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Afro-disaporic dance scholar publishes seminal book on 20th century social dance

Book Cover Art: Modern Moves

Modern Moves: Dancing Race during the Ragtime and Jazz Eras is the latest book by noted Afro-diasporic dance scholar and York dance Professor Danielle Robinson. Modern Moves examines cross-racial appropriation in social dance with a central focus on New York City, where an influx of immigrants from Eastern Europe and the growth of the African American community created conditions conducive to the evolution of hybrid dance forms like blues, ragtime, ballroom and jazz dancing. Robinson illustrates how each of these forms laid the foundation for 20th century social dance practices in the U.S.

Dance prof launches book on dance and ethnicity

The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Ethnicity book cover

Professor Barbara Sellers-Young is co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Ethnicity, an authoritative survey of original research from leading experts on dance and its role in the creation of ethnicity. The book brings together scholars from around the world in an investigation of what it means to define oneself in an ethnic category and how this category is performed and represented by dance. It examines the role of dance as performed embodiment of historical moments and associated lived identities, and considers how dance maintains, challenges, resists or in some cases evolves new forms of identity.

Dance Alumna appointed Chair of the Board of Directors of Dance Ontario

Samara Thompson

Alumna Samara Thompson (BFA 1995, MA 2002), an independent choreographer specializing in the integration of computer technology with dance, has been appointed Chair of the board of directors of Dance Ontario. Thompson has presented her choreography across Canada. She has written for The Dance Current and co-hosts the Toronto radio show “Evi-Dance” on CIUT 89.5FM, where she interviews leading local and international artists such as Ohad Naharin, Bill T. Jones, Crystal Pite and Christopher House. A seasoned educator, she currently teaches dance in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science at York University.


Dance alumna Debra Brown Emmy Award-winning York dance graduate Debra Brown, who found international success choreographing for Cirque du Soleil, Shakira, Madonna and more, shares how her experience at York laid the foundation for her career.