so w/ ABDC in it’s 3rd season, i thought i’d do a bit of research on one of the prime factors that interest me about the show besides the dancing. there’s consistently so many asians! but how many are there really?
i went to the abdc site and counted the racial makeup of all the groups. for some i had to resort to looking up surname origins, and even then, there were a few that were completely indecipherable to me that i left out. dancers like taeko from fyshnchicks, i also left out b/c i knew they weren’t monoracial. i kept track of the total however. so lets take a look at the numbers:
so for a pop culture heavy channel like mtv, on a show demonstrating the most competitive dance crews in the US, asians have made up over 1/4 of the total contestants. blacks make up the largest group (not surprisingly), and hispanics make up the smallest group.
i then looked at the representation ratio by dividing the contestant % by their respective racial pop w/i the US as stated by wiki. and wow, what a result. asians are representing at almost 6X their number in the general population. blacks are overrepresented at almost 2.5X their population. hispanics are closest to 1, and whites are very underrepresented.
by now, i’d guess a lot of ppl know how at least part of this situation is explained. while hiphop was started by blacks and hispanics in nyc ghettos during the 70s, since that time the cultural movement has spread worldwide. asians, and in particular filipinos, have become a major force in hiphop dance styles (various moderns, battle of the year winners, hiphop international winners) as well as other aspects of hiphop such as djing (qbert) and to a small extent in rapping (jin, far east movement) and fashion (bathing apes).
i don’t have data on this, but in my experience, asian american involvement in the clubbing scene appears disproportional to their population size w/ many clubs around the nation’s urban areas geared towards serving a primarily asian clientele. they may have also pushed certain dance styles such as liquid, freehand glowsticking (a form of contact juggling), and glowstringing in directions they wouldn’t have gone otherwise.
anyways. as pertains to abdc, california and texas asians make up a significant number of the really competitive dance groups. much of this is due to hiphop having strong cultural roots w/ filipinos, but other asian groups are certainly present. e.g., kaba modern was started by filipinos but the group of dancers that made it to the show had no filipinos. these dance groups routinely hold intercollegiate dance competitions such as vibe, fusion, and body rock, amongst others. 4 such groups (kaba, millenia, jabba and soreal) made it to abdc.
some may see this as stereotype breaking, but maybe it’s not so astereotypical after all. studies show that ppl w/ rhythm have higher intelligence, and of course asians are commonly stereotyped as being good academically and shit.
interestingly, there’s another study that says dancing may indicate reproductive fitness. in a jamaican group, members of the opposite sex rated symmetrical ppl’s dancing as more attractive than asymmetrical ppl.
now note that i’m not saying this proves anything racially beyond the issue that dancing prolly shouldn’t be considered stereotype breaking for asians. it should be considered par for the course.