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LGBT+ ballroom dancers and their shoes: Fashioning the queer self into existence

Wong, Yen Nee



This article examines the role of dance shoes in LGBT+ ballroom dancers’ identity formation and expression on the dancefloor. Applying Entwistle’s (2015) ‘situated bodily practice’ to an analysis of ethnographic field notes and 35 interviews, I highlight that dancers’ performative constitution of subversive identities through reiterative mobilisation of the traditional symbolic values of dance shoes is influenced by the material. The article makes a key contribution to sociological knowledge on performativity through an introduction of materialities of place, bodies and artefacts into a close reading of reiterative acts. I argue that a closer look into performative acts is necessary for determining whether and how resistance is constituted, recognised and reproduced, taking into account how materialities interweave with discourse in order to give credit to subversive agents emerging in the micro-moments.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 25, 2023
Online Publication Date Jun 25, 2023
Deposit Date Jul 18, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jul 19, 2023
Journal Current Sociology
Print ISSN 0011-3921
Electronic ISSN 1461-7064
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Ballroom, dance shoes, embodiment, LGBT+, materialities, performativity


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