'No Weight on that Back Foot': Dancing Towards Empowerment through Transforming the Gendered Feminine Habitus
Bryn Mawr College. Department of Sociology
Place of Publication
Table of Contents
Haverford users only
Gender socialization implicates not only our minds but our physical bodies, leading us to perceive and to use our bodies in distinctive ways. This study illustrates that dance has the potential to re-form elements of this bodily training that women, specifically, have internalized throughout the life course. I conducted in-depth interviews with female students and instructors in an undergraduate dance program, and my narrative and thematic analyses of their accounts reveal that dance interacts with the gendered feminine body in dualistic and complex ways. I conclude that precisely because dance, itself, is an embodied practice that also inscribes its own set of dispositions into the body, it is capable of changing aspects of participants' habitus of origin (Bourdieu 1977). I discuss implications of these findings on the current state of efforts for gender equality at large.