Dance Instruction - Dance Induction: Aesthetics, Gender Performance, and the Dancing Male

Jack Migdalek


This paper is a critical interrogation of my own practices as a male dancer, choreographer, and dance educator. I chart the development of my own aesthetic sensibilities toward the embodiment of masculinity and femininity, and theorise on dance/arts practitioners and dance settings and contexts as channels through which embodied gender inequities may be challenged and deconstructed. I refer to the representation and evaluation of particular forms of male/female embodiment as aesthetic, and other forms as un-aesthetic, within the television program So You Think You Can Dance, as well as discussing fieldwork conducted with performance arts practitioners/educators and high school students. This reveals tensions between individuals’ cognitive perspectives on the embodiment of gender and the freedoms by which they allow themselves to operate.

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