Owners of Dance: How Dance Is Controlled and Whitewashed in the Teaching of Dance Forms

  • Nyama McCarthy-Brown


In this chapter, the appropriation of salsa, hip-hop, and the Lindy Hop are examined, as well as structures that maintain whiteness through systems of Dance Education in the United States. Counter-narratives are utilized to stand in opposition to historically inaccurate master stories such as the notion that ballet is the foundation of dance. These counter-narratives expose a history of cultural borrowing from under-resourced communities for capital gain, also described by Eric Lott (1995) as, “love and theft.” Critical Race Theory (CRT) is employed to orient readers to acute issues of ownership and race in the field of dance. Application of whiteness theory illuminates how systems of learning uphold an inequitable hegemony in dance. The various topics in dance explored in the text are woven together by the lived experiences of the author.


Critical race theory Whiteness Dance Education Hip-hop Salsa Lindy Hop 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nyama McCarthy-Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Theater, Drama, and Contemporary DanceIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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