“I think it hurts me because it hurts Jesus,” Mary Bawden told The Stream. For years, she’s watched the culture becoming increasingly ambivalent toward the “hypersexualization” of children.
Mary has a degree in modern dance and has taught dance. Fifteen years ago, a fellow church member invited her to a dance concert. She was shocked. “I was just jolted by almost every number being hypersexualized and a lot of hooting and hollering.” She’d never seen anything quite like that, but the dancers were over 18. Maybe it was a personal preference and she just didn’t like it.
The next year was worse. Then she began seeing a trend spread through the dance world. “I begin to see the same thing in the June dance recitals of high school students that were in the dance program I directed at our church. And then I began seeing the same hypersexualized dances in the junior high age group. And then I began to see the same hypersexualized dances in the elementary age range.” She saw them even in preschool groups.
Her eyes opened to this downward cultural trend and she decided to do something about it. She founded DA:NCE. The name stands for “Dance Awareness: No Child Exploited.” The group provides parents with research-based resources. These include an e-book on sexualization and videos that explain the difference between healthy and harmful dance, as well as a newsletter. All the resources are free