When a boy's gotta dance: new masculinities, old pleasures

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Gard, M 2008, 'When a boy's gotta dance: new masculinities, old pleasures', Sport, Education and Society, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 181-193.

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Why would boys want to dance? Why would anyone want to dance? The argument prosecuted in this paper is that dance educators have tended to see dance as a self-evidently good thing with self-evident benefits for children who learn to dance. In other words, dance educators tend to concern themselves with why students should dance rather than why students want to dance or not dance. Instead, I propose that educators need also to think about how students, but particularly boys, experience, think and feel about dance here and now. But rather than offering an over-arching philosophy, I then discuss some practices from my own teaching research and practice which attempt to engage with young people's experiences of dance. In short, my argument is that the content of dance education might just as profitably be concerned with the immediacy of pleasure and displeasure rather than dry, hopeful and formal educational objectives.