I'm Still Looking for Unknowns All the Time: The Forward (E)motion of Northern Soul Dancing
Paul Sadot [+]
University of Chichester
Drawing on the author’s embodied knowledge as a Northern Soul dancer, and his work as a practice research scholar investigating popular dance forms, this chapter investigates two distinct Northern Soul scenes: the ‘oldies’ and the ‘newies’. It places in dialogue notions of space, temporality and musical taste to examine how each scene constructs and relates to Northern Soul history and the different movement vocabularies that result. In doing so, the chapter discusses evolving musical diversity on the northern soul scene, set against notions of fixity, historical re-enactment and pastiche, and their relationship to a version of northern soul dancing that has gripped the imagination of outside UK media and academics for some time. It explores how these corporeal myths are often acted out by insiders on the oldies scene and examines the possible impact on the dancing styles of younger participants.