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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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Performing Race, Remaking Whiteness

Performing Race, Remaking Whiteness

(p.97) 4 Performing Race, Remaking Whiteness
Becoming Beautiful

Joanna Bosse

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explores the intersection between race and ballroom dance by focusing on the racial stereotypes encoded within Standard and Latin genres. More specifically, it considers more tacit aspects of ballroom dance, race, whiteness, and exoticism, and how they are encoded as different aspects of beauty in American expressive forms. The chapter first considers the performance of Standard and Latin dances before discussing the competition dances of both genres. It also examines a third category employed at the Regent Ballroom and Banquet Center, the Nightclub/street dances, and proceeds by looking at the relationship between essentialism and the performance of race. It argues that the performance of ballroom dance is structured by the dualistic and racialized notions of a rational self, a normalized whiteness, and an embodied, explicitly racialized other.

Keywords:   race, ballroom dance, whiteness, exoticism, Standard dances, Latin dances, street dances, essentialism, rational self, racialized other

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