Belonging Essay on Strictly Ballroom & the Sister's Anthology

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“An individual’s interaction with others and the world around them can enrich or limit their experience of belonging.” The intrinsic nature of mankind strives for a sense of belonging; this sense of belonging is fulfilled when one has reached a physical or emotional affinity with an entity. One’s sense of belonging emerges from positive and negative experiences and notions of identity, relationships, understanding and acceptance. Moreover, positive connections allow one to feel security, acceptance and input meaning into their lives. In contrast, negative connections are the reverse; one may feel alienated, depressed and feel a need to create or deteriorate a personal or cultural identification. Positive and negative interactions, imparting an essential role in influencing one’s sense of personal, familial and social belonging is effectively explored in Baz Luhrmann’s romantic comedy film Strictly Ballroom (1992) and the anthology Sisters. An authority figure, head of an organisation, expectations of conformity by followers negatively affects the followers’ or one’s sense of personal belonging. Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom effectively undertakes the exploration of this idea through the portrayal of the young ‘non-conformist’ Scott Hastings struggle to win the Pan Pacifics competition by the pursuit of his own personal dance; a rebellious action ensured to disrupt the natural order of the Australian Dance federation or ballroom dancing world, operated by the corruptive Barry Fife. As Scott throws his polka dot t-shirt in a corner of the studio revealing a simple shirt underneath, this is a simultaneous suggestion of his ‘breaking away’ from his old ballroom partnership with Liz and reliance on ‘flashy clothes’ to self-express himself in ballroom dance; further suggesting that his sense of belonging towards traditional ballroom dance has been shifted into feeling a sense of belonging towards his own personal dance. An agreement on a partnership ensues when both...
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