March 9, 2011

Too Sexy?

Filed under: Uncategorized — publicandprivatespace @ 6:27 pm

By: Christine Weaver          

Dance has become one of the most common forms of entertainment today. With the popularity of dance growing every day, television shows with dancing have become available for anyone with a TV to watch. The show So You Think You Can Dance is one of the most popular dance shows being aired. It is a dance competition show that showcases dancers from around the country. Each week contestants preform with a different partner and a different style of dance. Also, each week, a contestant gets eliminated from the competition based on public viewers’ votes.

However, with new forms of dance coming about, some of the dances performed on So You Think You Can Dance have become sexually explicit. Every dance performed on the show has a meaning or a story behind it, but many dances are starting to become more sexual than meaningful. According to the Speaking Sound Doctrine, many of the dances performed on this show should never be shown in public. They believe that dance should not be lustful or sexually explicit unless it is in private, between a lawfully married couple. Many dances include two dancers making out on stage for prolonged periods of time, while other dances include suggestive moving of the lower body, sexual embraces, and suggestive grabbing, all of which are not dance-like at all. It is sexual behavior being performed in public to millions of viewers.

In an effort to gain others input on the growing sexuality aired on So You Think You Can Dance, I created a questionnaire for twenty-five college students to fill out after watching four different performances from the show. I had the participants answer the same three questions for each of the four dances. The questions were “was the dance inappropriate? Explain”, “do you consider this dancing? Explain” and “what were you most focused on during the performance?”

After reading over the answers from the questionnaire, many of the participants found a suggestive movement in each dance. Some dances were deemed more inappropriate than others, but out of the four very different dances that were shown, each one had some sexual content. Some of the sexual content was minor such as an intimate embrace or a belly dancing hip roll, while other movements were extreme making out for prolonged periods of time or excessive groping. Comments stated in the questionnaire about the sexuality of the dances included, “That move was completely unnecessary,” “They practically had sex on stage,” and “It was too sexual for my taste.” With these comments coming from college students, it is almost safe to assume that parents of younger children would not appreciate their children watching this type of sexual public display.

The four dances shown were “Dancing”, which is a contemporary dance in which two dancers express their love and desire for one another, “Sweet Dreams”, which is a contemporary piece in which two dancers were having an argument in a work environment, “Mercy”, which is a contemporary Piece in which two dancers were having an argument about their relationship, and “My Chick Bad”, which is a hip-hop piece in which two dancers were battling each other to see who was “top-dog”.

As I have watched the show, I have observed that the dances are becoming more and more sexually explicit as each season progresses. I fear that the sexual content is becoming too extreme and more frequently used. With people watching these sexual performances, they will view these behaviors as fine for everyday living. The sexuality will continue to grow, and more and more people will view these actions as okay because it is shown on public television.

For many people of the general public, the dances shown on So You Think You Can Dance may be fine to watch, but because this show is on television for anyone with a TV to watch, some people, especially younger children, should not watch the dances because they are sexually explicit in most cases. The overall consensus found through the questionnaire was that the dances have sexual elements in them and many unnecessary movements that should not be performed.  Many people, including parents, think that the show is just a dance show, but they are not aware of the growing sexuality of the show. People need to become more aware of what is being shown on television, especially before they allow younger children to watch different shows. The sexual movements in the show are becoming more recurrent and are inappropriate to be shown on public television.



  1. David Luken

    I agree that dancing along with many other forms of expression have become overly sexually explicit or more that they are brazenly provocative. I believe that sexuality is an important part of every human, and sexual expression has been portrayed in many ways through history such as nude paintings or sensual Latin dancing. We as humans often have a desire for passion that is also often a large part of our lives, and to allude to this passion and display our sexuality is part of being human. Many of the dances and songs of today go over the line and display too much and lack the display of sexuality in an artful manner. It becomes more of a display of sex than a sensual display. I agree that when the line between sexuality and sex is crossed we definitely need to make sure the younger audience does not have access to such explicit content.

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 9, 2011 @ 7:37 pm | Reply

  2. I watch this show on a regular basis and I love it. Because I have danced since I was 2, I don’t see the dances as being sexual. Dance is an art, and people express themselves and their emotions in this way. If we are going to claim that the dances are too sexual, then we need to evaluate all forms of art. One of the most popular subjects for drawing and painting are naked bodies, and that’s seen as beautiful art. Should these pieces be hidden because there are private parts showing? In a different medium, dance, is that not the same idea? A lot of artists, including choreographers, view sex as being a glorious encounter and they portray it in the way they know best- dancing. The fact that children shouldn’t be exposed to this type of dance could be counter-acted with the show Toddlers and Tiaras. That show is about girls under the age of 10 who completely transform their looks (usually at the discretion of their mothers) to be in a pageant. Should we allow this? The people who dance in SYTYCD are mature adults who are expressing themselves in a mature fashion. I see no problem with having children watch this show as long as they understand that some of the messages portrayed are sometimes only for adults.

