“They Call Me LaQueefa”

Unfortunately, people, I can’t make this stuff up, even if I wanted to.  Lifetime’s show “Dance Moms” recently had an episode where dance student Nia, the only African-American girl on the show, was required to do an “ethnic” dance complete with a tight leopard catsuit and black afro.  Of course, Nia’s mom, Holly, voiced her concerns with dance instructor Abby.  But I’m not sure what good that did; Nia still performed in the showcase.  When Abby suggested to Holly that she take her resources and find her own choreographer for Nia’s performance, she backed down. 

First of all, it says a lot when a Caucasian woman can get on national television  in 2011 and can tell a Black mother that she IS stereotyping her daughter.  Abby’s excuse was that Nia has to be able to perform when she appears at auditions where they are looking for “ethnic” dancers.  This is the biggest load of crap I’ve heard in awhile.  If I were Holly, I would have gotten my daughter, gathered up her things, and walked out of the studio.  You know what was even more offensive than the outfit?   It was the dance itself along with the music, which had no type of ethnic beats or moves.   Are we that hard up for fame that we sacrifice our children now?  Not only that, but isn’t Holly concerned about the ramifications this performance may have on the psyche of Nia?   

I understand that parents have dreams for their offspring.  But what is little Nia going to think 10 years from now when she sees this tape?  And if she’s lucky, it may not even take her that long to realize EVERYTHING that is wrong with this episode involving her and her mother. 

Does racism still exist in this country?  Absolutely.  And this show proves it.  It’s just really disheartening to see a child used in this way.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

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