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Year of Graduation

2022

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MFA: Dance

Directing Professor

Jeffery N. Bullock

Abstract

Western dance forms continue to be requirements for matriculation through most university undergraduate dance programs. While many dance institutions in higher education seek to become more equitable, they struggle to interrogate how white Western dance cultures have perpetuated exclusionary practices. The author investigates white supremacist ideologies that reveal themselves in movement practices and why decentering whiteness in dance is relevant to achieve equity in higher education. This thesis examines the tacit effort by which the institution seeks to bring balance by way of standardizing rather than creating space to share what people of color communities can bring to the academy. Investigating antiracist dance pedagogy situates the keys to disrupt the narrative about dance forms beyond Western dance cultures. The author seeks to discover antiracist epistemological practices by drawing on the work of dance artists, scholars, and social justice activists in higher education. This project culminates in a screendance that investigates the intersection of identity and Blackness as a call to action. The author reflects on the current movement to fulfill institutional reactionary statements on matters of social justice while examining the Black body as provocation. This disruption becomes a step toward transmitting the collective embodied knowledge within one’s dance community that challenges the traditional model of academic knowledge.

Available for download on Wednesday, December 11, 2024

Performance Access Statement

If you wish to see the creative piece or performance that accompanied this thesis, please complete the Request Form, and you should receive a response from the Dance Department within two weeks.

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