Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Cat Summers Stoehr Social Science

No Docile Dancers: Oral Histories of Labor Action in Modern American Ballet

Scholars Journal

It is a politically active time in the ballet world; as the waves of labor activity that have swept the rest of the country have also begun to find their way (perhaps unexpectedly to the outside observer) into the time-honored institutions of American ballet. Ballet has a long, close relationship with unions, and through this recent uptick in strikes and unionization, it is becoming clear that more dancers want to step into an active and articulate political role, as they are not content to accept the conditions that have been laid out for them. Through creating oral histories of these organizing dancers, Cat wants to give dancers the opportunity to illuminate for themselves– and for their peers–the political stakes of being an artist today; and in doing so challenge the existing narratives that paint ballet dancers as docile, apolitical bodies.
Photo of Cat Summer Stoehr
Major: American Studies
Mentor: Michael Mark Cohen, American Studies, African American Studies
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