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Perreo causes Controversy for Reggaeton

June 02, 2005

Like all great music genres there is usually a particular dance that corresponds to it. Reggaeton is no exception to this. In past years music genres like; Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Punta, and Lambada, have had sexually provocative dance moves that caused world wide controversy. Reggaeton has sensual and erotic Caribbean beats that mix Jamaican dancehall with Spanish rap. Since reggaeton came out in the early 90’s, listeners have danced in the way the beat has moved them.

Perreo is just one way of reggaeton dancing in which there is friction between a woman’s backside and her male partner as they bump and grind to the music. The introduction of reggaeton to the music industry has caused some people, especially politicians, to try to ban the music and the provocative dances that come along with it, like perreo. Many people label reggaeton as negative, but they need to understand that perreo is not the only way of dancing to reggaeton music. In fact, between 2000 and 2001 reggaeton stirred up so much controversy that critics assumed the music would die out and not be as successful as it is today.

Some parents are outraged by the sexually explicit way that their children dance at reggaeton concerts. The majority of the people in attendance at these concerts are between ages of 12-25. Although reggaeton has always had a clear sexual tone to it, women should remember reggaeton is not only about perreo but dancing to it is only an interpretation of the music and not a sexual act. Promoters as well as the DJ’s of concerts should find ways to get the crowd pumped, other than encouraging women to expose themselves. This is demeaning and gives reggaeton a bad name.

Today, reggaeton has been accepted due to the changes that many artists have made to their lyrics and the way that they portray women. In the past reggaeton was view as a symbol of sexual expression. Now, fans, both young and old are now able to enjoy dancing the way the music moves them, without controversy.

Special thanks to Quinée Butler, for assisting me in editing this article. – Andrea

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