Dance is predominantly seen as a female artform. Is this reflected through the employment within the dance sector?
Lynville Griffiths, Laura-Jayne
University of Wales
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This research has been based on the employment division between male and female within different dance sectors. Much research has been carried out about gender division within the performance side of dance, such as the ‘Male Gaze’ theory as proposed by Mulvey (1975), where Burt (2007), supports this theory by saying that the male dancer does not exist. Therefore this empirical research sets out to discover whether there is a division in gender within specific dance sectors and roles that are obtained within these sectors, predominantly off the stage. General research on employment, undertaken by The Hansard Society cited in Ledwith and Colgan (1996), suggests that males are at the top of the payroll in the higher positions due to previous education they have undertaken, whereas females are suggested to be the domestic co-worker, looking after children or doing house work, on the lower payroll, supported by Bagilhole (1997). Extensive research, specifically on the dance sectors, share similar views, due to the fact that dance has always been perceived as a female art form (Burt, 1995). This study focused on two dance sectors: the community organisations and the touring dance companies. I looked specifically at organisations and companies that were based in Wales. The participants answered open and closed questions, mostly closed; to provide statistics of different genders that work in their organisations, and the different types of jobs needed and what salary went with that occupation, which were then presented in figures as quantitative data. The study intended to show that males were more dominant in the high position roles such as director or manager, whereas the females were seen as the dancers. The results suggest that there is a division of gender in the community organisations and touring dance companies, and that there is also a division between the community organisation and touring dance companies alone. The division shows there are more people working in the touring dance companies than the community organisations. There are also more females overall in dance in both sectors, but no males in the community organisations whereas there are in the touring dance companies. Even though there are more females in the touring dance companies than men, there tends to be an equal spilt of male and female in the higher positioned occupations, such as directors. This then points out that most women, in the touring dance companies, are in the support service area, such as administrator, finance and education officer.
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