I homeschool my kids. This was our first year. My son was at the end of 4th grade when we brought him home, my daughter, the end of 3rd grade. Being a part of the public school system, my daughter was participating in an after school program with the high school Flag core. Since it was an after school program, she was allowed to continue with it even though she was no longer in the public school system. I was very excited because this meant that, once she was of high school age, she would possibly be interested in joining the dance team or flag core (which she could still do as a homeschooler.) This was her 3rd year to participate in the program, and she loved it! Her coach and the high school flag core members that choreographed her routines were great! All seemed well.....
Friday night, she had a recital. It is really a high school spring dance showcase, but the flag core "little girls" prepare a routine and perform at different points in the 3 hour long recital. The group of girls are from 1st-6th grade ...so honestly anywhere from 6-13 years old I would guess.
They get to sit backstage in "the black box" with all of the other performers for the 3 hours waiting their turn to get on stage. For this reason, we all stay through the entire program.
As we sat in the audience, song after song, it seemed as though it got more and more provocative (aside from the smaller girls flag core! Their routines were all simple and cute!). I realized that the hope of my daughter one day becoming a part of this program was rapidly becoming obviously inappropriate! Never mind the costumes, as I am sure you have all seen what little girls typically wear when they are "performing" in a dance recital...the dances were mortifying! I'm no prude, I have shook my behind at many high school dances, but these girls were straddling chairs and lying on their backs while putting their legs in air then spreading them! Oh yeah, there was A LOT more than hip shaking going on! There was a number called "Prison Break" where the girls wore an orange jump suit that had to bought from one of those sex store magazines (like most everything else they wore that evening).
I felt really weird about watching it! They are 15, 16, 17 years old and should NOT be acting like this at all...much less on a stage in front of 200+ people...THEIR PARENTS! Although I thought I would get over it, I am gradually becoming more sickened by it.
Meanwhile, backstage, I find out the 6th grade girls (who I am assuming were showing out for the high school kids) were calling each other "the B word" and hitting the younger girls on the heads telling them they were annoying. Who knows what else!? I understand acting out and even thinking younger kids are annoying...but keep you dirty mouth and your HANDS to yourself!
Today was practice. I had all weekend to think about it. This was the first year she had the chance to buy her own flag, and of course we did..... She is so good at it.... I want her to have that memory of being a part of something fun in high school even though I don't want her there everyday...I have no intentions of sheltering my kids at all (well...maybe a little)....she handled herself extremely well according to her version of the story.
So what do I do?
She didn't go to practice. As much as it kills ME(she is indifferent, really), I have to put her best interests first. At the age of 9, I don't think it is in her best interest to be called "an annoying little B word" or (I shudder to think) look up to these girls that were practically having sex on the stage of the high school auditorium and being applauded for it!
I know this sounds like a no-brainer! Of course pull her out of the program! Or does it? I mean there were close to 200 kids that performed that night! Obviously, their parents think it acceptable and fine...and so does the school district! I know I will have friends that say I am being too uptight about it! So, unfortunately, I did have to think about it for a bit...it wasn't a struggle at all, but I did have to think.
You know, I was once a 16 year old cheerleader who liked to dance and shake my booty! I know this dance program encourages the students' artistic freedom. I also know, my high school cheerleading coach would have had me off the team and called my daddy if I would have come to practice and suggested we learn a routine that was anywhere CLOSE to what these girls were doing!!!
It makes me sad that she won't get to participate anymore :(....but I will get over it.
Hey! Maybe I can start my own homeschool flag core! ;)