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Dance Moms this week was all about secrets…

DanceMomsHere’s mine: I watch Dance Moms.

Sometimes I just can’t help myself.  The drama, the dressing room insanity, the quest for that big fake metal trophy – it’s all so bad that it’s good.  So when “Miss Abby” announced her theme for the week was Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, I was pretty sure we were in for another stereotyped, insensitive “issues” piece.  We’ve seen this happen before: the piece about mental illness, the piece about homelessness, the piece about Nia’s “ethnic” look… all tied up in a two minute bow with make-up and glitter and lots of right-sided pirouettes.  I suppose it was only a matter of time before Abby took on the gays.

For the most part, Dance Moms v. DADT was exactly what I expected.  Fatigues, black markings on the dancers faces as though they were in the jungle, and funky hip hop dance moves – because, you know, nothing says equality like high kicks and combat boots.

DanceDADTAt the same time, I kind of have to applaud Lifetime and Dance Moms for having the guts to bring ANYTHING LGBT into their world.  I think the last gay thing I saw on lifetime was an after school special about a gay kid getting ex-communicated from the Mormon Church and going on to “lead a life of sin”.  The point is, I wouldn’t peg Lifetime on a branch of television entertainment that typically aligns itself with liberal views or tackles any social issue.

So when Mom Kelly pulled her two daughters aside and talked to them about how all people should be allowed to express themselves and their feelings – that they should be able to love who they want to love – I kind of had to give two thumbs up to the Dance Moms.  I think her daughter Brooke put it best by saying, “The gay people I know are funnier than everybody else… and better looking.”

True, Brooke.  You are wise beyond your years.

Now, I could go on about how Kelly used the word “choice” at one point, and I could argue against playing into the stereotype that male dancers are all gay, but  I’m sure plenty of other people will take on those arguments for me.  For now, I’m just going to celebrate a valiant attempt by the bling-iest, sparkliest, straightest people in television to say, “It’s OK to be gay.”

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About Lauren W

Lauren Warnecke is a Chicago-based dance writer, educator, and freelance dance professional. She holds degrees in Dance (BA, ’03) and Kinesiology (MS, ’09) and is currently a full-time Clinical Instructor for the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition at UIC. Created in 2009 as a platform for dance-based discourse, Lauren owns and operates Art Intercepts, a dance blog and online resource actively promoting the use of evidence-based practices in dance training and performance with the goal to improve and elevate artistry, dance education, and dancer health. She is a contributing author/blogger at Dance Advantage, 4dancers, and the Huffington Post, and an arts contributor at The L Stop. Lauren freelances as a production/stage manager, choreographer, media relations specialist, and grant writer, for small arts organizations and is a Certified Personal Trainer. She is a master composter who likes to dig in the dirt and bake scones.

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  1. […] Dance Moms this week was all about secrets… | The L Stop – Mar 15, 2013 … We've seen this happen before: the piece about mental illness, the piece … I think her daughter Brooke put it best by saying, “The gay people I … […]

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