This article investigates issues of modesty, sexuality, and womanhood in a community of young Jordanian women working in folkloric dance companies in twenty-first-century Amman. Using feminist performance ethnography, it contrasts the gendered codes in play in the hoshiyya—a Bedouin courtship dance—with how women dancers enact and revise such codes in everyday life. The article explores choreographies of gender through a careful reading of tensions between the moving bodies of men and the embodied practices of the woman soloist onstage. It also compares this model with the narratives and corporeal practices of the women dancers in daily life. I argue that the women rationalize their professional dancing and protect their reputations in a patriarchal context through self-disciplining practices and by disavowing their sexuality during what they understand as a temporary period of girlhood.

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