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Dance With MeBallroom Dancing and the Promise of Instant Intimacy$
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Julia A. Ericksen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814722664

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814722664.001.0001

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Taking the Lead

Taking the Lead

The Male Dancer

(p.150) 6 Taking the Lead
Dance With Me

Julia A. Ericksen

NYU Press

This chapter explores how male ballroom dancers develop a dancing identity and learn to mesh it with their sense of masculinity. More specifically, it examines how male dancers learn to create the kind of emotional connection that many people see as women's work, while at the same time retaining a strong masculine and heterosexual identity. It shows that men make most of the decisions in dance; they lead, and women follow. It also considers how gay men adapt to dancing heterosexual passion or romance and argues that issues of gender and the dancing identity are different for gay men. Finally, it discusses the dancing identity of male dancers from the former Soviet bloc and the motives of single men compared to married men for learning ballroom dancing.

Keywords:   ballroom dancers, dancing identity, masculinity, male dancers, emotional connection, heterosexual identity, gay men, romance, gender, ballroom dancing

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