- Copyright Page
- Introduction: Competition Culture: Winning and Losing at Dance
- Taking the Cake: Black Dance, Competition, and Value
- You’ve Got to Sell It!: Performing on the Dance Competition Stage
- Competitive Capers: Gender, Gentility, and Dancing in Early Modern England
- Endangered Strangers: Tracking Competition in US Federal Dance Funding
- Marking Your Territory: The Struggle to Work in Flamenco
- Reappropriating Choreographies of Authenticity in Mexico: Competitions and the Dance of the Old Men
- Above and Beyond the Battle: Virtuosity and Collectivity within Televised Street Dance Crew Competitions
- Shifting Dynamics: <i>Sean Nós</i> Dancing, Vernacular Expression, and the Competitive Arena of the <i>Oireachtas</i>
- Visible Rhythms: Competition in English Tap Practice
- The International Dancehall Queen Competition: A Discursive Space for Competing Images of Femininity
- Congratulations, We Wish You Success: Competition and Community Participation in Romanian Dance Festivals
- Non-Competitive Body States: Corporeal Freedom and Innovation in Contemporary Dance
- Reclaiming Competitive Tango: The Rise of Argentina’s <i>Campeonato Mundial</i>
- Dance-Off, or a Battle for the Future: Dance Reality Shows in India
- Miss Exotic World: Judging the Neo-Burlesque Movement
- Rapper Dance Adjudication: Aesthetics, Discourse, and Decision-Making
- Dismantling the Genre: Reality Dance Competitions and Layers of Affective Intensification
- Why Are Breaking Battles Judged?: The Rise of International Competitions
- Not Another Don Quixote!: Negotiating China’s Position on the International Ballet Stage
- Dancing with the Asian American Stars: Margaret Cho and the Failure to Win
- Loss of Face: Intimidation, Derision, and Failure in the Hip-Hop Battle
- Making Play Work: Competition, Spectacle, and Intersubjectivity in Hybrid Martial Arts
- You Can’t Outdo Black People: <i>Soul Train</i>, Queer Witnessing, and Pleasurable Competition
- Freedom to Compete: Neoliberal Contradictions in Gaga Intensives
- “We’ll Rumble ’em Right”: Aggression and Play in the Dance-Offs of <i>West Side Story</i>
- Dancing like a Man: Competition and Gender in the New Orleans Second Line
- Man and Money Ready: Challenge Dancing in Antebellum America
- Afterword: Who Is Competing?
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter focuses on a viral video featuring commentary playing over an episode of the US syndicated show Soul Train. The particular queer black commentary in the video addresses the outfits, dances, and individual expression of each dancer as she or he struts down the line. At one point, narrator Darrell Hunt proudly states, “You can’t outdo black people!” What is it that cannot be outdone? What types of pleasures, affective expressions, and collective structures of feeling emerge from the witnessing and circulation of this viral video? Part of the discussion addresses how such communities celebrate blackness as something of value, worth collecting, and competitively viable. Hunt’s affective analysis of the black bodies dancing is particularly relevant given the recent #BlackLivesMatter movement and the continual devaluation of black bodies globally. If neoliberalism celebrates competition and individuality, how does black collective pleasure, mediated through a queer aesthetic and affective lens, actually out-do the emotionally devastating effects of capitalism?
Melissa Blanco Borelli is Senior Lecturer in Dance in the Drama, Theatre and Dance Department at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is the editor of The Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen (OUP, 2014) and author of She Is Cuba: A Genealogy of the Mulata Body (OUP, 2015), winner of the 2016 SDHS de la Torre Bueno Prize for best book in dance studies.
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