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date: 21 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Moving from the political margins toward a black mainstream, many African American social dances often emerge in queer communities of color. This chapter explores politically embodied consequences and affects of queer social dances that enjoy concentrated attention outside their originary communities. J-setting, voguing, and hand-dancing—a form of queer dance popular in the 1970s–1980s—offer sites to consider the materialization of queer black aesthetic gesture, in dances that redefine gender identities and confirm fluid political economies of social dance and motion. These queer dances simultaneously resist and reinscribe gender conformity in their aesthetic devices; they also suggest alternative histories of black social dance economies in which queer creativity might be valued as its own end. Ultimately, the chapter suggests a haunting presence of queers-of-color aesthetic imperatives within political mobilizations of black social dance, continually—and ironically—conceived as part and parcel of rhetorics of liberation and freedom of movement.

Keywords: black, vogueing, J-Setting, hand-dancing, black social dance, queer dance

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