Adanna Jones (PhD 2016)

Adanna Kai Jones (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Dance in the Theater and Dance Dept at Bowdoin College. She received her Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies at UC Riverside, and her BFA in Dance from Mason Gross School of the Arts—Rutgers University. Her current research project uses multi-sited, transnational ethnography to track the ways in which Caribbean choreographers play an integral role in the support and preservation of contemporary Caribbean identity politics within the US.

Alfonso Cervera (MFA 2017)

Alfonso Cervera (he/him/they) is a professor, dancer, performer and Inclusive Excellence Fellow at University of Wisconsin in Whitewater. Cervera’s creative research incorporates issues of Mexican-American identity and Folklorico somatics. Developing his own technique, “Poc-Chuc,” as a contemporary weave of post-modern dance and Mexican Ballet Folklorico, Cervera’s work explores concepts of exhaustion, labor, and sociality. His works and collaborations have been presented at Judson Church in NYC; FLACC Festival (SF); REDCAT, Pieter and Highways (LA); Bushwick Studios (NYC); and Lux Boreal’s 4×4 in Tijuana Mexico to name a few. Cervera has worked with Wendy Rogers, Sylvia Palacios, Maria Gillespie, taisha paggett, Meg Wolfe, Julie Freeman, Sofia Carreras, Joel Smith, Crystal Sepúlveda, and his collective Primera Generación Dance Collective (Rosa Rodriguez Frazier, Patricia Huerta, and Irvin Manuel Gonzalez).

Anthony Shay (PhD 1997)

Anthony Shay (he/him) is professor of Dance and Cultural Studies in the Theatre and Dance Department of Pomona College, Claremont, CA. He is the author of seven monographs, and author or co-author of four volumes, the latest (with Barbara Sellers-Young), the Oxford Handbook of Dance and Ethnicity (2016). He authored two recent monographs, The Dangerous Lives of Public Entertainers: Dance, Sex, and Entertainment in the Middle East (2014) and Ethno Identity Dances for Sex, Fun, and Profit: Staging Popular Dances Around the World (2016). His latest book is The Moiseyev Dance Company: Dancing Diplomats (Intellect Books, in press 2018). He was founder and artistic director and choreographer of the AMAN Folk Ensemble and the AVAZ International Dance Theatre during which he created over 200 choreographers.

casebolt (MFA 2007) and smith (MFA 2004)

As casebolt and smith, Liz Casebolt (she/her) and Joel Smith (he/him) craft duets with a shared commitment to artistry and experimentation. Their work plays with the gender and sexuality politics embedded in male/ female partnerships, and reveals their choreographic methods and collaborative rapport. Founded in 2006 and based in Los Angeles, casebolt and smithhas been presented at: REDCAT, Los Angeles; ODC, San Francisco; Echo Echo Festival, Derry, Northern Ireland; Round Table Dance Festival, Taipei, Taiwan; Culver Center for the Arts, Riverside, CA; The Harkness Dance Festival, New York, NY; Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center, Miami, FL; Spring to Dance Festival, St. Louis, MO. Commissions include DanceWorks Chicago, and RAWdance. Liz Casebolt is an Associate Professor of Dance at Los Angeles Valley College, and Joel Smith is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Dance at University of California, Riverside.

Crystal Sepúlveda (MFA 2012)

Crystal Sepúlveda (she/her) is a multi-disciplinary artist and dance educator. Her work experiments with contemporary notions of healing, self-determination, dissidence, and place-making. She is a 2018 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant recipient for her work tropical forecast (2018). Notable exhibits featuring her choreographic and performance work include Pacha, Llaqta, Wasichay: Indigenous Space, Modern Architecture, New Artat Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (2018), and Condemned to Be Modernat the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery as part of the Getty Museum’s Pacific Standard Time LA/LA (2017).

Dava D. Hernández (PhD grad)

Dava D. Hernández (she/her) is a third year Ph.D. student in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside. She holds an MA in Dance and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from Texas Woman’s University, and a BA in Mexican American Studies from the University of Texas, San Antonio. Hernández was a long-time member of the Guadalupe Dance Company (San Antonio, TX)  and has been involved in various dance-theater productions throughout the U.S. Southwest. Her artistic and scholarly work is based in Mexican Folklórico and the dance expressions of the U.S./Mexico borderlands.

