Accepted paper:

Salsa dancers and their transnational moves

Authors:

Joanna Menet (University of Neuch√Ętel)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper I provide an ethnographic account of the world of salsa dancers and my journey into it. I draw on ethnographic material gathered during several short fieldwork stays at salsa festivals and in dance schools in Europe and in Cuba as part of my PhD project.

Paper long abstract:

Global flows of people, commodities and imaginaries exert a great influence on cultural practices once viewed as territorially bound to national contexts. Some of these cultural practices travel to new places and couple dances like Salsa are performed in numerous cities all over the globe today. Several authors describe Salsa as a transnational urban dance that is performed at numerous "international" congresses where dancers (amateurs as well as professionals) meet and connect in a special kind of intimacy through the codified movements of the dance. The dance is often promoted with images of exotic couples and performed with a strong emphasis on its heterosexual and clearly gendered character. In this paper I provide an ethnographic account of the world of salsa dancers and my journey into it. I show in what ways dancers link different localities through their moving body (as dancers and as travellers) and connect in transnational networks. Hereby I draw on ethnographic material gathered during several short fieldwork stays at salsa festivals and in dance schools in Europe and in Cuba as part of my PhD project on the transnational networks and mobility of salsa dancers.

panel P035
Collaborative intimacies in music and dance: anthropologies in/of sound and movement