Ballroom Dance: The NakeD TrutH

Sexual explicitness has so become the norm that most don’t give it a second thought..or do they?

At the beginning of the 20th century, immodest images of women in public were virtually unheard of in this country.
Women ballroom dancers swept across the floor in elegant, floor length hemlines.
By the 1920′s, even displaying a woman’s knees was still considered taboo. By the 1950′s, petticoats and tulle were all the rage and hemlines became shorter. In the 1960′s chiffon and semi-sheer fabrics were introduced and even more of the ladies’ legs were visible.
Gradually dresses became shorter and shorter and more and more form fitting and snug owing to the introduction of stretchy fabrics.

In the ensuing decades, women were routinely dressed sexily and whether we choose to admit this or ourselves or not- fashions do dominate our perceptions of popular culture and in particular of women.
Dance movements have become overtly erotic,suggestive and at times simulate sex itself.

The Methodists may not have been too far off when they observed and actually offered warnings in the 18th century that dancing is “stylised sex.”

Prior to the 17th century, men and women danced alongside each other, not even face to face and the extent of the physical contact would be that they may have touched hands with arms outstretched.
Can you say “Wev’e come a long way Baby?”…Well that all depends on where we wanted to end up.

Nearly every experience we have in society- has become ‘sexualized’. Sexuality , we are told is “a natural characteristic” of which we should feel no shame..and certainly no modesty.

But I ask you, just because sexuality may be a natural desire, is it then legitimized in all contexts?..when going to a movie, is it approriate to view explicit sex scenes, when going to a concert, must the male and female background singers and dancers dance provocatively and in a way that encourages a sexual atmosphere?

It is a given that one criterion for a girl or woman to attain stardom in this century is that she not need have any particular talent, but she must be willing to sexualize herself.
What was once shocking in the pop industry, the flagrant promiscuity, the degradation of morality,the attire ..we have now come to expect.

Ballroom dance was once synonymous with the epitome of sophistication. In times past, ballroom dancing was the “social dancing” of privileged classes. The woman wore a stunning, flowing, long gown; the gentleman a suit or formalwear.
Latin and swing dancers wore shorter dresses or skirts but dresses nonetheless.

What passes for womens’dresses in Ballroom dance today does nothing but objectify women.
This “practically naked’ look, we are told is “empowering” to the woman dancer.
We all value her stunning, scantily clad form as she moves across the floor. Rrrright.

This exhibitionism will have one certain result: Every healthy male who watches this woman dance will think of her sexually.
He may not notice a single dance step but her half naked body will not escape him. The tacit message is being sent.

Distracting men with a half naked female body (and it IS a distraction) is the hallmark of the entire advertisement world. But… Turning girls and women into ‘eye candy’ actually contaminates the dance form and lowers it to some biological exhibitionism.

Dancing should be judged by relative merit..not how well the dancer appeared in her bikini top with the sheer sarong wrapped around her waist to make it appear as though she were actually dressed.

Who set this “new bar” for womens’ attire..or should I say “lack of attire” in Ballroom dance?
The objectification of women damages women emotionally as well..Yes, they may seem sexy and risque’..but notice..men are still dressed in a dignified manner, even if their costume is form fitting.
No one would mistaken him for being in his bedroom clothes. Not to mention that women don’t react to the physical the way men do…so seeing a man half naked doing ballroom dance is not a sight most women would even want!

What happened to “class”?
What happened to “grace”?

Must everything in the Culture be dominated by sex appeal?

I say: Women put back on your flowing gowns…Bring back the BeautY that is truly WomaN.

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Hat tip to Karl M for the inspiration.

17 Responses to “Ballroom Dance: The NakeD TrutH”

  1. christmasghost says:

    so well said, yet again you nailed this one.
    so much for the “women’s movement”…
    and as i get ready to turn 50 this year i can look back and remember when i was twenty and if you had told me then that i would still be expected to look like i was 25 at this age…i would have laughed at you. but that is what is expected in today’s society. you are supposed to look as if you have never had a thought, or lived at all. grey hair, wrinkles and signs of being a mother are frowned upon.
    and this is liberating?
    just look at nancy pelosi [ i am thinking about voting her villiage idiot of the year] she spends a great deal of time and money trying to freeze her face….because as we all know [laugh] she is a women’s libber….
    what a joke.
    real women have grey hair and laugh lines and we are proud of it.

