Being and Performing "Older" Woman in Electronic Dance Movement Culture


  • Alice O'Grady University of Leeds
  • Anna Madill University of Leeds



This article foregrounds the accounts of a cohort of clubbers who are largely ignored both by journalists and scholars alike. Grounded in the accounts of aging female clubbers and their participation in electronic dance music culture, it investigates the lived experience of being and performing the category of “older woman” in this context. It examines the materiality of their participation and their tactical responses to being in an environment that has been associated traditionally with youth. In a landscape where scholarship on female participation in club cultures is, at best, scarce, research into the experiences of older women in dance music culture is virtually non-existent. As such this article represents a first step in addressing a significant gap in understanding women’s engagement with dance cultures as they mature.

Author Biographies

Alice O'Grady, University of Leeds

Alice is Head of the School of Performance and Cultural Industries at the University of Leeds, UK. Alice is Associate Professor in Applied Performance, specialising in participatory performance practice and context specific work. With a background in drama education, she is interested in play, creativity and embodied knowledge. Using material gathered from her own performance company ...floorSpace... her PhD investigated interactive performance within underground club settings and festival spaces. Within EDMC scholarship she writes predominantly about psytrance but is interested also in radical urbanism, risk and sub-cultural communities of practice.

Anna Madill, University of Leeds

Anna Madill is Professor in Qualitative Inquiry and Deputy Head of the School of Psychology at the University of Leeds. Her research focuses on gender/sexuality, well-being and the resilience of people considered to be vulnerable.






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