“Few volumes tackle the issue of gender and dance with such currency. A work of high quality, thorough in its composition, impeccable in its rigor, and far-reaching in its approach.”—Julie Kerr-Berry, Minnesota State University, Mankato
“Generous with data, this collection of accessible research will inspire a variety of emotions from anger to fascination, prompting us to question our own actions and the shape of the future of dance.”—Barbara Bashaw, Rutgers University
Driven by exacting methods and hard data, Dance and Gender: An Evidence-Based Approach reveals gender dynamics within the dance world in the twenty-first century. It provides concrete evidence about how gender impacts the daily lives of those in the dance world—dancers, choreographers, directors, educators, and students—through surveys, interviews, analyses of data from institutional sources, and action research studies.
Dancers, dance artists and dance scholars from the United States, Australia, and Canada discuss equity in three areas: concert dance, the studio, and higher education. The chapters provide evidence of bias, stereotyping, and other behaviors, which are often invisible to those involved, as well as audiences. The contributors answer incisive questions about the role of gender in various aspects of the field, including physical expression and body image, classroom experiences and pedagogy, and performance and funding opportunities.
The findings reveal how inequitable practices, combined with societal pressures, can create environments that hinder health, happiness, and success. At the same time, they highlight the individuals working to eliminate discrimination and open up new possibilities for expression and achievement in studios, choreography, performance venues, and institutions of higher education. The dance community can strive to eliminate discrimination, but the first step toward doing that is to understand the status quo regarding gender in the dance world.
Wendy Oliver, professor of dance at Providence College, is coeditor of Jazz Dance: A History of the Roots and Branches. Doug Risner, professor of dance at Wayne State University, is coeditor of Hybrid Lives of Teaching Artists in Dance and Theatre Arts: A Critical Reader.