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NeuroTypical

BYU to allow same-sex dancing at annual competition

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Love it or hate it, it's news.  I figure it's worth people at least knowing about, if not talking about.   As usual, the Deseret News and Tribune have different takes on the same story.

DesNews article

Tribune article

I do know that BYU is quite well known across the nation for their Ballroom Dancing competitions - it's absolutely not an LDS-only sort of event.

 

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Stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid.

My prediction: The winners will trend toward homosexual male couples, as the benefits of upper-body strength for showy lifts and such become more common.

Time for BYU to start a heterosexual-couples-dancing-only club. Even if they're the only members.

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14 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

Just pointing out the obvious: your dance partner and who you're with romantically are usually different people.  By default, most people are dancing with folks they are not romatically involved with and likely not even attracted to.  

I don't believe this is so.  It's certainly not the case among ice skater couples.

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6 minutes ago, mrmarklin said:

I don't believe this is so.  It's certainly not the case among ice skater couples.

I don't know about ice skaters, but in ballroom dance team dance is a big deal and they change partners regularly and its not about romance. 

Solo couples may be different though. One of my other sons that loves ballroom did fall for his partner. He's engaged now, and I believe they met at dance. So it goes both ways I guess.

Edited by LiterateParakeet

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1 hour ago, Vort said:

The winners will trend toward homosexual male couples, as the benefits of upper-body strength for showy lifts and such become more common.

Wait, this doesn't make sense. Its already the guys doing the lifts. Since men tend to weigh more than women, women will be easier to lift than a male partner.

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Guest MormonGator
1 hour ago, mrmarklin said:

I don't believe this is so.  It's certainly not the case among ice skater couples.

I'm no expert, but it's usually "just a job" to ice skaters. That, and a lot of male ice skaters are homosexual so they aren't interested romantically in their female partner. 

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It seems reasonable to me. If we truly are going to treat same sex and opposite sex couples the same vis a vis the law of chastity, and the law of chastity permits umarried people to dance, then it seems reasonable to allow same sex couples to dance together in a competition setting.

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Logging in for just a minute to weigh in on this because it's so personal to me and because I don't know who else to vent to.

First, @Vort lifts are illegal in all but one or two competitions. So that's really a non issue. Regardless....agreed. Stupid.......etc...

So most of you probably don't know this because I haven't mentioned it but I was a ballroom dancer all through highschool and college and have competed in the highest amateur level dance competitions at BYU and other places many, many times.

BYU has always held different standards than other competitions, and even the Pros competing for the national championships at BYU have been required to abide by BYU's standards to compete. The primary way this has been seen is in the dress. Ballroom Dance outfits can be very immodest. BYU ballroom competitions do not require the same level of dress that they would on campus, obviously, but they do have standards. The woman's dress, for example, must come down to mid thigh (including slits in the back, etc.). The shoulder straps for the women must be at least an inch thick. The man cannot wear a see-through top. Stuff like that. Additionally there are rules against lewd dance moves that will get you disqualified. Once again, this is still subjective, and what's considered appropriate on the dance floor in competition might be inappropriate in other places. But straight-up grinding and the like or butt grabs or such would get one disqualified for certain. But full body contact is required in certain dances ("Standard" dances such as waltz, foxtrot, etc.). Dips and sexually provocative movement is common in the Latin style. All ballroom dancing is a "sexual" style of dance in that it is created for the sexes to do with one another in roles -- the female and the male. The interplay between the sexes is a part of ballroom. Sex (not the act, but the "gender" difference) is core to it. Even in same-sex dancing, one of the partners must take the role of the female, and one of the male. The dances work that way. Both people cannot lead. Both people cannot move forward at the same time. Both people cannot dip each other simultaneously. Etc.

So now we have a serious double standard. A woman who wears a spaghetti shoulder strap gets disqualified because BYU maintains a strict moral code despite the world's views, and yet two guys can wrap their arms around each other, dip and sway, gyrate their hips in synchronicity, place their hand anywhere on each other but "there", and dance cheek to cheek and crotch to crotch with nary a word said? Are you freaking kidding me?!

I am absolutely SHOCKED by this decision. What happened to standing for truth and right no matter the consequence? Really? So you can't host the professional national championship anymore? Boo-hoo! Do you stand for God and His truths no matter the consequence or do you cave for the world because of the world?!

