No 'Boys' Allowed: Exploring the Narratives of the Men of Repertory Dance Theatre (RDT)

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Title No 'Boys' Allowed: Exploring the Narratives of the Men of Repertory Dance Theatre (RDT)
Creator Rob A. Myers
Subject Men; dance; Utah; RDT; repertory; repertory dance theatre; Linda Smith; masculinity; gender; heteronormativity; gender roles; gender norms; sexuality; mentorship; representation; MACL
Description Historically, dance has been considered an activity less desirable for boys. Social constructs have placed more emphasis on a young man's involvement in male-centric sports, like football, basketball, or baseball. Although classical dance has seen a heightened level of representation among young men, there has not been much research focused on young men who participate in classical dance forms, aside from studies on gender and the sexuality of the male dancer. Through semi-structured interviews and digital stories from RDT's male dancers, this research examines the narratives of professional male dancers and the influences, means of support and deterrents that impact how they do or do not engage with classical dance forms. A few recommendations are offered for increasing male involvement in dance including male mentorship, arts-based education in schools and asserting dance as a sport. During the interviews, it was clear that the men appreciated having a platform to express themselves and speak openly about the contributing factors that led them to dance. We discussed the notion of masculinity and how male dancers are constantly scrutinized for not being ‘manly' enough, regardless of how physical and athletic dance is. The men expressed their views on gender norms and the need to dissolve them and how the elements of challenge and competition in dance keep them actively engaged with dance and could attract more men to the field. What seemed to thrill the men the most was the need to have autonomy and creative license in their work, which RDT provides them with. The intent of this thesis is to inspire young men to pursue their love for dance without fear of isolation, rejection, or ridicule. The benefits of dance are immeasurable and any young man who has a desire or curiosity to engage with dance should have the opportunity to do so, freely.
Publisher Westminster College
Date 2018-05
Type Text; Image
Language eng
Rights Management Digital copyright 2018, Westminster College. All rights Reserved.
ARK ark:/87278/s60p53ph
Setname wc_ir
Date Created 2018-06-08
Date Modified 2018-06-08
ID 1341261
Reference URL
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