Jonathan Marion, whom I can pretend to know because he is a frequent flyer on Dance Forums, published this interesting article about “the translocal culture of competitive ballroom dance” in Journal for the Anthropological Study of Human Movement. The article does a nice job explaining that competitive dancers not only take the extensive travel associated with training and competition in stride but actually expect it and rely on it as part of the overall dance experience. Travel, Marion argues, is a sign of belonging to the competitive dance culture for dancers, instructors, judges, and the retailers who serve all of them. The article is easy to follow, not too long, usefully illustrated with graphs and diagrams, and includes a great picture of Iveta Lukosiute with a huge pile of suitcases. Good stuff.
While you’re up, this is also a fun read. Makes me wonder if the Macon State dance club knows what they’d be getting into by entering the world of collegiate competitions!