DANCE IN THE PE CURRICULUM AND NON-CURRICULAR STREET DANCE
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This study analyses the experience of dance in school education, the relationship between male youth and dance in the media and their effects on male participation in dance, recognising that dance is often considered a female activity. The research explores the potential limitations of male participation such as narrow definitions of masculinity and hegemonic gendering, considering key themes including gender appropriate activities, emotional expression, role models and the value of aesthetics and competition. Referring to current research, this thesis compares dance in the Key Stage Three curriculum to a non-curriculum street dance context, drawing upon focus group responses of pupils from both settings. The interviews explore key areas of interest, for example school subjects, definitions of masculinity and femininity, representations of men and women in society, strengths and areas of improvement within curriculum and non-curriculum dance, alongside a short task where participants ordered pictures of male dancers and sportsmen from most masculine to least masculine. The data provides viewpoints which support and oppose the hypothesis that dance in the curriculum can have a negative impact on male participation in dance. The results outline aspects of the curriculum which could be added or altered in order to enhance male engagement in the activity, for example the use of male dance teachers and the incorporation of street dance into the curriculum.
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