Benjamin Court is dancer, musician, writer, and educator in Western Massachusetts.
I grew up in Western New York, where I played in several punk and experimental music groups. From 2010-2020, I lived in Los Angeles, where I studied Musicology and received my Ph.D. (UCLA, 2017). My graduate research explored the politics of musical “amateurism” – music by individuals who claimed not to know how to play music, but nevertheless became musicians. Among other topics, I have published articles about the semiotics of punk in the UK, racial formation in rap and punk in New York City during the 1970s, and the Scratch Orchestra’s politics of music education. I have also taught several courses in music, critical theory, and broadcast media for UCLA and Woodbury University. While In Los Angeles, I recorded music with the Unthem collective and began learning to dance Chicago Footwork. In 2021, I joined the Chicago Footwork crew Creation Global and began releasing self-produced Footwork music. My current projects focus on bringing together Chicago Footwork dancers and producers around the globe, as well as creating new educational opportunities for artists from Chicago to share their craft. In 2021, I joined the staff at Berkshire Pulse, where I love to take classes in music, hip hop, modern, and contemporary!