Gabriela Mendoza-Garcia (PhD 2013)

Gabriela Mendoza-Garcia (she/her) earned a doctoral degree in Critical Dance Studies from the University of California, Riverside. She is both a scholar and a practitioner. Her most recent publications include “The Jarabe Tapatio: Imagining Race, Nation, Class and Gender in the 1920s Mexico” in The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Ethnicity, “Creation, Growth, and Inspiration the Beginnings of the Asociacion Nacional de Grupos Folkloricos,” and Dancing Throughout Mexican History 1325-1910 a book she edited to honor her aunt Sanjuanita Martinez-Hunter. Her research analyzes Mexican folkloric dance as a way of igniting of political activism within the 1970s Chicano Movement. Mendoza-Garcia has her own dance school and company. She is the artistic director of the Gabriela Mendoza-Garcia Ballet Folklorico

Hannah Schwadron (MFA 2009/PhD 2013)

Hannah Schwadron (she/her), Assistant Professor of Dance at Florida State University, co-facilitates the MA in American Dance Studies and teaches across BFA, MA, and MFA programs. She is author of The Case of the Sexy Jewess: Dance, Gender, and Jewish Joke-Work in US Pop Culture(Oxford University Press, 2018). Her essays appear in Oxford Handbooks on Dance and Politics and Dance and Music, Choreographic PracticesPerspectives on American DanceLiminalitiesPARtake, and Dancer-Citizen. Hannah curates Field Studies, an annual creative development lab in NYC for writing and performance projects.  She also helps run 621 Gallery, hub for experimental art in Tallahassee. 

Hye-Won Hwang (PhD 2013)

Hye-Won Hwang (she/her) is Assistant Professor of Practice of the Glenn Korff School of Music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she teaches courses in dance practice and theory. Hwang earned a Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies from the University of California, Riverside in 2013. Hwang published several articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and presented research papers and workshops at numerous national and international dance conferences. As a dance artist, she has choreographed a number of modern dance pieces and performed ballet, modern dance, Korean dance, and musical theater dance at venues in South Korea, Europe and the United States.

J Dellecave (PhD 2015)

J Dellecave (she/they) holds a PhD in Critical Dance Studies from the University of California, Riverside; MA in Performance Studies from New York University; and has had a lifelong career in experimental performance. Based in Brooklyn, NY, J is an interdisciplinary performance-maker, scholar, and educator concerned with how bodily experience intersects with external fields of social, cultural, and political knowledge. J has held academic positions at University at Buffalo and San Diego State University. J’s writing has appeared in the Routledge Companion to Butoh Performance, Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist History and itch Dance Journal.

Janet O’Shea (PhD 2001)

Janet O’Shea (she/her) is author of Risk, Failure, Play: What Dance Reveals about Martial Arts Training (2018, Oxford University Press) and At Home in the World: Bharata Natyam on the Global Stage (2007, Wesleyan University Press). Recipient of a UCLA Transdisciplinary Seed Grant to study the cognitive benefits of Filipino Martial Arts training, she gave a TEDx Talk on competitive play and has offered keynote presentations at the Martial Arts Studies conference and Dance/Performance in Interdisciplinary Perspective Symposium. Her essays have been published in five languages and six countries. She is Professor of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at UCLA.

Juliet McMains (PhD 2003)

Juliet McMains (she/her), researches social dance practices of the Americas with particular emphasis on Latin American and Afro-diasporic traditions. She is author of Spinning Mambo into Salsa: Caribbean Dance in Global Commerce(Oxford 2015) and Glamour Addiction: Inside the American Ballroom Dance Industry(Wesleyan 2006), as well as numerous articles on salsa, rumba, ballroom, swing, and tango, all genres in which she has choreographed, performed, and danced socially for many years. Her work examines how commodification and globalization alter dance traditions and shape public (mis)perceptions about Latinness. Juliet is a Professor in the Department of Dance at the University of Washington.

Karen Schaffman (PhD 2001)

Karen Schaffman (she/her) (dance artist, professor, presenter-curator, scholar, movement educator, Feldenkrais® practitioner) Dancing for me is a transformative and transgressive force for self-awareness and political change. Since 2001, I have been pioneering a Dance Studies Program at California State University San Marcos. (

Kendall Loyer (MFA 2012/PhD grad)

Kendall Loyer (she/her/they/them) is a second-year PhD student in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside. She holds a Bachelor of Art degree in Dance Performance from Columbia College Chicago and a Master of Fine Art degree in Experimental Choreography from the University of California, Riverside. Loyer is a dancer, dancemaker, dramaturg, educator, photographer, fitness instructor and creative writer. Her current research interests explore queer and queering Appalachian dance spaces as a site of memory, solastalgia/nostalgia, rural resistance, as well as environmental and food activism. 

