1st Edition

Equality Dancesport Gender and Sexual Identities Matter

By Yen Nee Wong Copyright 2024
    202 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Equality Dancesport uses a queer feminist lens to examine the materialisation of gender and sexuality through moving and dancing bodies, by taking readers through the initiation journey of becoming an equality dancesport competitor.

    A recent shift in the media representation of ballroom dancing on British televised entertainment shows such as Strictly Come Dancing inspired active media discourse around same- sex dance partnerships. Questions arise as to whether and how such partnerships should be screened on television, and the extent to which gender and sexual norms around traditional ballroom dancing should be maintained in its representation. Drawing on autoethnographic research and interviews with dancers in the United Kingdom’s LGBT+ ballroom dance culture, this book illustrates identity work to involve a complex process of striking a balance between transgressing, reinterpreting and reinstating gender norms and heterosexual intimacy in traditional ballroom dancing. It offers an alternative framework for examining performing bodies as sites for discursive and embodied displays, informing future action towards a recognition of more diverse, embodied lives.

    Contributing to our thinking around sex, gender and sexuality, this book highlights the work involved in the production and performance of gendered and sexual bodies. It will be of interest to students and scholars across the social sciences, in particular those studying sociology, gender, sexuality, queer theory, sports studies, cultural politics, dance and leisure consumption. It will also be of interest to non-academics such as Strictly enthusiasts, dance educators and dancers.

    1. Queering Ballroom Dancing

    2. Historical Evolution of Gender and Sexuality in Ballroom Dancing

    3. Becoming an Equality Dancesport Competitor

    4. Selecting Dance Roles

    5. Choreographing the Dance Moves

    6. Costuming the Dancer for Competitions

    7. Conclusion


    Yen Nee Wong is Research Fellow at Edinburgh Napier University, UK. Yen Nee Wong’s work focuses on the sociology of partner dancing, queer theory, genders, sexualities, embodiment, media and culture. Yen Nee has published in journals including Current Sociology, International Journal of Qualitative Methods, International Journal of Sociology of Leisure, Media, Culture and Society, and Big Data and Society.