A friend suggested that maybe BYU was contractually obligated to host until a certain time, and thereby contractually obligated to comply. The article didn't sound like that was the case to me. They might be obligated to follow the rules if they host, but required to continue hosting?? And if they don't, or don't follow the rules, and they get sued, and lose millions...are we really not willing to stand for what's right at any cost? I cannot believe it! I'm honestly stunned.

Alright...that's my two cents. I'm out of here again. I probably shouldn't have posted, in that Third Hour is still allowing juvenile progressively offensive articles published on their site, and I'm not going to stick around posting while that's the case. But I do read the threads often. However, this one has been on my mind for the few days since the news broke and really bugging me, so I needed to vent a bit. But I'm done now.

Someone should start a thread (unless I missed it) on the banning of gay conversion therapy in Utah too. Less offensive than this, imo, but the way it's being reported and handled, still....maybe worth a discussion.

I will note that I'm going to post one other update in a few days or so with some news. But otherwise, don't expect me to actively reply.

 

Edit: One other point I forgot to mention:

What about cross-dressing? If two men are dancing together does one of them get to wear a dress? Does that dress have to also come to the man's mid thigh, etc? Can BYU discriminate against men dancing in the women's role in women's clothing, or is that something they're caving on too?

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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Curious as to what BYU's boundaries are.  Yes, keeping the school insulated from criticism is important so that families can be provided for and get jobs...but, so far BYU has been surprisingly quite accommodating when people boycott the university.  None of this should be taken as a criticism, as I believe Christ leads the church and he'll intervene to prevent a frustrated purpose, and BYU was clearly meant to be, my thoughts aren't His, I get it.  I'm just thinking aloud.  I keep thinking now's our chance to...um I guess not.  Is this indefinite, or does it reach a point where we do our own thing?  I'm not trying to hijack the conversation, but if you can fit it in, do any of you personally believe that BYU has limits, or that it's existence is good enough and that we'll see a very different BYU in the next 10-15 years that keeps up with whatever beliefs the mainstream absorbs?  I'm totally fine if Christ wants to turn BYU into an accommodating school to attract diversity to the church, but I'm wondering if it's worth encouraging my child to attend.  Not because of this reason, although it has been part of a long pattern, see, I went over a decade ago and it wasn't what I was expecting in a faith-based school and didn't pay off for my husband (who also went) financially.  Once again, no one has to answer that, it would be nice, but I'm not in charge of this thread.  

Jane Doe, you have a good point.  The ACLU wanted to ban single people from becoming homecoming/prom king/queen, and require that it be couples that were dating (they said they had same-sex couples in mind)--I don't think that lawsuit made it far.  The fact that people are even thinking of male-female match-ups that likely have no romantic interest in each other (my married ballroom relatives do it all the time) being universally portrayed as something worth suing or protesting over shows some serious boredom on the part of some people who want to be a part of something important but are easily confused on what counts.

LiterateParakeet, you're right, I don't think there will be many homosexuals choosing this option, unless they are really newly infatuated with each other and can't dance with anyone else.  There's going to be a huge learning curve for that man who has recently decided to take up the opposite role unless he's been identifying with that since the start.  Once again people put up fusses (which is why BYU did this in the first place) as a matter of principle.

TheFolkProphet--I think some people post in hopes of getting their views into church culture, but a lot of people just need to talk--this is an interesting sign of the times.  I'm glad for an opportunity to process this as it feels crazy and I'm glad I'm not alone as I probably couldn't say that on many websites.  I really think choosing to dance as a same-sex couple is rare and you're more likely to see trans couples out there, which is saying a lot because they are also really rare.  Has anyone seen these in ballroom or are they just a theoretical possibility?  Perhaps this was behind BYU's thinking?  From my understanding they only host standard at BYU due to immodest moves and clothing from Latin, but that was years ago--has it changed?  Latin is where all the "why-are-single-latter-day-saints-even-engaging-in-this-art-is-not-an-excuse" stuff is--they are literally out there in pseudo lingerie busting out seductive moves.  Standard's much more wholesome, but it can be a little too close if you want an A in the class.  If parents stop sending their pre-teens to Latin, BYU will follow.  If college age students decide to find spouses in more intellectual ways than physical contact, BYU will follow.  I'm not saying get rid of dances, church youth are good at choosing to have space between them, just ones that REQUIRE being close for winning's sake.