    -Haley Cator

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 9, 2011 @ 8:00 pm | Reply

  3. The problem is that most children cannot distinguish what they see on TV as “adult behavior.” They don’t realize what that type of dancing is suggesting so they just assume it’s normal. The reason that this show is on at 7 or 8 at night is so children can’t accidently come in contact with it. I agree that dancing like this is just an expression of art, sexuality, and emotion but there is a line that should be drawn. The question that should be asked is what should be shown on public TV. The FCC has trouble enforcing the rules they have because TV stations have enough money to pay the fines they give out for sexual explicitly. I do think that the sexual references on TV now a days are too much. The problem isn’t the dance itself it’s the publicity of it and who that TV show is reaching.
    -Brooke Teaford-

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 10, 2011 @ 8:19 pm | Reply

  4. I agree that most of the dancing on the show “So You Think You Can Dance” is sexually explicit, and in some cases, it is very unnecessary. I believe the show is not appropriate enough to be shown on such a public channel such a ABC, and I also agree that parents need to realize what their children may see those dance moves as. I believe that sexual behavior is becoming more frequent in our society, and as a result, people are more lenient about how they judge if something is sexually explicit or not. I think that ABC should take appropriate measures to tone the sexuality of the dances down a lot, and that, in turn, could attract more viewers.
    -Benjamin Swanson

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 10, 2011 @ 9:33 pm | Reply

  5. Your post contains a great point of view on all of the ‘dirty dancing.’ I am not particularly fond of watching dancing, but some of the things that dances now include are completely in appropriate. I remember back in high school when I would wonder, “Is this appropriate for school?” While watching my high school dance team perform. More and more dance moves are becoming more and more sexually explicit. However, I disagree that the performers are the ones deciding how far they are allowed to go on stage. I believe that the public decides. The performers are just reflecting what the majority deems appropriate right back at us. As long as people will watch their dance moves, nothing will change. I have never watched any of these shows, so a question that I have is: Is there a warning to the viewer of the sexual content of the show before it starts?
    -Scott Smith

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 11, 2011 @ 10:38 am | Reply

  6. Yes most of the dancing that is shown on this show is explicit. However, I believe that this is where society is going. The expression “sex sells” is a good phrase to use to describe the dancing on this show. I’ve started to notice more and more things becoming sexually oriented. I went back to watch one of my high school’s basketball games. The cheerleaders from the high school and middle school both did some routines. It amazed me to see some of the middle schoolers dancing like some 25 year olds dance. I couldn’t believe it. I don’t see how that is right at all. Society is changing and dance is one thing that is rapidly changing. I don’t think there is any way to control this. Parents should be the ones to decide whether or not their kids can watch it. To be honest though, I think it can be too explicit for kids at times.
    -Dylan Schnormeier

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 11, 2011 @ 2:11 pm | Reply

  7. I don’t know that showing sexually explicit dancing to a national television audience that possibly includes many children is the best way to use airtime, but dancing is a visual performance of music, so if the music selection is overtly sexual, such as one of the songs you mentioned, “My Chick Bad,” then the dancing should be equally sexual. To perform a completely platonic dance to a song that is all about lust would be ridiculous and would rob the performance of all artistic integrity. You could try to only use music with no sexual undertones, but that would rule out quite a lot of great music and popular music. Again, I don’t support the fact that these types of performances are so easily viewed by children, but it would be quite impractical to have a dancing show with no sexuality. Such a show would be a joke and would certainly not make the network money.
    Ethan Hollingsworth

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 11, 2011 @ 2:29 pm | Reply

  8. I think that today dancing is considered to be more sexual then in the past. In the past dance moves were the Mash potato and the Charleston today the dance for most teenagers is grinding, which is basically groping the person you are dancing with. It is only natural that this kind of sexual dancing is now on TV for all to see. However, just because sexual dancing is the norm right now does not mean it is appropriate. After watching the videos Christine showed the surveyed, I thought all the videos at one point had overly sexual moves. I thought that some of the moves were to emphasis the meaning of the dance, but while watching ‘Mercy’ I though a lot of the moves were overly sexual and unnecessary. Younger kids do not need to be exposed to this and it is only making them think it is okay to dance sexually at their age. I think that dance moves need to be cleaned up a little bit on this show because I do not consider making out on TV dancing.
    -Liz Boeckman

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 11, 2011 @ 3:29 pm | Reply

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