How Hip-Hop Turned My Son Into A Sexist

Luke (5 yrs old) has been taking hip-hop dance lessons every Monday for about two, or three months. It was my idea to enroll him in the all boys class for ages four through six because he has always loved to dance (and I thought it would be hysterical to watch).

After his class last night his teacher, Daryll was bragging about how well Luke was doing. This is how the conversation went. 

Daryll: “He’s really caught on quickly and is doing a great job at remembering the steps.”

Me: “That’s so great. Is this the only class for his age group? I bet he would like to come more than once a week.”

Daryll: “Yes, the only other boy’s class is for seven to nine-year-olds, but he could definitely join one of the girl’s classes. We’ve had several boys do that before when they wanted…”

Luke: (shouting) “Ummm, no! That is uh-scusting!! I am a boy, not a ballerina.”

Daryll: “No buddy, it would still be a hip-hop class it would just have girls in it.”

Luke: “Girl dancers are called ballerinas and boys are not ‘posed to dance with ballerinas!”

Daryll and I realized that we were getting nowhere trying to explain to a five-year-old (with his hands over his ears and his eyes now closed) how this would NOT make him “a ballerina.” Daryll wrapped up our conversation with, “So I’ll see you guys next Monday, then.” Luke responded with, “Ok, but there better not be any girls.”

As we walked out the door I was a little shocked. I wondered how on earth taking dance classes had suddenly turned my five-year-old son into a sexist. Then it hit me. For years people have suggested that hip-hop was a bad influence on our youth. Rappers have been called out for their lyrics being disrespectful to women and, in some cases, even inciting violence. 

Despite the fact that Luke’s class dances to either Kidz Bop, or simple beats with no lyrics at all, it was clear that the hip-hop culture had claimed yet another member of society and negatively influenced them. 

Well, I have a message for hip-hop. 

I will not tolerate this attitude. If it means forcing my son to dance with ballerinas, then so be it. 

I know that somewhere in his brain still resides the boy whose favorite song is Gimme Dat Ding. Thankfully, I am able to garner strength by looking back on this video I took of him twirling a light saber (baton) just a couple of weeks ago. 

Luke Hip-Hop Video

Ok as promised several times, here is a video from Luke’s hip-hop class. He is on the far left with a blue and green striped shirt and khaki shorts. His freestyle segment is in the last fifteen seconds of the video. Unfortunately, the only audio is lobby noise. Feel free to mute the video and sing “Funky Cold Medina.” I know you know all the words. Also, you may want to enlarge your screen. 

It may be hard to hear over my gasps, but his freestyle dance was the only one that drew quite a bit of laughter from the everyone watching in the lobby. 

After class, he high-fived his teacher and said, “Yeah, I was AWESOME!!”

Bless it.

If the video does not show up on your mobile device, then click the title of the post to be redirected to my actual blog and watch it there. 

The actual URL for the video is:

Luke-isms And a Wedding

Lt. to rt: Me, Andrea, Mary Beth, and Loren Leigh
Closer than sisters for over 20 years now.
(Photo by Heather Mays Photography)

About a week ago, Luke and I travelled to Birmingham for a glorious event. One of my best friends, Andrea, was getting married. Luke had heard about the reception to be held afterward, and was quite excited about “going to a dance party.” The tricky part was getting him through the ceremony without a fiasco. I filled my purse with candy and just before the ceremony began, I started handing him Smarties one at a time. Well, I underestimated the amount of candy he could put away, and before the bride even walked down the aisle, my purse was bone dry and little man was not pleased.

“Dat’s it,” he exclaimed. “I’m going to sit with my Uncle Shawn.”
“What? No you’re not.”
“Oh, yes I am.”
“Luke, look around you. This is not our family.”
“It’s not?”

Now, I will say that as a mom I’m pretty proud to have a son that’s colorblind, but I’m also a little concerned to have a son that’s THAT colorblind.
He got over it once the music started, and before you could say, “I now pronounce you man and wife,” he was break dancing into the next week.

Mary Beth doesn’t like to break dance. What a square!
“How much longer ’til I get to dance?”
Congratulations to Andrea and Eric!!!

Dance Off

On nights when Brantley works late, Luke (3) and I like to have after-dinner dance parties. Here’s a video of one such party. The role of Scooby Doo is played by Luke. The role of Scooby’s personal trainer is played by me.

I was disturbed the first time I watched this and realized that I call out instructions better than a mom on Toddlers and Tiaras.

(Background music by Bel Div Devoe.)

The Greatest Show On Earth

You might not believe it, but I ventured to the circus over the weekend.  As many of you know, the circus is a place I have felt great contempt for in the past.  The elephant poop, the uncomfortable seats, eighty dollar funnel cakes, and scary clowns always left me with a feeling of sensory overload and nausea.  However, there comes a time in your life when you make sacrifices for your kids.  For me, that time was Sunday at 10:00 AM.

For the patrons who arrived to the show early, there was a preshow on the circus floor.  It was a chance to see the dancers, acrobats and elephants up close.  Luke LOVED it.  At two and a half years old, I wondered if it would be too much for him, or if he would be afraid of the clowns.  My wonder ceased with the start of the first act.  There wasn’t a clown in sight during the pre-show.  He loved watching the acrobats fly through the air, and when that was over, they invited all of the kids into the ring for a dance party.  They had barely gotten the words “dance party” out before Luke had dived over the barrier and was front and center in the ring.  Rather than standing with the other kids, Luke went to the front and stood next to the instructor while he shook his groove thang.  This was the highlight of the circus for me. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  I won’t rest until that kid knows how to pop and lock. 

Of course for the real show, there were lots of animals- tigers, elephants, llamas, donkeys, a dog that rode a horse, and of course, camel toes on each of the acrobats.  They debuted motor cycles in a cage, clowns, a strong man, and a midget named Nano.  All in all, it was very entertaining, and had Luke not tuckered out, we would’ve stayed for the whole show.  The elephant excrement I had expected to smell was nowhere to be found.  Thanks to whoever cleans up that mess, because they did a really good job.  I was also pleasantly surprised that no one’s epilepsy seemed to be effected by the flashing lights.  My only disappointment was not getting to see the midget stick his head in a tiger’s mouth.  I was really hoping for that.  Damn you, OSHA.