Teen dancing, from formal studios to the club scene, has served an important role in the young lives of today's young generation.
Different Forms of Teen Dancing
Teenagers love to express themselves. From angst filled poetry to cutting edge fashion statements, young people will always find a way to make their opinions and desires known. Teen dancing is one popular outlet. This can take on many different forms, but below are three of the most popular.
Many of us take dance classes as children, but some will continue their dance studies through high school, honing their craft and possibly considering it as a future career. Much like sports or visual art, many teenagers find dancing to be an excellent way to throw themselves into something positive after school, avoiding drugs, alcohol and other common temptations among this age group. Teen dancing through a disciplined studio regimen leads to not only a healthy emotional outlet, but a great physical one as well. Those who dance are at lower risk for obesity issues, and will gravitate toward more healthy eating habits in order to keep their bodies in shape and their energy level up. Studios offer classes both in the realms of beginner and advanced dance for teenage participants, and your local recreation center or community college can be a great secondary resource if money is a concern.
In more urban cultures, street dance is almost like a secondary language to many young people. From hip hop to break dancing, teens love to strut their stuff in front of their peers, and many of this has evolved into beautiful interpretations of urban life far from the comfort of middle class. While obviously very different in form and style, teen dancing on the street offers many of the same benefits of studio dance. Young people build self esteem and a healthy competitive spirit, and those who are able to artistically express themselves oftentimes avoid the gang and drug scenes running rampant on the streets.
Some kids love to party, and many don't want to wait until they turn 21 to do so. Realizing this need, many local night clubs now have teen dancing nights, where youth can come in and get their groove on without having to worry about a fake ID. These non-alcoholic teen nights are popular in many clubs, and again have managed to keep many young people out of trouble. Unfortunately, in some parts of the country, these underage dance nights led to issues that caused movements such as the Teen Dance Ordinance, which were later overturned due to the extreme popularity of these events. However, it is worth noting that not all teen dancing is safe, and parents should be aware of where their children are and who they are with at all times.
The Teen Dance Ordinance
Started in 1985, the Teen Dance Ordinance was a Seattle law that prohibited club promoters from having underage events. It was eventually overruled in 2002, but not after a long and difficult fight from the teenage community and its supporters.
The law started after alleged incidents of child prostitution and sexual abuse were reported in the area. The law required underage teens of certain ages to have a parent chaperone at all such events. Pricey liability insurance was also required, and the result was teen dancing literally being banned from the city. No club could manage the hefty fees involved, and no one wanted to run the risk of being accused of such serious charges.
The ban greatly affected the local music scene, and protesters fought their way back with the All-ages Dance Ordinance being formed, which gave the club scene more freedom to safely hold teen dancing events.
There are plenty of ways that teenagers enjoy themselves through dance, and these are only a few examples of its various forms and history. Check out the local teen scene in your own city if you have an aspiring dancer ready to get out there and show her stuff.