Graduation Year

2005

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Sociology

Major Professor

Maralee Mayberry.

Keywords

Professional socialization, Identity construction, College students, Performing arts, Sociology of art

Abstract

In a university undergraduate dance department, students seem to be learning more than pirouettes and pas de bourees; students are learning how to construct their identities and present themselves as 'dancers'. As they progress through their undergraduate careers, the students are not only developing technical skills, but they are also learning the ins and outs of how dancers look, speak and behave. Based on three months of observation and in-depth interviews, it seems that developing into a dancer requires developing into an individual who shows unique commitment both to him/herself and to the art of dance itself. While many of the students enter the university focused on increasing their technical prowess measured in terms of turning ability, elevation in leaps, and flexibility, the older students in the program seem to be focused more on finding their own - individualized - standards of excellence, which frequently have little to do with technical 'tricks'.

Share

COinS