[Note: This post was updated since it was first put up earlier today.]
Looking at all the numbers I compiled for my statistical pornography post , I noticed something rather peculiar about the numbers when broken down by gender.
- NA=North America
- AUS=Australia/New Zealand
- SA=South America
Upon first glance, there isn’t much of a surprise in terms of the gender break down. Lindy Hop is a partner dance after all so there should be parity between the sexes. But then I remembered that in North America there are a number of follow (female) centric events that only hire female instructors. Three are included in this survey: Followloogie 2009 in Montreal and Northeast Girl Jam 2010 and The Southern Belle Bash 2010 in the US. If anything, the numbers should be imbalanced in their favor, but they’re not.
101 men are hired 221 times in North America. 95 women are hired 218 times. This includes the 16 women hired for Followloogie (8), Northest Girl Jam (4), and Sothern Belle Swing Bash (4).
So I looked at each event, and in total there are 15 events with a male:female imbalance. 11 events have an imbalance skewed towards men. Seven of them are only by one or two people.
As of the end of March when I first did this analysis, three events, Quebec Swing Rendezvous 2009; Lindy on the Rocks 2010; and Lindy & Party Dance Weekend 2010 have an excess of three men each. But according to the event web sites of the latter two events, they are still formalizing their line ups. I’m sure a classy event called LAP Dance weekend is probably looking for more women anyway. [Note: as of June after I was done crunching numbers , Lindy on the Rocks now has a parity of instructors while LAP only has an excess of two men.]
The event with the biggest imbalance is last year’s American Lindy Hop Championships which hired seven more men than it did women.
|Evita Arce||Nathan Bugh|
|Carol Fraser||Tony Fraser|
|Nathalie Gomes||Yuval Hod|
|Laura Jeffers||Matt Bedell|
|Genevieve Kerouac||Benjamin Ricard|
|Maryse LeBeau||Zack Richard|
|Laura Keat||David Rehm|
|Valerie Salstrom||Joel Plys|
In case you are curious, four events hired more women than men. Masters of Lindy Hop & Tap, Swing Camp Telluride, The Hawkeye Swing Festival, each hired one extra woman while Lindy Focus hired two more women than men.
Then I took a look at the numbers of just the Americans teaching worldwide and they’re even more skewed in favor of men.
Hard to say why this is so without doing an event by event breakdown of which instructors teach with whom. Although the overall numbers in the first table are closer to even and seem to indicate that a good number of American men teach with non-American women, particularly European women who are hired more than American men as noted in this table.
Frida Segerdahl (from Sweden) and Skye Humphries (from the US) are a good example of why the numbers might turn out like this, but I can’t name many other American/European partnerships that are hired as much as them.
Veteran dancers don’t seem to provide an answer. Steven Mitchell has been teaching without a partner more often outside of the US since his partner Virginie Jensen gave birth to her child last year. Chazz Young, Chester Whitmore and Skip Cunningham are also hired quite a bit sans partner. On the female side there are dancers like Sugar Sullivan, Dawn Hampton, Norma Miller, Jeni LeGon, and Barbara Billups. However, if you total up all these dancers that teach without partners, they all even out even though they are not all invited to the same events.
For more grist, here are the total number of teachers hired in North American and Europe (not number of times they are hired) for comparison.