam's husband doesn't want to rock the boat.

So, I see no way out of the situation and I happen to agree with Sam. Why should she expose her entire family to such garbage?

As for the owners of the Expressions Academy of Dance, they should be ashamed of themselves. This is exactly the sort of thing that encourages child exploitation.

Has no one there heard of JonBenet Ramsey?

16 comments:

M@ said...

Strange lives....

Uncle Joe said...

I'm shocked and not so shocked.
Why the hell do they have their child at that place?
The dad stays home but it's okay for the daughter to dance in it?
Unbelievable.
Fame at any cost is not worth the cost of that child's well being.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Used and then discarded huh?

Yea.....I think I could go along with that. Most chicks cant seem to get it through their skulls that Max the lizard and the cats were here first anyway.

Oh yea, the boat was here first too. Even if I sell it and get another one, the boat was here
first.

After all, what is fair is fair.

PS - there is a 30 foot catamaran for sale in the Keys. It sailed to Florida from Puerto Rico. Do I DARE get it? It only has three state rooms and two heads. And of course a galley. The state rooms, heads, and galley are all in the hulls. Between the hulls is the "living room". The "front porch" is a trampoline stretched between the hulls, and the "patio" is a nice open area with a hard top.

For a 30 footer, it has a whole lot of space.

Do I DARE bite? Well.....do I??? Can I live off the grid with only some batteries and solar panels? Will Fred and Skipper adapt to a life at sea? Where will Max the lizard live? In his own private reptilian themed state room?

I am probably just dreaming.

Uncle Joe said...

I misread that.
The dad is the only one going?

The daughter's in training to be a strip-tease dancer.
If they let her stay tell them not to be alarmed when she moves to Vegas to be a dancer.

Three Score and Ten or more said...

I love Chicago, but the thought of pre teens or even teens dancing those numbers is hair raising. On the other hand, I see cheerleader routines at high school football teams that, if danced on stage in a darkened room with stage lights would get the place raided. I dunno.

Lazy, I had a friend who quit a good paying (or at least fair paying) job as a theatre professor in Georgia in the late seventies when he and his wife got a good deal on a boat (don't know what kind) and decided to spend the rest of their lives sailing up and down the inland waterway from Florida up to Chesapeake bay. The last I heard (about ten years ago) they were still doing it. I don't even want to guess what they do for food and fuel etc., but they manage.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

What does Sam's daughter want to do? If it is okay with her to quit the joint, that should be easy. If the daughter still likes the joint, Sam should quit it anyway, and find another place.

Saur♥Kraut said...

OldHoss, Sam's stepdaughter isn't her daughter to command, I'm sorry to say. And the mom really doesn't 'get' it. The mom is one of those moms that doesn't really participate much in her daughter's life, and doesn't want to make changes that might inconvenience her in some way. So, unless the Dad puts up a fuss, Sam's stepdaughter will stay there. Sam is keeping all of her family away from it for now, and her husband is attending the recitals for his daughter's sake.

3Score&10, good point about the cheerleading routines. :P Bleah.

Uncle Joe, yeah, only the dad's going (to support the daughter). Happily, their daughter's not in the division that dances like that, so SHE isn't dancing that way. But she's exposed to the majority of the girls who ARE, and is being shown that it's acceptable.

Plus, the teacher is honestly not that good. She doesn't demand much from her students, and their movements are sloppy. I used to take ballet, so I know.

Lazy, if a woman can't accept you as you ARE, she isn't worth the trouble. Better to be single than spend the next 40 years battling being 'remade'.

I LOVE the catamaran!!! But how much is it? If YOU don't want it, drop me an email so I have a shot at it.

m@, you know, most of America seems strange lately. There are SO many problems!

Debbie said...

As you know it is not always easy to be the step parent. The stories I could tell you. I think the father needs to step up to the plate. He has a right to be embarrassed for his daughter and just not saying anything is not the way to handle it. She will appreciate it as she gets older!

