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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Sexualization of Girls in Dance Competitions

  • Author(s): Schultz, Elizabeth Gough
  • Advisor(s): Corey, Mary
  • et al.

The sexualization of girls in dance competitions is a widely discussed issue amongst dance studios, however it is not an issue yet addressed in dance literature. There is literature in dance-related fields, such as child beauty pageants, which has dealt with the sexualization of girls, and I have utilized those writings to supplement this research. This thesis addresses how sexualization occurs in our society and the impact it has on girls. Through interviews with dance competition judges, choreographers, and leading psychologist on the sexualization of girls, Dr. Tomi-Ann Roberts, I identify the ways in which sexualization occurs in dance competitions and suggest possible remedies.

This research lead me to explore how the effects of sexualization can manifest in the girls and young women who have participated in dance competitions. Through this research I was inspired to create a choreographic work, and in the final section I discuss my creative process for investigating these effects.

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