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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The ManDance Consensus

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Every Winter and Spring terms, Ebony II performances are marked by a special dance—Mandance. This “hyper-sexualized and energized” performance is for self-identified men and includes carefully orchestrated bumping, grinding, and shirt-removal. This term, the dance was choreographed by Omar Kaufman, Stu Lourey, and Taylor Gee to “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Disney’s Mulan. When asked about their creative inspirations and goals they said, “The key to ManDance is not taking it too seriously. We all thought that the main goals were creativity and having fun. We were enthusiastic to introduce the “Consent is Mandatory” shirt this year to complement the “Consent is Sexy” shirts. We liked the idea of the dual message. Adding a woman (Allison Brown) to the end of the dance broke precedent, but we thought it was suitable for the song choice and are glad we did.” Below represents just a sampling of the range of student opinions about Mandance.

Michael Kipp ’18: When I was applying to Carleton, there was a senior here, and he said that the one thing that he regretted the most was not doing Ebony, and Mandance is kind of like the quintessential form of Ebony. It is one of those things that I’m going to do every term that it’s offered now. Everybody watching and participating knows that clothing is going to come off, so they try not to make it uncomfortable. It was a lot of fun.

Stacey Johnson ’15: I think that on the surface, Mandance can be about celebrating manhood and not caring about what other people think about the raunchiness of the dance and the poses that occur within it. But then, I also think that that ideal sort of exists in a vacuum, and when you place it in the larger context of the system that it actually exists in, it really furthers the inequalities that exist regarding perceptions of gay relationships. It’s like the only way that gay men can celebrate their sexualities is through this silly dance.

Casper Kelly ’16: I really like the shirts this year that said, “Consent is Mandatory.” Those were my favorite part of the show. I’ve heard people say that it’s problematic because it could be making fun of gender expression that isn’t normative or masculine, making it a joke, but I haven’t been to practices, so I don’t know what the vibe is like. I just enjoy it.

Kyle Schiller ’17: It might be a mockery of homosexuality, and I think it could be problematic, and I don’t know if wearing a shirt that isn’t problematic makes it okay. But at the same time, I think that it’s really great that people are expressing this acceptance of their body and their sexuality in this way.

Lizzy Ehren ’18: I really liked the song, because it’s one of my favorite Disney songs of all time. I don’t know the entire backstory behind the “Consent is Sexy” part, but I think that that’s a really good message to be reminded of that you can’t be reminded of too often. It was just a fun dance, and fun to watch.

Hunter Brown ’17: It allows people who don’t normally dance to dance more, which is cool and fun. I feel like it gets a lot of people who do things like sports who wouldn’t normally dance to dance, and I’m totally in favor of everybody dancing all of the time.

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