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Stepping Queerly?

Discourses in Dance Education for Boys in Late 20th-Century Finland

Kai Lehikoinen

In male-dominated culture it is often problematic for young males to take up theatrical dance. Despite the development of gender-specific approaches to get more boys involved, dance education appears to be a prime site of oppression. Located at the intersection of dance studies and the sociology of masculinity, this book presents discourses through which masculinities are constructed and performed in the area of dance education in Finland.
The book includes a detailed investigation of male identities constructed in relation to dance, gender and sexuality as well as an analysis of masculine embodiments and performances as a political rhetoric. The author’s intertextual analysis focuses on the rejection of effeminacy, or the fear of stepping ‘queerly’, in male dancing. Such fear, the author argues, underscores the complex question of the social legitimacy of dance art.
This book will provide new understanding on discursive power and masculinities in dance education.
Contents: Methodologies – ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ – Discourses in Boys’ Dance Education – Themes and Practices of Male Dancing – Choreographing Masculinities – Negotiating Identities – The Fear of Dancing ‘Queerly’.