Maura Keefe (PhD 2002)

Maura Keefe (she/her) is a contemporary dance historian and Scholar in Residence at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, where she writes about, lectures on, and interviews artists from around the world. She is the Dorothy G. Madden Professor in Dance and Interim Director of the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at University of Maryland, College Park. Keefe has served as a board member for Dance Place (DC) and Congress on Research on Dance (CORD), a dance panelist for New York State Council of the Arts (NYSCA), and Department of Dance chair (College at Brockport, State University of New York). 

Meghan Quinlan (PhD 2016)

Meghan Quinlan (she/her) is an independent scholar who researches contemporary dance politics through a case study on Gaga, the movement language developed by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin. Her research has been published in Dance Research Journal, TDR: The Drama Review, and The Dancer-Citizen as well as in an anthology published by Oxford University Press, and she has previously taught at Kennesaw State University and Santa Ana College. She is currently developing a manuscript on multiple layers of politics present in Gaga utilizing queer theory, neoliberalism, disability studies, and other lenses to analyze the development of contemporary dance markets internationally. 

Melissa Blanco Borelli (PhD 2006)

Melissa Blanco Borelli (she/her) is Reader in Dance Theory and Performance at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is the editor of The Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen(OUP, 2014) and author of She Is Cuba: A Genealogy of the Mulata Body(OUP, 2015) which won the 2016 De la Torre Bueno Prize for best book in Dance Studies by the Society of Dance History Scholars. Her research interests include: blackness in Latin America; Latin American performance cultures; popular dance on screen; media and film; black performance theory; performance ethnography; feminist historiography; auto-ethnography and performative writing. She is currently the President-Elect of the Dance Studies Association and programme committee co-chair for the 2019 DSA conference at Northwestern. 

Melissa Hudson Bell (MFA 2009/PhD 2014)

Melissa Hudson Bell (she/her) is a dancer, choreographer and dance researcher based in Oakland, CA. She has a PhD in Critical Dance Studies and an MFA in Experimental Dance from UC Riverside. Her research and choreographic interests circulate around 21st century strategies for audience engagement, especially those that incorporate food as a means of enlivening the senses, invoking memory, or crafting community. She has recently shown choreography in the SF Bay Area, LA, Florida and New York. Bell currently serves as the Vice President of WKB Industries, an entertainment industry venture focused on racial justice and she teaches in the dance program of the Performing Arts and Social Justice department at the University of San Francisco.

Michelle Summers (PhD 2014)

Michelle T. Summers (she/her) is a lecturer in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at UC Berkeley and adjunct faculty at the Graduate Theological Union. She holds a PhD in Critical Dance Studies from UC Riverside, an M.A. in Performance Studies from New York University, and a B.F.A. in Ballet/B.A. in English from Texas Christian University. Her latest articles can be seen in Perspectives on American Dance and Writing the Body; Staging the Other, as well as in the Interdisciplinary Humanities Research and Dance Research Journals. Summers has presented her research at institutions such as Harvard University, UCLA, and the University of Surrey.

Minerva Tapia (PhD 2014)

Minerva Tapia (she/her) received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside in 2014. Tapia also holds a MFA in Dance from the University of California, Irvine (2006). She studied in Cuba for seven years at BNC. Her work has been presented in spaces like the Joyce SoHo in New York and in international dance festivals. Her research interest focuses on border dance culture, specifically the production of contemporary dance at the U.S.-Mexico border. Her essays appeared in Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies, and in Spanish in Revista Interdanza(INBA) and Migración y Cultura (UNESCO-COLEF). She is currently an Associate Faculty at MiraCosta College.

Natalie Zervou (PhD 2015)

Natalie Zervou (she/her) is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin MadisonDance Department. She holds a PhD in Critical Dance Studies from the University of California, Riverside. Her research interests concern contemporary dance in Greece, during the recent socio-political and economic crisis, while her focus is on the ways that dancing bodies negotiate national identity construction in this fluctuating landscape. Her publications have appeared in CHOROS (2014), Research in Drama Education (2017), Dancer Citizen (2017), The Drama Review (2017), and Dance Research Journal (2019). 

