Big Rowan Ackison (greensh) wrote,
Big Rowan Ackison

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Blog - Dance Roles and Gender

I participated in a dancer organized meet-up that touched on, amongst a range of topics, the lead / follow dynamic in relation to gender identity and gender presentation. It was at this point that I could have some inner pride in my “home” swing dance. In that space, I am glad to say, the dance roles are taught by function (lead / follow) and not by gender. There are still some growing pains. The young leads are wary of male-appearing follows during the lesson. On the fully progressive side, female-appearing leads are encouraged during the lesson and sometimes are needed due to the mismatched ratios of potential leads / follows. The good news is that the mostly young crowd is incredibly accepting of non-traditional pairings on the dance floor. There is something to be said for the young being the future of the world, and that us old(er) participants recognize the wisdom of progress.

Speaking of my home dance, thank you Upstate Swing ( (Paul Hoke, Ansley Meredith Hoke) for providing this venue for a freeing exploration of swing dance! Other regional dance forms and venues are also progressive. Contradance gets a big shout-out for having a long-time tradition of allowing freedom on the dance floor. I hope this can continue, progressing to even more role flexibility across the gender identity and gender presentation spectrums.
Tags: blog, dance

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