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Negotiating Cancer and Masculinities in Dance Education: Narratives of Discovery from Recovery

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E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>24/07/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Dance Education
Number of pages11
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date24/07/23
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This collaborative duoethnography explores autobiographical accounts of two male-identifying dance educators living with/through cancer. The authors generate and analyze two dominant themes—of cancer-specific recovery and life-centered discovery—in relation to their embodied and discursive constructions of masculinity and their shifting identities as male dance educators confronting and resisting societal gender norms. These shifts include the recovery of health and the recovery of perspective in which the authors also elucidate the discovery of previously unacknowledged and unknown aspects of self, the discovery of new avenues of professional fulfillment, and the adaptation of working practices. The article reveals that male dance educators engage in a range of complex negotiations with their masculinity, which is variously shown to be, at times, diminished, fragile, reproductive, recuperative, and subverted, as well as contextually contingent. Calls are made for greater support for dance educators living with/through cancer from formal institutional assistance provided by conservatories, universities, dance studios, and organizations, as well as informal networks of well-being support from the dance education profession itself.