Department of Dance

M.F.A Students

M.F.A Students

Back to Our People


Megan Danielle Kendzior

Megan Danielle Kendzior

Megan Danielle Kendzior, first year MFA candidate in Experimental Choreography, is a dance maker and arts advocate, originally hailing from Sarasota, Florida. She is a cultural and community organizer working to deepen the civic dialogue around race, identity, ability, class, sexuality, and gender. Her practice and research are centered on the convergence of choreographic and improvisational structures, and the ways that systemic racism is part of the development and presentation of abstract experimental dances. Her choreographic work offers buoyant explorative scores that allow imagination to blend with environmental influence, abstract narrative and historical inquiry. Her choreographic work has been presented by Danspace Project and New York Live Arts (Fresh Tracks), among other venues in New York, California, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, Virginia, Montana, Washington DC, Mexico, Guatemala, and Israel. She graduated with a BFA in Dance from the University of Florida and lived in New York for the past 8 years. Initially, she worked as an intern for Movement Research and Dance New Amsterdam, and as an administrative assistant to Wally Cardona, Jennifer Monson, Charles Reinhart, Anna Sperber, and the School of American Ballet. She then worked as an arts advocate, fundraising specialist and strategic development consultant for Movement Research, the American Alliance of Artists and Audiences, the interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature and Dance/Jennifer Monson, Yoshiko Chuma, DD Dorvillier, Ximena Garnica & Shige Moriya, John Jasperse, and Donna Uchizono, among other artists. Her five year performative research project, Witness, was celebrated through the National College Dance Festival's Outstanding Student Choreographer Award at the Kennedy Center in DC, publication in University of Florida's Journal of Undergraduate Research, and an evening-length presentation at Danspace Project (NY). She is grateful to be a UCR Gluck Fellow and Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship recipient in 2019/2020.


Talia Mason

Talia Mason

Talia Mason is a first year MFA Candidate in Experimental Choreography at the University of California, Riverside, and holds a BA in Dance and Francophone Studies and Education from Bates College and a post-baccalaureate in performance from Headlong Performance Institute. She is a recipient of a Dean's Distinguished Fellowship and a Gluck Fellowship. Talia is a dancer and choreographer interested in the intersections of kinesthetic and verbal language. She grew up dancing at the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and at the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. Talia choreographs because she believes wholeheartedly that ordinary bodies can do extraordinary things and that anyone can dance and that everyone should dance. Talia’s work has been presented at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Movement Research’s Open Performance, Fringearts’s Scratch Night, and Bartram’s Garden. She has performed in work choreographed by Belle Alvarez, Nicole Bindler, Rachel Boggia, Dance Exchange, Sean DorseyLily Kind, Shreshth Khilani/Sarah Marks Mininsohn, Cassie Meador, Tiffany Rhynard, and Mira Treatman. Her latest work with collaborator Christina Catanese, Field Notes on Remembering, premiered at Bartram’s Garden with the oldest ginkgo tree in North America. Talia spent three years teaching Movement to pre-school through Kindergarteners at Greene Towne Montessori School in Philadelphia, adjuncting and facilitating community-oriented engagements for Dance Exchange, and doing freelance graphic design for Headlong and Philadelphia based artists. She wholeheartedly believes in dance education and is eager to find more ways to integrate dance into the public education system. Her current choreographic research looks at process and performance as sites of memory. Talia is equally committed to finding ways to weave her Jewish American ancestry into her choreographic work.


Giovanna Sosa Santos

Giovanna Sosa Santos (29)

Experimental artist, student and dance teacher from Puerto Rico. The variety of styles focused on rhythmic basis to guide structure movement improvisation, has been fundamental on the experimental work of the artist. With an obtained BA in Contemporary Dance from University of Sacred Heart in Puerto Rico (May. 2019), Giovanna is starting to study an MFA in Experimental Choreography in University of California, Riverside (Sept. 2019). Her work has been based on a search for the traditional Bomba musical and dance gender from Puerto Rico in relation to Contemporary Dance. As an academic practice, contemporary dance has influenced the artistic focus and aesthetic of the dancer. Part of her lifestyle is connected to actual social concerns and behaviors reflected on the Afro-Rican cultural expression of bomba music. In that way, both styles make noticeable professional development, academically and artistically. Most of her interpretative and choreographic work has been as a soloist (2012-present), however she has had the opportunity to collaborate with dance collectives, to direct students and professional dancers, as well as making dances for classes, productions, and dance companies. Since 2010, Giovanna has been a teacher on Beyond Dance Studio academy (based in Puerto Rico) offering from basic to advanced Hip Hop classes. As a dance expression, hip-hop has been the fundamental style that grows the artist interest in dance (fist dance training experience, it lasted six years). At present, her artistic work is totally linked to collaborative approaches and to original dance making. The experimental focus on her work lead to production of cultural consciousness, underlining choreography as much as improvisation.


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

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