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If you want to learn about masculinity, ask a man if he likes to dance. One man in this study answered, "Music is something that goes on inside my head, and is sort of divorced from, to a large extent, the rest of my body." How did this man's head become divorced from his body? To answer this question, Maxine Craig sought out men who love music but hate to dance. Combining interviews, participant observation and archival research, Sorry I Don't Dance uncovers the recent origins of cultural assumptions regarding sex, race, and the capacity to dance. From the beginning of the twentieth century through the Swing Era young men of all races danced. But in the 1960s suburbanization, homophobia, and fragmentation of music cultures drove white men from the dance floor, and feminized, sexualized and racialized dance. Sorry I Don't Dance reveals how changing beliefs concerning gender, race, class, and sexuality over the past half-century have redefined what it means to be a man in America.
Maxine Leeds Craig is Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies at the Univeristy of California, Davis. She is the author of Ain't I a Beauty Queen?: Black Women, Beauty, and the Politics of Race.