Sarah wrote this post Dance Teachers Shape the Lindy Hop Community in August last year, and it’s getting quite a bit of linky at the moment (mostly c/o Jerry’s FB page). I can’t believe I missed it when she posted it, but then I’m not really that surprised as I wasn’t exactly in the most organised state of mind at the end of last year.
At any rate, that post is just rippling with issues that resonate with me, here in my seventh week of teaching weekly classes and co-managing my own teaching venue, as well as continuing with my usual dancing commitments. I haven’t really read that post with a sensible brain yet (though that didn’t stop me launching in with a swear-laden comment – sorry Sarah), but I want to address some of those issues. I’m going to have to think carefully before I write, though, because teaching politics are far more complex than DJing or social dancing politics. I did do a chapter of my thesis on teaching dance, mostly making the point that the commodification of dance through classes (ie packaging up dance and selling it to punters in classes) is ideologically loaded, and I saw gender as a key part of this. How surprising, patriarchy and capitalism holding hands. Or they would, if they weren’t afraid they’d get gay germs. One thing’s for sure: the money involved in teaching makes it a far more laden topic than DJing. So I’ll certainly be coming back to stick my foot in it. And then in my mouth. Or my desperately over-laden metaphor.