Q&A: Dancing to inappropriate music


My preteen daughter has developed a real talent and love for dancing. We signed her up for classes six months ago and she’s having the time of her life. Aside from her exceptional ability, she’s made some special friends and has blossomed with confidence. The problem is, the music she’s dancing to is inappropriate for someone her age, and I sense that her instructor wouldn’t be receptive to changing it. But with all the positive benefits of her involvement in class, we’re hesitant to pull her out. How should we handle the situation?

Answer: It’s great to hear your daughter has discovered an activity she enjoys and that is well-suited to her skills and interests. That said, we can appreciate the mixed emotions you’re feeling because of the inappropriate music that’s been a part of the experience.

Sadly, it’s no longer unusual for children or adults to be held hostage to the R-rated playlists of musical gatekeepers, whether at the grocery store, sporting events, or on the radio. Adding to this concern is the fact that numerous studies have concluded that suggestive and risqué music shapes teen and preteen sexual values and behaviours. What’s a responsible parent to do?

While your impressions regarding the instructor’s receptivity may be on target, we’d still encourage you to approach him or her respectfully and privately to express your concern. Bring printed copies of the song lyrics. It’s quite possible that, like many of us, the instructor has never really heard the messages behind the music, and maybe they’ll make changes upon being made aware. You could also suggest a list of alternative tunes with similar musical elements – minus the racy content.

If your concerns fall on deaf ears, however, then we’d suggest the loving response would be to find another dance option for your daughter. Aren’t her heart, mind, and soul worth it?

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