Dance Competition Culture and Commercial Dance: Intertwined Aesthetics, Values, and Practices

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In the United States dance competition culture and commercial dance are both highly visible. Although connections between the two distinct dance worlds are implicitly present, they remain largely unexamined. To begin a conversation about how commercial dance and dance competition culture relate and their influence on dance education, this article provides a contextualization of nine dance competition teacher/choreographers' perceptions of how commercial dance and dance competition culture inform each other. Interview data reveal the impression of a strong, tangible link between commercial dance and dance competition culture, and that overlapping values point to a symbiotic relationship between the two. The positioning of commercial dance and dance competition culture as popular and accessible has a direct influence on how Americans consider and engage with dance. As such, examining dance competition teacher/choreographers’ experiences provides valuable insight into the role of dance and dance education in the US.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-67
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Dance Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 3 2019
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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