On Saturday, March 30, 2019, I presented my exposé about dance as protest at the American Studies Conference at Fairfield University. I showed and discussed various examples such as competing tea dances during the revolutionary period, Native American Ghost Dancing of the 19th century, free-speech dancing at the Jefferson Memorial in 2011, and subway platform dancing in New York City in 2011. 

I used these examples to highlight that while dancing is often thought for celebration and artistic expression, it can also be used as a form of sociological resistance identity. Resistance identity is defined as those who are "in opposition to the mainstream because the status quo somehow oppresses them."[1] We often don't explore how dance is a powerful social marker, both representing harmony and dissent. 

This particular presentation was fun for me because it encompassed research spanning the entire period of the United States. It also helped me think about dance in a broader way. 

[1]  Scott Richard Lyons, X-Marks: Native Signatures of Assent (MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2010), 61.


Dance was a featured aspect of some of the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020. The New York Times featured an article named "Dancing Bodies That Proclaim: Black Lives Matter" on June 9, 2020.