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Graduate Colloquium Series: Nia Wilson (PERF) – 4/13/2021

“Producing Sexuality and Cultural Authenticity through Bachata Dance Technique”

Zoom Meeting information:
Meeting ID: 919 3362 4221
Password: Wilson

Nia Wilson
M.A. candidate| Department of Performance Studies, 2020-2021 Glasscock Graduate Research Fellow

Abstract: Bachata is a genre of music and dance which originated in the Dominican Republic and became globally popular in the 1990s and early 2000s. As a social dance form, bachata provides a framework for dancers to enjoy human-to-human physical contact, show off their skills, make friends, and flirt. The techniques of bachata dance facilitate shifting relationships between people through touch, movement, power exchange, and desire. In particular, bachata technique organizes interpersonal flows of intimacy that are often sexually or romantically charged. This project examines how bachata dancers deploy narratives of sexuality, sensuality, and intimacy to make claims about the cultural authenticity and superior technique of different styles of bachata dancing. Wilson is also interested in how techniques associated with different styles of bachata shape dancers’ experiences of interpersonal connection and afford opportunities for dancers to express sexual identities and desires that are gendered and racialized.

The Graduate Colloquium offers graduate students an opportunity to discuss a work-in-progress with faculty and graduate students from different disciplines. By long-standing practice, colloquium presenters provide a draft of their current research, which is made available to members of the Glasscock Center listserv. Each colloquium begins with the presenter’s short (10-15 minute) exposition of the project, after which the floor is open for comments and queries. The format is by design informal, conversational, and interdisciplinary.

The paper is available to members of the Center’s listserv, or by contacting the Glasscock Center by phone at (979) 845-8328 or by e-mail at

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