When we were kids, we used to watch the dance reality shows and wanted to be one of those kids living the fairytale.
And, we weren’t dreaming about it alone, our parents were very much excited to be part of this dream, to be part of the fancy world of the entertainment industry.
But when choreographer Terence Lewis, who himself has been a judge on dance reality shows shared the dark realities about these TV reality shows, it shocked many of us.
Some time back, in one of his interviews, Terence Lewis shared why he wouldn’t let his own kids ever participate in the reality shows:
“Children are impressionable, and television is a cut-throat professional place. To put them on a pedestal for a couple of months and suddenly take it all away when a new show starts, leaves a void within them.
If I had a kid, I wouldn’t want him/her to participate in a reality show. It pushes the kid to an extreme level of ambition and desire.”
But, before we ignore Terence’s words as one of the personality stunts, we would like to share a shocking incident that happened with one such talented kid, who wanted to be part of these TV reality shows.
Shinjini Sengupta, a student of a reputed school in Kolkata, was a talented dancer who had even acted in teleserials and films. But, things changed for Shinjini, when she was publicly chided by a judge in a reality show.
After the incident, she not only slipped into depression but was also paralyzed. During this period, she lost her speech and even the use of her limbs. She was flown to Nimhans and was able to recover after a very focused treatment.
But even after Shinjini’s story, many kids still put themselves to the risk of this fake reality shows where many things are far away from reality.
Understanding the criticality of the situation, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) last month issued an advisory for private television channels to ensure that children are not portrayed in an inappropriate way on performance-based reality TV shows. In the advisory, the ministry said
“We have noticed several dance-based reality TV shows with young children “performing dance moves originally done by adults in movies and other popular modes of entertainment.
These moves are often suggestive and age-inappropriate. Such acts may also have a distressing impact on children, impacting them at a young and impressionable age.
The channels have been further advised to exercise maximum restraint, sensitivity and caution while showing such reality shows and programmes.”
Some of the popular dance reality shows for children on private channels include Dance India Dance Little Masters (Zee TV) and Super Dancer (Sony TV), in which children aged between 4 and 13 participate.
Talking about the I&B ministry’s recent advisory asking channels to avoid suggestive and age-inappropriate moves for kids on such shows, Terence says,
“Technically, they should be banned for kids on television, and parents should also regulate the same.
Such dances make them precocious in a certain way that is premature, and robs them of their innocence.
These kind of dances should be avoided, but having said that, a platform can be given to them for showcasing their talent.”
We hope every child and every parent understands the dark side of reality shows. And they think twice before letting themselves be seduced by the enormous fame at such an early age.
But sadly, it is not only the kids who are participating in these reality shows are at the risks. But, even the ones watching it.
So, if your kids do watch reality shows, please be little vigilant about the content they are watching. And if the content is not suitable for them, please make sure they understand why they can’t watch it.