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I personally think BYU should have stood more strongly by it's older morality.  If it's enough for the Church to leave scouts (and true or false, for the appearance that members are talking about the including of homosexuality in Scouting, regardless that the Church always allowed it in their troops to begin with, especially by signing every young man into the troop...homosexual or not) then why is it not enough for BYU?

In some instances it would be better to stand by your morals than change according to the world...then again, so much in the church recently has been seeming to try to placate the world rather than stick by the morals presented to us long ago...so...this is more of the same.

However...in this I am also a hypocrite in my statement.

BYU has long been against men dancing with another male partner until this change.

I learned how to Ballroom dance from dancing with other male dancers.  Women just could not teach me how to lead well enough, and someone telling you what to do is not as effective or was not as effective for me as learning it from someone SHOWING me directly how to do so.  Thus, I learned how to really lead and dance from dancing with a male partner who was leading and I learning from that.  I then danced with female partners as I then was fairly able to lead and dance, but to learn I learned best from having another male teach me how to do it.

Such a thing I believe would not be allowed at BYU (or was not in the past) from my understanding.  It was not even allowed in dance classes. 

Edited by JohnsonJones

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I'm glad @The Folk Prophet weighed in since I thought of him immediately when I saw the OP (I also thought of him when Cats came out, I can't count the number of times he's seen it).

I agree with others that I wish BYU had taken a stand and not hosted.

My thoughts on this are larger than BYU. Ballroom dance as sport and art comes out of longstanding tradition and culture. The Tribune makes it clear that the professed purpose of this change is to allow gays to compete in a way comfortable to them, but inadvertently makes an argument for the core purpose. Ballroom dance has rigid gender roles and (as TFP mentioned) this will destroy them. TFP called out the costuming question, but additionally we have the issue of who leads. If I watch a couple perform, I know immediately who will hold his hand up and who will twirl. This change allows for more artistic creativity where a couple can transition the lead during a move, coming out with the other partner leading. The sort of changes this opens up can be creative, it can be artistic, but it is not traditional ballroom dancing. Summoning my inner Len Goodman, it's "too much razzmatazz for my taste."

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JohnsonJones, I'm concerned about slipping standards too, but some people with weak testimonies get so worked up about the church caving that they fall away.  I made a promise to defend the church, so, like it or not I need to say something--this is not an attack on you.  Yes there are weird and inconsistent decisions out there--but I really believe the horse and pony shows are done to protect the path the church needs to take to liberate the world and prepare for Christ's return, it also prevents unnecessary persecution.  Christ is playing chess and throwing things under the bus--but he always makes up for it later.  I really believe he's at the head.  For example the therapy issue, meh, not important to our personal salvation to take a stance on exactly how private therapy choices play out--but in an age and time where attacks on the church are increasing, little things like that keep the mobs away.  If someone in our family were to think they were gay we'd take it to the Lord on what to do for us personally--we don't put too much stock into newsroom wording.

As far as the scouting decision, in order to help encourage my husband to invest more in our child, I've been keeping track of statistics and the young people of the church, starting in 2009 or so have been falling behind their evangelical peers spiritually and are not as committed as former generations.  Christ, acting through the church, has been working hard to save them, and throwing out everything including the kitchen sink isn't surprising.  A relative of mine working at headquarters told me the church had been preparing for a scout-exit since the 90s, but was waiting for the right time.  Yes, Elder Ballard's recent word choice was weird and I wish I could have commented on that thread, but in a sense they have been growing incompatible spiritually (I'm not looking at their recent policies but declining respect for our church, recently a prominent scout leader trashed our church as too boring and predicts at least 1/5 of our youth will rejoin scouts, look up the story in the archives of ReligionNews dot com.  On the other hand, if you send your kids to public school, you can't act appalled at the scouts' too much, I'm pretty sure they are more faith friendly than any public school).  But really, I think the departure was more pragmatic, the BSA just doesn't manage their funds well, overcharges scouts to pad their leaders' chairs, endangers kids (scout leaders do dumb stuff all the time like exploring abandoned mines), pull little kids away from their families too early (I'm so glad we never adopted the younger programs), and according to ReligionNews are on the verge of bankruptcy (and that's pre-church pull-out, it has nothing to do with the church's decision).  If we hadn't acted now who knows what would have happened .

