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Becoming BeautifulBallroom Dance in the American Heartland$
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Joanna Bosse

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039010

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039010.001.0001

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Rules of Engagement

Rules of Engagement

Marketing Safety and Managing Risk in the Ballroom

(p.45) 2 Rules of Engagement
Becoming Beautiful

Joanna Bosse

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the “rules for engagement” in ballroom dancing by following the trajectory of individuals as they enter the dance hall for the very first time and eventually become good ballroom dancers. It begins with a discussion of local practices at the Regent Ballroom and Banquet Center and how members of this particular local context connect with the more global aspects of ballroom performance. It then considers the importance of safety in the ballroom, first by explaining the obligation to “take care” of one's partner and fellow dancers, along with the convention of sobriety and limiting alcohol consumption during a dance. It also shows how a sense of safety functions not only to generate participation and maintain local communities, but also to provide the necessary components codified to ensure performance on an international scale. It argues that feeling safe to dance without risk of physical harm or social rejection is a first requirement in realizing ballroom's promise of becoming beautiful.

Keywords:   ballroom dancing, dance hall, ballroom dance, Regent Ballroom and Banquet Center, performance, safety, sobriety, alcohol consumption, becoming beautiful

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