Kenneth Moody

The Sound of Queerness in Tap Dance

Mentor: Alison Williams

In “The Sound of Queerness in Tap Dance,” I will be examining the ways in which gender and sexuality are coded into the performance of tap dancing. Dance forms, like all cultural elements, are shaped by the people participating in them. Their identities, experiences, and worldviews show up in the way the dance is performed. In many older and modern dance forms like Ballet, Hip Hop, Krump, or Salsa, the identities of cis-gendered and heterosexual people are most represented in the story and performance of those styles, and tap dancing is no exception. As a result, LGBTQ identifying dancers and their expressions through tap dance are largely absent from that narrative. The lack of accessible examples of queer tap performances leads me to ask the question, where is the queerness in tap dancing? Is it subtly coded like other elements of the queer community, and how can modern performers queer the dance form? The product of my investigation will be a tap dance video choreographed and performed by myself that incorporates queer tap performance practices in order to contribute to the history of queer tap performance.

See Kenny’s Instagram page trans_apparent_soles

Read Kenny’s Artist Statement