Skip to main content
Dancing Across Borders: The American Fascination with Exotic Dance Forms
Pomona Faculty Books
  • Anthony Shay, Pomona College
This study describes and analyzes the phenomenal popularity of exotic dance forms in America. Throughout the twentieth century and especially since 1950, millions have begun learning and performing various Balkan dances, the tango, and other Latin American dances, along with the classical dances of India, Japan, and Indonesia. Most studies in dance ethnography and anthropology have focused specifically on "dancing in the field," or the dancing that native dancers do. This study, by contrast, examines the ways in which ethnic dancing has allowed many Americans to create more exciting, "exotic" and romantic identities. The author describes the uniquely American enthusiasm for exotic dances, and cites specific deficiencies in the U.S. cultural identity that have led many people to seek new feelings and experiences through exotic dance genres.
Publication Date
McFarland & Co.
  • dance,
  • ethnography,
  • culture
Citation Information
Shay, Anthony. Dancing Across Borders: The American Fascination with Exotic Dances. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company