Belonging in a Strictly Ballroom World

Baz Lurhmans Film ‘Strictly Ballroom’ deals with issues of cultural and personal belonging. Strictly Ballroom is set in suburban Australia, in the harsh and competitive world of ballroom dancing. Scott Hastings is one of the best dancers who is targeted for a number of championships until he gives up the Dance federation’s steps in favour of his own. Scott must conquer his fear of failure and ridicule as well as possible rejection. The main characters are Fran & Scott. Through a range of experiences, they make a connection through dance which enables them to gain a sense of enhanced identity & a sense of Belonging. Similarly in the South Park episode “Here Comes the Neighbourhood,” the main character Token feels like he doesn’t belong due to his often negative interactions with the children in town. In both texts after making connections and overcoming challenges; the characters gain a stronger sense of cultural and personal belonging.

In the film Strictly Ballroom an early scene shows when Scott meeting with Fran. Scott is in the dance studio alone the early scene uses a long shot of Scott and the spotlight is on him. He throws his poka dot shirt into a corner, showing the audience that he is breaking free from the traditions of the ballroom world. His simple outfit is very different compared to all the other flashy and artificial costumes the other ballroom dancers wear. He is trying to improve his dance steps by incorporating the chairs, poles and tables in his dance. This is very different to traditional ballroom dancing. Scott is showing his feelings of disconnection from the world of Ballroom and his desires for self-expression. To gain a better sense of self-acceptance and true belonging, Scott shows his need to be true to himself.
Fran is watching him while Scott doesn’t realise. All of a sudden Fran builds the courage to walk up to him and convince him to dance with her. She uses a Spanish proverb and calls Scott ‘a gutless wonder’ which introduces...