Olana Flynn (MFA grad) 

Olana Z. Flynn (she/her) is a second-year M.F.A. student in Experimental Choreography at the University of California, Riverside. She is a co-founder of LOCULUS, a performance collective that collaborates with DIY musicians and artists to produce work in non-traditional performance spaces. Her work has been performed throughout New England, as well as Philadelphia and New York. Her current research explores the layering of sound, time, light, movement, and narratives of radical femininities using the photographic phenomenon of double exposure as inspiration and method for choreography. 

Rachel Carrico (PhD 2015)

Rachel Carrico (she/her) completed her PhD in Critical Dance Studies in 2015. Her research explores the aesthetic, social, and cultural histories of African diaspora processions in New Orleans. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance Studies at Reed College.

Rachmi Diyah Larasati (PhD 2006)

Rachmi Diyah Larasati (she/her) is an associate professor of cultural theory and historiography at the University of Minnesota. Currently Director of Undergraduate Studies at Gender , Women & Sexuality Studies, she is also faculty advisor and affiliate of the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change, and senior affiliate to  Asian Languages and Literatures departments. Her book, The Dance that Makes You Vanish: Cultural Reconstruction in Post-Genocide Indonesia(University of Minnesota Press, 2013) theorized global corporeal commodification through genocide. She has published articles focusing on decolonialization and feminist third world tactics of transnationalism. Her new book project, Dancing in the Forest: Modern Machines and Audio Politics of Land Narrative, interrogates the aesthetic encounter between indigenous voices and capitalist noise within neoliberal space. 

Rainy Demerson (PhD grad)

Rainy Demerson (she/her) is a Ph.D. student in Critical Dance Studies at UC Riverside where she researches Black women’s use of Indigenous epistemologies in contemporary dance in South Africa. Demerson holds an MFA in Dance from Hollins University and an MA in Dance Education from New York University. As a dance artist, she has trained and presented her choreography nationally and internationally. After teaching dance and Yoga to youth throughout New York City, she joined faculty at Lindenwood University, El Paso Community College, Crafton Hills College, Scripps College, and Cal Poly Pomona University. Demerson has articles published in JODE and JEDS.

Shawn Womack (MFA 2003)

Shawn Womack (she/her) is a choreographer and dance professor at Colorado College. Prior to an academic career, Shawn founded the Ohio-based Shawn Womack Dance Projects, a contemporary performance company that performed throughout the United States and in the former Soviet Union. Her choreography was recognized with fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council and a 1996 Ohio Governor’s award in the performing arts. In recent years her work has been produced in the Russian cities of Kazan and Saransk as well as throughout the United States in California, Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado and Rhode Island. 

Sue Roginski (MFA 2007)

Sue Roginski (she/her) moved to Riverside in 2005, after 17 years in the Bay Area where she had the opportunity to dance and perform with Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, Dandelion Dancetheater, and STEAMROLLER. Her recent work is influenced by her dancing and improvising with Susan Rose and Dancers. She creates choreography and teaches improvisation with local dance artists within the contexts of open process, counterpoint/shift, leaving fear at the door and Peer Practice. Currently she works at Riverside City College and is a teaching artist at McCallum Theatre Education. Through P.L.A.C.E. Performance, she helps organize events including Trolley Dances Riverside.

Tania “T” Hammidi (Ph.D. 2011)

T. Hammidi (they/their) was an adjunct professor of performance, queer dance, gender studies at San Francisco Art Institute, UC Davis, & UC Riverside. T. earned a Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies (UCR, 2011) and M.S. in Community Development (UCD,1999). Hammidi’s performance practice integrates conceptual practice, post-modern choreography, stillness, drag king performance and fashion, as an articulation of clothing/costume’s role in creating space for queer/trans+ bodies (across spectrums of differences), to thrive. In 2016, Hammidi opened Dapper Dates Shop in Joshua Tree, CA a food justice project highlighting nutrition; Hammidi hosts “Queer Salon,” bridging dinner with queer/trans+ arts. 

Won-sun Choi (PhD 2007)

Won-sun Choi (she/her) is adjunct professor at Hanyang University.  She is the director of Born Dance Company and The CHUM Dance Research Center. She earned a Ph.D. from UCR and M.A. and B.A. form Ewha University. Choi is a Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst and a Certified Successor of Korean National Important Intangible Treasure, Seung-mu.  She won DCF Award for Best Choreography, Kim Won Award for Best Choreographer, PAF Award for Performing Arts and Convergence, and many more. She has been invited many international venues including, not limited to, International Conference of Korean Dance Institute, World Congress of Korean Studies, and Ford Amphitheatre Summer Season.