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10 hours ago, Sort-of Young Mom said:

  From my understanding they only host standard at BYU due to immodest moves and clothing from Latin, but that was years ago--has it changed?  

The video I posted above was hosted at BYU, it's the dance competition we're discussing and it is a beautiful Latin dance.  Check it out if you haven't already, it's amazing!

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@mordorbund In my own "ignorant of anything to do with professional dance" way, I agree that this appears to represent a significant shift in the art and style of ballroom dance. Are we discussing the importance of preserving traditional ballroom dance and decrying changes to those traditions, and calling for BYU to be a beacon for traditional ballroom dance, or something else? If it's just about sticking to tradition and not letting sports/arts change, then it seems analogous to the volleyball purists who wish we were still doing traditional side-out scoring. Or basketball purists who decry the existence of the 3 point shot. Or those music purists (many from eras long past) decrying to creation of jazz or rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or [enter your most hated musical style]. Do we think it is BYU's place to be police and arbiter of what is part of traditional ballroom dance? It seems to me that, if BYU ought to stick to its standards on this, it ought to be for a more substantial reason than, "this change to the art of ballroom dance is forever going to ruin the art of ballroom dance and we refuse to go along with it."

Edited by MrShorty

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13 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

@mordorbund In my own "ignorant of anything to do with professional dance" way, I agree that this appears to represent a significant shift in the art and style of ballroom dance. Are we discussing the importance of preserving traditional ballroom dance and decrying changes to those traditions, and calling for BYU to be a beacon for traditional ballroom dance, or something else? If it's just about sticking to tradition and not letting sports/arts change, then it seems analogous to the volleyball purists who wish we were still doing traditional side-out scoring. Or basketball purists who decry the existence of the 3 point shot. Or those music purists (many from eras long past) decrying to creation of jazz or rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or [enter your most hated musical style]. Do we think it is BYU's place to be police and arbiter of what is part of traditional ballroom dance? It seems to me that, if BYU ought to stick to its standards on this, it ought to be for a more substantial reason than, "this change to the art of ballroom dance is forever going to ruin the art of ballroom dance and we refuse to go along with it."

For me it's orthogonal. BYU should have taken a moral stand for the reasons already covered by other posters. Separately, I question the NDCA's decision to open it up. My preference would be if NDCA was to open it up, it create a separate dance category to allow for same-sex categories. It's similar to the creation of new music genres, but note that by listing them as a separate genre they are being categorized and classified as different. Both cha cha and foxtrot can be danced to a 4/4 beat, but only one is allowed in International Ballroom and the other exclusively in International Latin. The change allows for enough differences that they should be judged separately.

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I just read over some of the rules

Quote

A couple is defined ... as a leader and a follower without regard to the sex or gender of the dancer.

My reading of this is that the leader has to stay leader for the duration of the competition, and the follower has to stay the follower throughout the competition. I think just by allowing the same-sex partners the boundaries will be pushed and it will not remain this way. And just to add to the doom and gloom, NDCA can't very well allow same-sex partners to change without allowing traditional couples the same advantage.

Quote

DRESS AND/OR COSTUMING - JUNIOR, YOUTH & ADULT

Definition of “Syllabus Dress”.

Gentlemen. Ballroom and Smooth Divisions: Dress pants, plain shirt and tie, and optional cummerbund or vest or black sweater or tuxedo. No tail suits. Latin and Rhythm Divisions: Dress pants, plain or ruffled shirt, optional tie and or vest.
Ladies. Ballroom and Smooth Divisions: Cocktail dress without excessive adornment. No ball gowns. Latin and Rhythm Divisions: Leotards and wrap skirts or party/cocktail dresses without excessive adornment.

RULES FOR AMATEUR COMPETITORS

Definition of “Open Amateur Dress”.

Gentlemen. Ballroom and Smooth Divisions: Tailsuits. Latin and Rhythm Divisions: Latin

costumes.

Ladies. Ballroom and Smooth Divisions: Ball gowns. Latin and Rhythm Divisions: Latin

costumes.

TFP won't have to worry about cross-dressers this year, but I think this is going to be pushed. For starters, 2 ladies dancing in ball gowns will have a disadvantage to 2 men dancing in tail suits who will have a disadvantage to a tail suit/ballgown couple. A twirl with tails just isn't as eye-popping as a traditional gown, and fancy footwork can be easily lost in 2 layers of ballgown.