  2. Lawman says:

    I have to agree with Christmasghost. You nailed this one exactly. Speaking as a male, I prefer women who are not ashamed of their natural bodies just as they are. Growing older is part of the Circle of Life. I’ve met some very classy ladies in my time that society would have written off as “has beens” just because they had a few wrinkles.

    I also think society has lost it’s sence of decency. There was a reason skimpy clothing was frowned upon in my grandparent’s day. Besides, I rather enjoy the pagentry of a “formal dance”. I prefer the long ellegant gowns that say “this woman is a Lady” over the “she’s a slut” look some females of today prefer.

  3. Karl m says:

    to me a tuna fish or a hot dog SHOULD be undressed..(maybe a little mayo..or mustard and kraut)..but by humans, my intuition believes that being created in GOD’S image, modesty and dignity should prevail.and by our mothers, wives and daughters this goes doubly..the essence of a true women is in her soul..the needless exposure of body parts usually covered, only bring us ALL closer to the animal kingdom..WHERE ANYTHING GOES…the idea that “society” (read:men)rates their women via the physical only goes to show how low we have reached..Cheerleaders for sporting events..COME ON..gratuitous skin..ask yourself the question…( be honest..at least with yourself )would i want my woman OUT THERE like that???

    i like the way Tom Jones from Wales sings it..
    “She’s A Lady”

    Well she’s all you’d ever want,
    She’s the kind they’d like to flaunt and take to dinner.
    Well she always knows her place.
    She’s got style, she’s got grace, She’s a winner.
    She’s a Lady. Whoa whoa whoa, She’s a Lady.
    Talkin’ about that little lady, and the lady is mine.
    Well she’s never in the way
    Always something nice to say, Oh what a blessing.
    I can leave her on her own
    Knowing she’s okay alone, and there’s no messing.
    She’s a lady. Whoa, whoa, whoa. She’s a lady.
    Talkin’ about that little lady, and the lady is mine.
    Well she never asks for very much and I don’t refuse her.
    Always treat her with respect, I never would abuse her.
    What she’s got is hard to find, and I don’t want to lose her
    Help me build a mountain from my little pile of clay…………..”

  4. WomanHonorThyself says:

    Aww…well at least there are still some pple who can appreciate a woman’s depth and soul…no matter how hard society tried to make u objectify her.:)

  5. Elizabeth M. Taylor says:

    This post has been removed by the author.

  6. Elizabeth M. Taylor says:

    Ooops, I wanted to correct a typo and ended up deleting my comment. Here’s what I was saying…

    Last year’s best-selling prom gown was nothing more than two litle straps attached to a skirt. It was so indecent that the designer’s CEO wouldn’t let his daughter wear it. The teen mags prominently advertised it. One shop required parental permission to purchase one; the saleslady at this shop said that if her daughter had the body, she would let her wear it. Some parents allow their daughters to look like porn skanks because, like that saleslady, they’re idiots and just don’t get it!

    I have watched ballroom dancing in the past and have seen the skimpy clothes the women wear. Truly pointless and ugly; if they dance well, it would not be necessary to do so in their underwear.

  7. Middle Class Guy says:

    It is not just ballroom dancing. Last year, a major retailer, Abercombie, was promoting thongs for teens and pre teens. Now what I found strange was that during the controversy, they used a male spokesman to defend the store/catalog!

    I beleive we have gone beyond the pale in fasion and what is fashionable. Now I am not a prude and lord knows, I don’t divert my eyes to scantily clad women. I even remember when the first topless bathing suits came out.

    I do believe that we have lost some balance in what is fasionable; it is sexy versus sexual. In the fasion and entertainment industries’ quest to find the newest, hottest, and most profitable fasion or exhibition, they have crossed the line between the ballroom and the bedroom.

  8. SHMARYAHU says:

    LET REALLY BE TRUTHFUL (PREVIOUS BLOG) AND FACE THE FACTS THAT BALLROOM DANCING IS IN FACT A FORM OF VERTICAL INTERCOURSE AND OF NATURE PERFORMED BEST WITH A MINIMUM OF CLOTHING, TO ADDRESS IT AS SOME THING ELSE IS A FRAUD???

