“ I Don’t Want to do African… What About My Technique?” Transforming Dancing Places into Spaces in the Academy
Raquel L. Monroe, Ph.D.
In the article “I Don’t Want to do African” Monroe theorized the delegation of modern dance and ballet as the proper techniques for training dancers in the academy, while African and American dance is somewhat frowned upon in the academy. While American dance is not considered a form of technique it still requires acquired skills to be good at it. This article openly discussed how dance is judged not only in the academy but also in the world we live in by race, class, gender, and even geography. How space, place, and state correlates with dance in a major way. This article was really interesting because my relation was so real to some of the topics being discussed. “Technique” was the topic of discussion in this article. “What is technique?” was the question that was asked throughout different interviews conducted. “Technique is being able to exemplify a move with perfection; correct posture, correct rhythm, correct movements for which ever genre of dance you prefer” is my opinion. The argument about technique originating from ballet and modern is true when it comes to certain styles of dance. When it comes to dance styles such as hip hop, jazz, and salsa, ballet isn’t too much of a skill needed. When it boils down to what is acceptable to be taught in universities, the unrelated ballet dance styles are frowned upon and looked at as social dances; “everyone can do it”. People feel that because these dances are practiced in other places other than a dance room or theater, that these are dances that do not require technique. These types of dances are usually practiced in nightclubs, parties, and social dance battles. “Rhythmic music is important. It’s at all functions in African American culture.” It is time to stop being so stereotypical and accept all forms of dance as an art and talent. We have to stop basing technical...
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