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8 hours ago, Sort-of Young Mom said:

As far as the scouting decision, in order to help encourage my husband to invest more in our child, I've been keeping track of statistics and the young people of the church, starting in 2009 or so have been falling behind their evangelical peers spiritually and are not as committed as former generations.  Christ, acting through the church, has been working hard to save them, and throwing out everything including the kitchen sink isn't surprising. 

There is irony in this part (not your statement, but in what the Church bureacracy has been doing).  I've found that the Youth for the most part are secure as long as their parents are secure.  The Youth go to church and for the most part, as LONG AS THEIR PARENTS are going they will go.

I work with Young Adults through teaching them and thus being associated with them in the university system (edit: Not BYU's System).  In this, I suppose, is why I've occasionally (actually a lot in just the past few weeks) been asked about some Young Single Adults that I deal with in classes and otherwise.  It is at the critical juncture (at least with those that attend the university) where they leave home and attend the university that I see them leaving the church. 

From my viewpoint, the focus has been on the Youth and very little on the Young Adults.  The church has taken what little there was for the young men to work towards in some ways and tossed it away.  Where a young man may see a Melchezidek Priesthood holder doing ordinances in the temple in the past with Baptisms for the dead, today, they will not see that as much.  Instead, to baptize any of the young men that are priests would be able to do it.  Once they get to the university...they simply fall away.  They have no goals.  They have no objectives.  They have nothing that they really are working towards in the Church.  Those that serve missions have already achieved that goal and now in the new environment seem to have difficulties.  Even among returned missionaries I am seeing them fall away.  Those who do best seem to be those that delay missionary service a bit and then go on their mission after attending a little bit and then return...but it's still no guarantee.  Girls seem to be more strongly connected to remaining active than Boys. 

The critical juncture point I am seeing is not so much the Youth, the Youth will go where their parents will for the most part...but with the Young Single Adults and their transition during their late teens to their early 30s. 

Much focus has been done on the Youth, but if  you lose their parents, you seem to lose the youth associated with that family as well in most cases.  If the family remains active, a greater percentage of the youth remain active. 

With the Young Adults, I'm not sure exactly what is happening, but many seem to go inactive rather quickly (though more of the Single Men than the Single Women in my local and anecdotal experiences).  I haven't seen a lot of focus from the church on these groups so much as on the Youth.

I know the idea that if they put a strong testimony with the Youth they will retain them...but for all the change I've only seemed to see a more rapid deterioration of the Young Adults (after being done with being youth, those attending the university at least) not sticking around.  Perhaps a change up where the focus is more on getting the YSA as families and focusing more on strengthening the family bonds where the YSA are more connected to their families that are active will help the problem.

It seems there is so much focus on the Youth programs recently, but not a lot on the real backgrounds (parents being and remaining active, retaining them as Young Single Adults and providing better programs to help keep them motivated, give them goals, and keep them active in the Church) where I feel they are losing the university students (not all of them, there are some really strong students out their in the faith, stronger than I'd say most of us were at their age, but they are getting fewer and father between).

It's still early in the process though, perhaps in the future there is much that will change regarding policies that will help retain the Young Adults (both single and married) better.

Edited by JohnsonJones

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On 1/22/2020 at 7:18 PM, Jane_Doe said:

Just pointing out the obvious: your dance partner and who you're with romantically are usually different people.  By default, most people are dancing with folks they are not romatically involved with and likely not even attracted to.  

My objection has nothing to do with "romantic involvement" and everything to do with the trend that man and woman are interchangeable in sports... cue in the image of trans-female sprinters standing on all 3 podiums of the women's track state championships.

Movie Quote from Blades of Glory:  "To win, we have to do what nobody else in the competition can do.  What do we have that nobody else have?".... "2 dongs." 
And that's how the "Iron Lotus" made it to competition.

So sure.  That's just a funny movie.  As everything else in satire, proven daily by the Babylon Bee - satire has a way of becoming real life.

Edited by anatess2

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I was waiting for a Blades of Glory reference.  Funny movie, if you like a certain kind of eclectic movie.

The other relevant line to same-sex ballroom dancing, was the guy who said "does this look natural to you"?

Image result for hotdog bun with two hotdogs

Edited by NeuroTypical

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22 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

So sure.  That's just a funny movie.  As everything else in satire, proven daily by the Babylon Bee - satire has a way of becoming real life.

No kidding.

 

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