- 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
The cakewalk represents one of the most important sites of competition in African-American dance history, as indicated in one of its original names, the prize walk. An examination of the cakewalk, along with tap, disco, and breaking, for example, reveals crucial insight into the development of race and class in the United States. Using primary and secondary historical sources, as well as critical race theory, this chapter analyzes the significance of competition in a number of salient cakewalk settings and argues that the political economy that develops around cakewalk competition alters our definitions of terms such as currency, value, and worth.
Nadine George-Graves is Professor of Theater and Dance at University of California, San Diego, and past president of the Congress on Research in Dance. She is the author of The Royalty of Negro Vaudeville: The Whitman Sisters and the Negotiation of Race, Gender, and Class in African American Theater, 1900–1940 (2000) and Urban Bush Women: Twenty Years of Dance Theater, Community Engagement and Working It Out (2010). She is the editor of The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Theater (2015).
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