Department of Dance

M.F.A Students

M.F.A Students

Back to Our People


Josie Bettman

Josie Bettman

Josie Bettman is a dancer and choreographer  investigating the process by which dance comes to be seen (if it can be seen at all). Currently engaged with moving images in the built environment of Southern California, Josie is investigating dance as a mode of moving publicly in resistance to the truncated social relations demanded by capitalist constructions of space and time. Their work is often minor, hidden, and hard to see, and has been witnessed previously in/by the following venues; building site of South Ellerbe Stormwater Restoration Project, Durham, North Carolina; parking lot of Kimisis Greek Orthodox Church, Poughkeepsie, New York; embankment of Neva River, St. Petersburg, Russia; and Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park, Riverside, California. Josie is a second-year MFA student in Experimental Choreography at UC Riverside, receiving support from the Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship, the MFA Fellowship, and a fellowship from the Gluck Fellows Program of the Arts.


Olana Z. Flynn

Olana Z. Flynn

Olana Z. Flynn is a second year MFA Candidate in Experimental Choreography at the University of California, Riverside and holds a BA from Hampshire College/The Five College Dance Department. She is a recipient of a Dean's Distinguished Fellowship, a Gluck Fellowship, and the MFA Graduate Fellowship. Prior to moving to Riverside she lived in Western Massachusetts where, in 2015, she co-founded LOCULUS, a performance collective, along with five other FCDD alumni. LOCULUS performs often in collaboration with DIY musicians and artists in non-traditional performance spaces. In addition to performance LOCULUS publishes a journal that is a site of creative intervention including essays, photographs, interviews, creative writing, and/or ephemera. The first volume of the journal was funded in part by a grant from the Northampton Arts Council. Most recently LOCULUS toured a new work created while in residence at the School for Contemporary Dance and Thought in Northampton, MA. From 2014-2016 Olana held a position as adjunct faculty in the Dance Department at Springfield College. She has had the privilege of studying and performing with artists such as Chris Aiken, Angie Hauser, Kathleen Hermesdorf, Katie Martin, Paul Matteson, and Jennifer Nugent. Olana’s work and her work with LOCULUS has been performed extensively in Western Massachusetts and New York as well as in Portland, ME; Brattleboro, VT; Boston, MA; Riverside, CA; Philadelphia, PA.


Chistina Leyva

Christina Leyva

Christina Leyva is pursuing her MFA in Experimental Choreography at UC Riverside as a Chancellor’s Fellow, and is director of The Bee Dance Project, a performance installation about pollinators and pesticides. Leyva was named Dancing Earth’s Ecological Dance Artist of 2016, and guest directed their Bay Area performances. Previously she co-directed anthrocollagik sound + movement co., an environmental dance film company presenting at festivals in Los Angeles and Mexico City. Leyva earned her BA in World Arts & Cultures: Dance from UCLA (2008), and was recipient of the Emma B. Keller Award for Excellence in Dance (2007). She has been a company member of Lan Sattha Thai Dance since 2007, and previously trained at Cornish College of the Arts (Seattle), The Ailey School (New York), the American Dance Festival (Durham), and the Çudamani Summer Institute (Bali).


More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Department of Dance
121 Arts Building

Tel: (951) 827-3944
Fax: (951) 827-4651

Graduate Program Inquiries:

Undergraduate Program Inquiries: