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"Why do you dance?" "I love it! My body loves it!"

Dancing is fun, if it's by the pool, on the porch (previously), or on television in front of millions. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 5, 2013 - 2 comments

 

So You Think You Can Define Gender Roles In Dance

So You Think You Can Dance, the American dance-based reality show with a very high viewership (and more than 10 country-specific spin-offs) has a minor controversy brewing in their fifth season: one of the judges, Nigel Lythgoe, commented "I think you'd probably alienate a lot of our audience" after watching a straight/gay male ballroom dancing couple. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) issued a call to action to contact FOX and Lythgoe. Lythgoe tweeted more of his thoughts, but then went on to apologise for all his comments. Additionally, FOX issued a comment on how auditioners and contestants are reviewed. But none of this addresses the role of gender in dancing, though Lythgoe has clarified his thoughts before: that men "need to be very strong. Dancing is role-playing most of the time. And you need to be strong and lift girls. You need to look stronger than the girl you’re dancing with." Specific roles are assigned by gender in many styles of dance, including Square dancing, Tango, Poi, Haka, and many others. But there are opportunities for gender-role free dancing, as with the Lavender Country and Folk Dancers and other such groups.
posted by filthy light thief on May 23, 2009 - 56 comments

Sharpies: expressing difference through a well-dressed thuggery

"Normally subcultures in Australia are taken from other countries and just reproduced here. Sharps or sharpies are an Australian specific subculture, developed in Australian specific conditions." Sharpies were members of suburban youth gangs in Australia mainly from the 1960s to 1980s, particularly in Melbourne, but also in Sydney and Perth to a lesser extent. "Everybody was in a gang. Everybody. Every second street there was a gang. Um -- there was like you were either in a gang or you were the victim." The time of the sharpies is part of Melbourne folklore. Forget JFK. Where were you when Frankston erupted after the AC/DC concert in 1977? While the violence was legendary, so were the fashion and the music. Lobby Loyde and the Coloured Balls, Buster Brown, Skyhooks, Fat Daddy, Hush. And nobody danced like the sharpies (which resembles skanking of some sort). Anyone over forty who grew up in Melbourne has at least one story to tell about the sharpies (PDF). Some stories are about gang leaders with missing teeth and shit-eating grins, while others look back with some sort of fondness.
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 14, 2009 - 23 comments

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