Dance and Belonging

Implicit Bias and Inclusion in Dance Education


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About the Book

Employing social science research, this book details how bias affects the brain, perception and decision-making, identifying how these factors manifest in the field of dance. Centering the author’s experience as a researcher, educator and lifelong dancer, it applies social psychology to the events, communities, and teaching strategies in dance classrooms of all sizes and age ranges.
Using critical theory as a framework, chapters define implicit biases and explore the power dynamics that shape interactions on and off the dance floor. Various examples of bias in dance education are examined in detail, as are the ramifications of prejudice and inequity. Finally, the book disseminates the mechanisms that both exacerbate and disrupt the effects of biases, ultimately exploring practiced solutions for addressing bias in the dance classroom. Unique in its narrow focus, this book inspires dance students, teachers, education administrators and arts stakeholders to begin new conversations that will allow dance classrooms to become more welcoming, inclusive spaces.

About the Author(s)

Crystal U. Davis, CLMA is a dancer, movement analyst, critical race theorist, and an assistant professor of dance at the University of Maryland, College Park. She has 13 years of experience teaching in PK–12 dance education. Her research exploring implicit bias in dance education and how privilege manifests in the body has been published in the Journal of Dance Education and included in a volume of the Palgrave Handbook of Race and the Arts in Education.

Bibliographic Details

Crystal U. Davis
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 223
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8445-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4789-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction: Biases and Behavior 9
1. Privilege, Power, and Positionality: The Myth of Equality 31
2. Social Markers of Bias 51
3. Dance Aesthetics: A Site for Bias 65
4. Biases and Behaviors: Manifestations of Bias 78
5. Feeders and Disruptors of Bias 114
6. Numbers, Qualities, and Bodies: Solutions for Implicit Bias 136
7. Reintegration: A Fuller Picture 171
Appendix A: Social Justice Curriculum Design Outline 193
Appendix B: Community Norms Sample 194
Chapter Notes 195
Works Cited 207
Index 215