Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers competition in second lining, an African American vernacular dance form that has accompanied brass band processions through New Orleans’s city streets since the late nineteenth century. It takes formal second line dance competitions as an entry point to examine the often tacit gendered biases that frame second lining’s social practice and reception. Women competitors surmise that, in order to win, they must “dance like a man.” And yet, such gendered discourses cannot fully account for the tactics employed by young women today. Featuring an ethnographic account of the First Annual Big Easy Footwork Competition, the author suggests two feminist frameworks for understanding female footwork artists’ dancing: the influence of double-dutch jump rope, and a theoretical framework that Imani Kai Johnson (2014) calls “badass femininity.” With each step, female footwork artists move within and beyond a gendered terrain in which dancing well means dancing like a man.

Keywords: African American, dance, New Orleans, second line, footwork, badass femininity, jump rope, double-dutch, gender

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.