Forschungsprojekt "The Genealogy of Female Hypersexualisation in Latin American Competitive Dancing"
Erzabt-Klotz-Straße 1, 5020
Tel.: +43 662 8044 4656
Fax.: +43 662 8044 4650
- Gender Studies
- Musicology / Jazz and popular music
- Queer Studies
- BA Musicology, Université SLHS in Besançon, France (2010 – 2014)
- MA Musicology (specialization in Jazz and popular music studies), Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Graz, Austria (2015 – 2018)
- MA Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, Karl-Franzens Universität Graz, Austria (2017 – 2019)
- PhD Dance Studies, Paris Londron Universität Salzburg, Austria (2019 – )
- Research associate at the Institute for Sociology of Gender, Karl-Franzens Universität Graz, Austria (2020 – 2021)
DanceSport’s Economy of Desire – A Genealogy of Female Hypersexualization in Latin American Competitive Dancing
The vocabulary of DanceSport is evolving so rapidly that anyone remotely familiar with samba as it is currently practiced would laugh at the now ridiculous appearing performances of the 1970s. In fact, dance and its body vocabulary change and evolve, partly in response to the culture of which it is a part. The ideological and hegemonic concepts of gender, sexuality, race, class (among others) have a direct influence on the choreographic and technical repertoire.
The aim of this project is an analysis of dispositive in DanceSport. By considering the knowledge flowing through discourse, but also through bodily practice, and as it is inscribed within the framework of an institution, its social codes, and judging criteria, I wish to identify elements responsible for the stability or instability of the concrete hegemony reigning at each precise moment in the DanceSport microcosm.
By designing a genealogy, historicizing DanceSport’s choreographic vocabulary, I wish to focus both on the transformations in this vocabulary, as well as trace back the origins, itinerary and evolution of the historical process responsible for the emergence and stabilization of sexualization and female objectification on the dancefloor. To do so, I rely on a historical approach of critical discourse analysis, as well as movement analysis, selecting exemplary performances to determine relevant discursive events.
„Good dancing is good dancing“ – or is it?! Genderless quality criteria in heteronormative Latin-American competitive dancing
The World DanceSport* Federation’s competing regulations define a couple as a man and a woman, thus being openly heteronormative and featuring at competitions highly polarized gender norms. Yet, neither the judging criteria in use at competitions and set by the Federation, nor the quality criteria conceptualized by the experts to educate couples and adjudicators are defined in relation to gender. This situation has not yet been addressed by Academia or the DanceSport community and matters not only to gender-neutral or same-sex couples, who are as a result forbidden to represent their countries at World Championships but also influences every dancer’s gender performance. This paper investigates how the quality criteria, specifically musicality and partnering skills, are defined and performed in the DanceSport scene. It draws on qualitative expert interviews that are analysed with the grounded theory method. This analysis poses the question of whether and how the absence of gender in the definition of quality criteria can destabilize heteronormativity in the DanceSport subculture and on the dance floor. The paper further draws on video material and concludes that gender-neutral couples are able to embody these very same characteristics, musicality, and partnering skills, that the DanceSport audience expects.
*DanceSport is the competitive form of ballroom dancing. Latin American DanceSport includes the following five dances: Samba, Chachacha, Rumba, Paso Doble, Jive, while Standard comprises Slow Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Slow Foxtrot, and Quickstep.