B McClure

B McClure


Personal profile

Research interests (short)

Philosophy of the body, selfhood and relations to others, playfulness, power, gender performances and relations, ideas of flow or 'being in the zone', embodied methodologies and practice-based research, interdisciplinary connections (especially between philosophy, anthropology, cultural studies, feminist studies, music and dance studies)

Research interests

PhD Thesis (completed)

Dancing the self with other: gender, power and affect in social salsa dancing

The relations between bodies, selves and others are theorised differently across a range of disciplines, and as such bodily practices can be understood as both modes of subjectification linked to normativity, and as modes of resistance and selftransformation. Notions of self-cultivation or 'body work' may therefore be interpreted paradoxically as both the enactment of normative ideals, and as a way of negotiating personal freedom against normative ideals. Against this theoretical backdrop, the empirical core of this thesis examines the bodily practices of social salsa dancing in terms of both enacting and negotiating gendered and sexual norms. As an intercorporeal and affective practice which is conventionally danced in gendered couples of ‘leader’ and ‘follower’, salsa offers a rich context in which to explore key issues of embodiment, self-other relations, gender, power, and pleasure. This study makes both a theoretical and empirical contribution by bringing into dialogue literature from across philosophy, gender studies, cultural studies, social psychology, sociology, anthropology, and dance studies, and linking theory with practice through a highly participatory methodology. The research is informed by my own practice as a dancer, as well as interviews and kinesthetic interactions with other dancers on and off the dancefloor, and the innovative methodological approach of 'switching roles' through learning to lead. Through this intertwining of dancing, critical reflection and theorisation, my practice as a dancer and instructor is in turn informed by my research, as I take on a new role within the researched community and consider the implications of my findings for my future dancefloor experiences.

Biographical details

B's research interest in the relations between bodies, selves and norms stems from her experiences of working within very different communities and her own practice as a musician, dancer and former international sportswoman. B gained a First Class Honours degree in Music from Cambridge University, while at the same time playing international lacrosse and dancing salsa at international festivals. Following graduation, B spent five years working on developing innovative partnerships between education institutions and elite sport organisations, first with the government's Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme, then with Carnegie's Sporting Partnerships team where her responsibilities included managing the title sponsorship of the Rugby League Challenge Cup. Continuing in project and event management, she then coordinated a major organisational change project for the University of Strathclyde, supporting the merger of two existing faculties to create a new Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences. This continued exposure to academic life fuelled her desire for further study and she returned to Cambridge to undertake an MPhil in Multi-Disciplinary Gender Studies, before moving to King's College London to start her doctoral studies in September 2011. B currently plays violin with Fulham Symphony Orchestra, sings with Vivamus Choir, regularly dances at international salsa congresses across the world, and is an avid sports fan, especially when Leeds Rhinos are playing.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Dancing the self with others: gender, power and affect in social salsa dancing, Culture, Media & Creative Industries

Award Date: 25 Jun 2015

Master of Philosophy, Multi-Disciplinary Gender Studies: 'Masculinities in salsa: leading as transformational kinesthetic practice', University of Cambridge

Award Date: 1 Jan 2011

Bachelor of Arts, Music, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 1 Jan 2004


Dive into the research topics where B McClure is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles
  • Practical examples of university-community engagement

    Brown, S., Ward, D., Bailey, C., Rodgers, P., Conkar, T., Gray, M., McClure, B., Hunjan, I. & Adam, J., 2009, A practical guide to university and college management: beyond bureaucracy. Denton, S. & Brown, S. (eds.). N/A ed. New York: Routledge, Vol. N/A. p. 267-282 16 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter