I just came across this article from the Salt Lake Tribune in Utah. I found it interesting and was wondering if any of you had opinions. Do you think the school was correct in pulling the number, citing that it was not appropriate for a family show? It would probably be important to see the dance in question to truly judge the appropriateness of this dance, but I’m also curious about your own experiences with dancing about touchy subjects like politics. When does pulling a dance cross the line into censorship?
The dance was inspired by student frustration with political polarization in the country. It was choreographed to the song, “Dear Mr. President,” by Pink, with a video displayed in the background.
When the dance was performed earlier for the Kearns student-parent-teacher community, one parent complained in a letter to the Granite School District, which forwarded it to Kearns Principal Stephen Hess.
After reviewing the letter and the lyrics, Hess met with modern dance teacher Michelle Player and told her some of the lyrics in the song were inappropriate for a school setting.
That was in April and Hess thought that was the end of it until Player informed him the morning of the district festival that she intended to use the performance as Kearns’ entry.
Hess, who was not aware of the district festival, told her she couldn’t use it, so Kearns backed out at the last minute.
But the most objectionable part to the complaining parent and school officials was:
What kind of father would take his own daughter’s rights away?
And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay?
I can only imagine what the first lady has to say.
You’ve come a long way from whiskey and cocaine.
“I didn’t have a problem with the political part,” said Hess.
“But the references [to sexual preferences and drugs and alcohol] were not appropriate for families in a school setting.”
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world. Read Nichelle’s posts.