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Salsa Congresses and Dance Festivals: Should I go to One?

Straight Talk

By Grace Badillo, President
Dancing With Grace Productions, Inc.

Salsa Congresses and Dance Festivals: Should I go to One?

Recently I have been tormented by this question. The closer I get to God, the more I question whether or not I should attend, support or take part an event, party, social, festival or congress.

The dance world is wrought with performers and promoters using sex, sexual images, and lust as a means to attract potential customers. As dance has become very popular in mainstream television, this is even more the case. If you look at almost any dance show, you can count how many times women are bent over, half naked grinding pelvis to pelvis or being felt up by their partner, and you would need more than one set of hands and feet to count it. I have gotten to the point of disgust! What has happened to dance people?

So here I am, a Creative Director of many dance events in different states, and I am torn, should I attend a local event if some people involved are using sex, sexual images, and lust in their classes or performances as a means to attract potential customers? Hasn’t everyone done it before including me long ago in the beginning of my career? Before I became close to the Lord, I worked with clubs that used “SEXXY Salsa Saturdays” as a means to attract customers to the evening, (even though there was nothing remotely sexual about the evenings). Somewhere around 2007 or 2008 we decided to add a clause to our contracts stating that anyone or any place we work with cannot use “sex” to sell anything we are involved in and what a relief it was! When you are a believer, you are not to be of the world, just in it. I am constantly saying, we should be out in the dance world being a good example in every place that we go, but this takes it a step further. I believe that money is a seed. Whatever you financially support, you in essence, condone. Although, some of my friends perform on many of those stages at the congresses and festivals, and I support their work, do I want to financially support people who use sex to sell anything? Aren’t I giving them more power to do the same later and influence hundreds and thousands of people?

In my regular daily life, I refuse to buy products marketed sexually, even shampoo or perfume! I am tired of the bombardment of sexual images and perverse ways everyone is trying to sell products. I feel sorry for men that are constantly being seduced by images and advertisements that in the 50’s were considered pornography but today are the norm. My husband calls me “THE BANNER”, because I BAN things! I regularly say things like, “Victoria Secret is banned for not allowing their workers to say Merry Christmas!” Taking Jesus out of the public square is one of the saddest things I have ever seen, after all, whether you believe in him or not, he was quite a nice fellow, so why ban his name at all?

So am I a “prude” or “religious freak” for deciding to ban an event after seeing guys holding girls ankles and spreading their legs showing their crotch as one of the images to “sell” an event? Maybe, but I’d rather find another place to go dance where people are just dancing for joy respectfully, versus, supporting events that objectify women. For those women who do go to these events and meet men who eventually treat them with no respect, use and leave them, remember, your environment is something you choose, don't be surprised if you find a bit of SCUM stuck on your shoe.

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