Professional contemporary dancers becoming mothers: navigating disrupted habitus and identity loss/evolution in a UK context

Journal article


Pickard, A. and Ehnold-Danailov, A. 2022. Professional contemporary dancers becoming mothers: navigating disrupted habitus and identity loss/evolution in a UK context. Research in Dance Education. 24 (1).
AuthorsPickard, A. and Ehnold-Danailov, A.
Abstract

There is a paucity of research into female-identifying dancers as parents, how the transition from dancer to pregnancy to parent is managed, and whether and how a dancing parent can maintain a career in dance. This paper shares findings from a qualitative interview study with (n=30), predominantly female professional contemporary dancers that have become parents and are working within the contemporary dance industry in the UK. It uses Pierre Bourdieu’s conceptual framework of belief and practice to make greater sense of how the dancers navigate becoming parents and the disruption to their dancer’s habitus and embodied identity, as they attempt to manage work-family conflicts within contemporary dance. Findings reveal that when the dancers became a parent the disrupted taken-for-granted norms and expectations of the dancer’s habitus and identity as a dancer, intensified the fragility of lives and livelihoods
and brought new physical, psychological, social and economic vulnerabilities. The dancers in the study shared experiences of barriers, but also enablers for dancers that are parents within the contemporary dance industry in the UK, with examples of managing transition, evolutionof identities and capital gain.

KeywordsBourdieu; Disrupted habitus; Embodied identity; Pregnancy; Freelance dance artists
Year2022
JournalResearch in Dance Education
Journal citation24 (1)
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN1464-7893
1470-1111
FunderUKRI
Publication process dates
Accepted20 Dec 2022
Deposited09 Jan 2023
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Restricted
Output statusIn press
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/937z1/professional-contemporary-dancers-becoming-mothers-navigating-disrupted-habitus-and-identity-loss-evolution-in-a-uk-context

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