A schoolgirl was reduced to tears after a dance teacher tried to make her perform “erotically” on stage to the controversial song Blurred Lines, her parents claimed today.
Bella Hobbs, 14, says she was asked to get up on stage and thrust her chest forward while gyrating her hips – but refused claiming she was not “comfortable”.
She was then forced to stand up in front of her friends and argue with her Zumba instructor after she told her the idea was “horrible”.
Robin Thicke’s controversial hit has been banned by student unions across Britain for its sexualised lyrics.
Bella’s parents are now demanding an apology from The Castle School in Thornbury near Bristol and say they should never have exposed the class of 50 Year 10s to the song.
Catherine Hobbs, 44, a former teacher who now works as a therapist, said her daughter had come home from school in a state of distress.
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Bella told parents Ms Hobbs and dad Neil Castleton she felt uncomfortable and even “dirty” about being asked to perform dance moves which she felt were “too sexy”.
“She said that she was unhappy about the way that she was asked to dance, she said it was dirty,” Ms Hobbs, from Thornbury, said.
“I am not a prude, I am a liberal person and I haven’t got a problem with sexuality, but for a child to feel worried that what they are doing is dirty and rude, that is wrong.
“When she showed me the dance that she was expected to do, I would have been horrified.
“She said she was told to dance by pushing her cleavage out and wiggling her chest, pulling her skirt up to her crotch and gyrating her hips.”
Despite topping the download charts last summer, Blurred Lines, which includes the lyrics “I hate these blurred lines/ I know you want it”, sparked outrage for appearing to glorify rape and sexual violence.
Ms Hobbs claimed PE teachers were observing the Zumba class, which was held by a outside instructor, and by being present they were subliminally endorsing the sexualisation of children.
The pupils were all asked to get up on stage and dance to the song but Bella had to tell her teacher four times she did not want to before she was allowed to sit out.
“That must have been hard for her, to say no so many times,” Miss Hobbs added.
Bella, who does eight different dance lessons a week and teaches ballet and modern, did not understand the song and her mother spent two hours explaining why she thought the graphic lyrics were wrong.
She is now worried of the impact on other children, and said if her daughter had felt comfortable in the situation she never would have known what was happening.
She added the felt the school, who are yet to apologise, were not taking her complaint seriously.
Melanie Warnes, the school’s executive headmaster, said Bella’s mum and dad were the only parents to make a complaint about the Zumba classes.
She added the lyrics would not have been audible, with instructions being shouted to students and 50 children making noise and having fun.
The head said the song was most likely part of an iPod playlist of lively dance music.
The two experienced female PE teachers, who were overseeing the lesson, also did not notice the song being played.
She said: “We are investigating, and we would take it very seriously if any age inappropriate lyrics have been used.
“The teachers were not aware that any inappropriate dance moves had been made.”
She added that Bella, as an experienced dancer, had been asked to demonstrate but refused and there was “no issue made”.
Teachers were “not aware of anybody being uncomfortable”.
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