Communicating Romantic Intentions through Social Dancing



This is an analysis of how young Latino men and their female dance partners communicate their romantic intentions while dancing, or perhaps through dancing. I find that apparent ethnic and class distinctions and levels of romantic interest affect the way these people dance, especially in three key indices of romantic intentions: eye contact, hand placement, and hip position. Because these intentions are culturally unspeakable in this context, talk is important mostly for its non-referential effects.

Keywords: Nonverbal communication, sexuality, social dancing, applied anthropology, ambiguity

How to Cite: Duvall, T. (1996) “Communicating Romantic Intentions through Social Dancing”, Arizona Anthropologist. 12(0).