I feel for your friend and can only hope things get better!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Debbie, thanks, hon. I'll pass that on! You're right about the father - it's time for him to bite the bullet, IMHO.

daveawayfromhome said...

"He has a right to be embarrassed for his daughter and just not saying anything is not the way to handle it"

This assumes that the Dad is telling the truth when he says it bothers him. He may simply be agreeing with Sam to keep the peace, but feels no particular way about the situation. If both women feel strongly about the situation and he's trapped in the middle, agreeing with both while remaining "ineffectual" is sometimes the route of least resistance.

As for being a step-parent, it's tricky enough to raise children without the complications of competing households, and, whatever the birthparents may say about the step-parents "authority", when push comes to shove, step-parents come in second, and woe to you if you're on the wrong side of the issue.

Finally, anyone who doesnt believe in Darwin's theory hasnt paid much attention to the families around them.

The Lazy Iguana said...

The cat is 24 grand. Something like that. The only way I could justify it is if it doubles as an apartment. A RENT FREE apartment as it does not cost anything to drop the anchor.

At least once a year it would have to be hauled out and put on the hard. This would cost a few hundred to haul it out and put on the hard and then a few hundred more per week for the dry space. If I did the required work myself then there is one three day weekend.

QUASAR9 said...

The first year, the tableau was in a jail cell, where they danced to a number about the different ways they had murdered the men in their lives. They did this while performing a campy dance number which included spreading their legs apart a great deal. I actually attended that one, myself, and can attest to this from first-hand experience.

The second time, they sang about how expendable boys were, and that they were only to be used and thrown away. This was again accompanied by dress that would make a hooker blush. There were a couple additional routines that were just a boy short of a Paris Hilton sex tape.


Whether Lara has issues or not I do not know, but I do think it is funny that you can get some people to do just about anything for a few quid or a two bit oart in a show - whether dancing naked or with tassels on their breasts, supposing the child has breasts, to emulating (or performing) sex, even under age sex live on stage.

But then again what young girls (and boys) get up to when they become sexually aware ...
well all the world is a stage.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Quasar, Good point, actually! I hadn't really traced it all the way to Lara's motivations, but it makes sense. I know the owner of another dance studio who knows the scenario and she wouldn't dream of putting such scenes together. There's something almost...voyeuristic about the whole thing, isn't there?

Lazy, DO IT! I am so serious here. If I didn't own a home, I would. In fact, that's ultimately my retirement plan!

Daveawayfromhome, Every single point you made is excellent! I mean brilliant. I am sure you're right on all points.

I often cite "survival of the fittest" when I see such things. I'm happy to say that most kids are being raised to work for my kid, because they will never be competant enough to do anything else. We are increasingly a nation of sheeples.

Beaver said...

I can't seem to understand this type of "philosophical" teaching. I know that women have fought long and hard to have equal rights to men's (not that I specified it, for to be equal to men in all things would include calvitia at an early age), but isn't it time we had a more balance rapport between the sexes? Seems like we keep on getting overboard. Honestly, I find quite tiring the typical man-hating feminism which I don't doubt Lara professes. It's nothing more than a clear presentation of her lack of clairvoyance.

I say, take the kids out of this school ASAP. Mr. Daddy needs to put his pants on and look out for his daughters, before they become moron bimbos bent on extreme feminism.

Groovy Mom said...

I can't understand why people think it's okay to dress their little girls that way and allow them to be exposed to that kind of garbage. Those same people will be shaking their heads when their daughters end up pregnant as teens and wonder what happened. Not that it always leads to that, but sheesh. Why can't we let little girls be little girls instead of trying to make them into women before they're grown up?

Eddo said...

Blech. I agree. Society is always pushing the limits of sexuality. Shorter skirts, less clothes, more make-up... Little girls are no longer wearing pretty chaste dresses but lipstick and spandex and the parents are often the ones encouraging it.