Library Dissertation Showcase

Exploring systemic racism within the North American ballet industry from 2015 – 2021

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2021

This study explores systemic racism in the North American ballet industry from 2015 – 2021 and investigates the potential reasoning for the lack of African American dancers within the field of ballet. Through an investigation into America’s political climate, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020, and Donald Trump, this study argues that systemic racism is embedded into American society, and is thus being reflected within the ballet industry. Case study analysis of African American professional ballet dancer Misty Copeland provides insight into her lived experiences which depict the systemic structures of the ballet industry,
alongside examining her contributions to diversify ballet and challenge the racial limitations African American dancers face. Further, this dissertation argues that representation in the media and dance pedagogy, are paralleling the Eurocentrism embedded within American society, leaving African American dancers underrepresented. Additionally, this study argues that African American children are experiencing limitations due to the school funding system in the United States and professional African American ballet dancers are continuing to be restricted due to a lack of resources such as dancewear available in bronze and brown shades.

PLEASE NOTE: You must be a member of the University of Lincoln to be able to view this dissertation. Please log in here.