Cultural Influence On Dance

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Dance is a word heard all too often in my household, with two sisters that dance, a mum that danced, and two cousins that danced professionally overseas. I often find myself wondering why I never took part in the sport that defines my family. After much thought, I deduced the main reason I don’t participate in dance is simply because I enjoy more friendly, teamwork orientated competition, however, through this process I came to realise several barriers which affects the access and equity of dance to several members of society.

Originally, Australian dance was a spiritual activity through which Aboriginal men, women and children portrayed their Dreamtime stories (Magowan, 2005). European influence changed the face of Australian dance and began …show more content…

Access is analysed to measure the availability of resources and equity is examined to discover barriers that limit the participation of groups and individuals. Sociologist Peter Figueroa developed a framework designed to analyse how society affects the access and equity related with sporting participation. The framework is comprised of five levels, the cultural, structural, institutional, interpersonal and individual level (Hede, et al, 2011, pg 299). In this situation the cultural level is associated with Australia’s history, culture and our collective values, beliefs and attitudes held towards dancing. The individual level is relevant because it investigates the reasoning behind why individuals chose or reject to participate in dance. Australian culture places significant pressure upon males to display masculinity and the value of mateship, therefore, sports such as rugby, football and cricket are encouraged (Goldsmith, 2015). This cultural belief creates a barrier affecting the access that males have to dance, as it opposes social conformity. Similarly, dance in Australia is contorted and shown in a negative light with emphasis placed on sexualisation (Toxward, 2015). Thus affecting the individual level as it goes against individual beliefs that sport should be a nurturing and personality enhancing device, therefore girls are encouraged to participate in sports such as Netball. By analysing society’s perceptions through the cultural and individual levels, it becomes clear that dance is a sport riddled with

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