  9. WomanHonorThyself says:

    Sorry Shmaryahu.With all due respect….take it from someone who has studied dance practically her entire life..Ballroom Dance is an exquisite art form as are many other dance forms. Society has corrupted it..as it has mostly everything including film,theatre and the arts ..with unncecessary sexual overtones. sigh.

  10. christmasghost says:

    refreshing to hear from men that it’s fine with them for women to look natural.i wish more men would speak up and tell their wives, girlfriends, daughters…all the women in their lives….that’s how they feel.
    as a woman i can vouch for the fact that we are constantly being bombarded with the message that just being yourself “isn’t enough”.
    when i have said this in the past the first snarky comment to come at me was “well…i can’t help it if you are an ugly hag”.
    i found that to be an extremely interesting comment[ary] on our society’s present view of women.
    to assume [and you know what they say about that....]that a woman is ugly because she is ageing gracefully? how sad is that?
    it’s right up there with inserting sexuality into something as beautiful as ballroom dance. pointless. the dance is enough by itself…
    and if people feel this is necessary do they also feel they have to dance during sex too? if it’s good for the goose and all that……..

  11. WomanHonorThyself says:

    Here here Ghost!..don’t let the haters influence how ya feel bout yer bootiful self..!..hey git yerself a new ballroom gown..lace n all…winks*

  12. Karl m says:

    Sorry Shmaryahu…but that is exactly the problem..i assure you the “Ball” that cinderella missed while trying on all those slippers..(which is a story all to itself)..was not at all like what you see today…the beauty of the Dance is in the DANCE not the DAME!!

  13. Lady Jane says:

    Great post, Angel. I wish more women were ladies and dressed in an elegant and refined manner. It is sad to see the way teenage girls dress these days.

    I wish we could go back to the modest, long dresses, shawls, gloves, etc. It was beautiful and elegant.

  14. Chief RZ says:

    Lady Jane,
    I fully agree with you. The picture is one of elegance, and class. Much “dancing” can be done, it you know what I mean.

  15. Clay says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Our culture has been becoming less “culture” and more debauchery as each decade passes.

    As a male, of course I appreciate the bikini clad pretty woman. What male wouldn’t? (homosexuals excluded of course) But, that doesn’t mean I am pleased with women always being presented to my eyes scantily clad. Women are sexy but, that is certainly not all that makes them attractive and of worth.

    I personally don’t like dancing. I have danced before in my life of course, but the sexual mimicing is a bit embarrasing. I don’t know how to ball room dance, but I do believe that that is what would constitute actually being able to dance.

    I also think that dressing up and following the dignified dance moves of what ball room dancing used to be, would most definately serve to provide for a romantic, meaningful time along with a candle light dinner and meaningful conversation.

    Sex belongs in the privacy of the bedroom not in our face every time we turn on the TV, open up a magazine etc.

    The “Madonna”, “Britney Spears” look that is inspiring a lot of young women today is doing a lot of damage to what it means to be a woman in today’s society. And remember there are a lot of young. pre-pubescent girls watching too.

    I have daughters and I am not comfortable with the idea that they have to be confronted constantly with the ludicrous idea that dressing like a whore is what is the appropriate definition of modern woman.

    I like your moniker by the way. I guess the unwritten addition to it would be: “demand the man in your life honor you also!”

  16. C. says:

    I have to agree with you and vent something.

    My girlfriend (soon to be fiancee) is a professional ballroom dancer and teacher. She is a beautiful, sexy woman in addition to being amazingly talented.

    Here’s the thing: I am pretty traditional with regards to relationship. We both are. We both have tremendous respect for each other. This in mind, I am very, very uncomfortable with her doing dances such as the Argentine Tango, Bolero, and any close dances like this because of the implied sexuality/romanticism/sensuality with another man, i.e. her dance partner. When I voice these concerns, she insists that “no one is looking at it that way,” and that people and participants are viewing it purely as an art form. I just don’t feel it’s the case, and the sexual implications I feel are inappropriate for someone with a supposedly-traditional view of relationships. Am I wrong, guys? Honestly?

  17. Angel says:

    Thank u all for the comments and sharing your insights! :)