University of Surrey

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Contemporary Competitive Ballroom Dancing: An Ethnography.

Penny, Patricia A. (1997) Contemporary Competitive Ballroom Dancing: An Ethnography. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

This work represents a contemporary empirical exploration of ballroom dancing performed in competition. The ethnographic enquiry focuses on the actors - those who dance, perform and compete, through an examination of the profile of contestants and their participatory patterns. It considers the competitive arena, context of the dance 'event', the infrastructure supporting the dance competition, and the concept of competitiveness embedded in the performance. As this work is concerned with what is danced by the participants in the forum of competition, the process of teaching and learning is examined and leads to a consideration of the ethnoaesthetics of the form. The work is founded on empirical data derived through an interactive relationship with amateur and professional dancers, adjudicators, and dance coaches. Fieldwork included formal and informal interviews, questionnaires, and observation of a sample of dance settings. This exploratory study concludes that competition dancers comprise a heterogeneous group of exponents, representing a broad social group of men and women, of widely disparate ages, and who demonstrate varying lengths of dance 'career' following three distinct pathways. The participants study and perform a choreographed, aesthetic dance form, which embodies a corpus of knowledge and carries a range of precise ideas and criteria. The contestants aspire to a skilful performance, which contributes to the perpetuation of the dance styles as aesthetic forms.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Penny, Patricia A.
Date : 1997
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 1997.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 24 Apr 2020 15:27
Last Modified : 24 Apr 2020 15:27
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/854793

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