Performing whiteness on the competition stage: ‘I dance all styles’

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13 Scopus citations


This article seeks to reveal and problematize the multi-layered construction of whiteness in dance competition culture by illuminating assumptions about technique embedded in ‘all styles’ competition dancers perform on stage. The phrase ‘dance all styles’ is a shorthand of sorts for those in dance competition culture, as what they really mean is they dance all styles represented in competition dance. In dance competition culture, technique is key in ‘all dance styles,’ and over time youth unknowingly come to equate the idea of technique with the attributes of ballet inherently reinforcing whiteness as normative. Policies and practices such as competition organizations' rules and regulations, judges’ commentary, and choreographic content are examined in relation to critical race theory to demonstrate how whiteness, white privilege, and white supremacy are performed on the competition stage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-224
Number of pages16
JournalResearch in Dance Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 3 2020


  • Dance competition culture
  • critical race theory
  • dance education
  • white privilege
  • white supremacy
  • whiteness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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