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What’s Next in Ballroom Dance?

Ballroom DanceA world transfixed by TV shows like “Dancing with the Stars” will soon be captivated by a new look, as more gender-fluid dancers take the floor, says Denise Machin, assistant director of the Smith Campus Center and director of The Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance Company.

“The future of ballroom dance is one that finds ways to stay relevant to new dancers, expanding conceptions of what a ballroom dancer looks like in body type, gender presentation and ethnicity,” Machin says.

The Claremont Colleges’ dance troupe, which just turned 20 years old, is known for its progressiveness, Machin notes, including actively placing students in dance roles not historically associated with their presenting genders.

While some colleges are actively resisting these new dance moves, and it may take a while for them to reach the small screen or the professional dance floor, Machin says inclusivity of gender expression is a centerpiece of the ballroom dance program at Pomona, adding: “Institutions like Pomona are educating a generation of artists that expect a critical and interdisciplinary approach.”

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