Department of Dance



Ph.D. Students


Ph.D. Students

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Kelly Bowker

Kelly Bowker

kbowk001@ucr.edu

Kelly Bowker is a Ph.D. candidate in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside where she has received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship, Gluck Fellowship, Digital Humanities Fellowship, and Dissertation Year Program Fellowship. Her research uses critical race studies to examine the way that technology is represented and utilized in both popular and concert dance. Bowker completed her M.A. in Choreography at Trinity Laban and her B.F.A. in Dance at the University of Michigan. Bowker has received grants from Zellerbach Foundation in San Francisco and the DCASE in Chicago for the development of her choreography.

Photo by Kevin Wong

 

Rainy Demerson

Rainy Demerson

rdeme003@ucr.edu

Rainy Demerson is a Ph.D. candidate in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California Riverside, researching how South African women use Indigenous philosophies and practices to decolonize contemporary dance. She is honored to have received a Eugene Cota Robles Award and three Gluck fellowships. Her fieldwork in South Africa has been supported by the Dance Research Grant and the Humanities Graduate Student Research Grant. Demerson holds an MFA in Dance from Hollins University, an MA in Dance Education from New York University, and a BA in World Arts and Cultures/Dance from the University of California Los Angeles. She has trained in traditional and contemporary forms at L’ecole des Sables in Senegal, Teatro Nacional de Cuba, Escola de Dança da FUNCEB in Brazil, and in Belize, Indonesia, The Netherlands, and Germany. She produced her choreography in New York and Senegal and presented it in festivals nationwide. A state-certified educator, Demerson taught Dance and Yoga throughout New York City public schools for seven years before serving as an adjunct at Lindenwood University, and as an Assistant Professor at El Paso Community College. She taught Dance History and Modern Dance at Crafton Hills College, and is currently a Visiting Lecturer at Scripps College where she teaches Critical Perspectives on Dance: Race, Gender and Sexuality. Meanwhile at Cal Poly Pomona, she enjoys teaching World Dance and Cultures, Brazilian Dance, and Dance and its Artistic/Cultural Influences. Demerson has articles published in the Journal of Dance Education and the Journal of Emerging Dance Scholarship.

www.vimeo.com/rainydemerson

 

Xiomara Forbez

Xiomara Forbez

xforb001@ucr.edu

Xiomara Forbez is a Ph.D. Candidate in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Born and raised in Miami, FL, she completed her B.A. in Linguistics and French Language and Literature at Boston University and proceeded to work in Research Administration for four-and-a-half years. Currently her interests include the intersections and negotiations of dance, space, and identity with particular focus on transmission and training of dance forms to bodies of different ages, abilities, races, and ethnicities. Some of her dance interests are hula, ballet, bachata, and kizomba. She is a recipient of the Chancellor's Distinguished Fellowship and four Gluck Fellowships for the Arts. In 2017 she was a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship Alternate and Honorable Mention.

 

Jemuel Jr. B. Garcia

Jemuel Jr. B. Garcia

jgarc137@ucr.edu

Jemuel Jr. B. Garcia (kahidlaw) is a Filipino second-year Ph.D. student in Critical Dance Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Riverside. He is a 2016 Fellow of the Fulbright Graduate Student Program, a 2017 recipient of the Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship Award, and a 2018 Classroom Fellow for the UCR Gluck Program of the Arts. He finished his Master’s degree in Physical Education (dance stream, 2014) and graduated magna cum laude with his Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education (double major in sports and dance, minor in music, 2009). With eight years of teaching experience at WVSU, Garcia has also served as a Bayer Philippines representative to a study tour of Leverkusen, Germany (2008), a cultural exchange scholar for the JENESYS-ASEAN-OCEANIAN Cultural Exchange Program in Tokyo, Japan (2013), and a youth delegate to the ASEAN Diversity Summit in Bangkok, Thailand (2014). He has also presented papers at UCR’s Dance Under Construction Conference 2018, UCR’s Artificial Lives: Debating Medical Modernity Conference 2018, and UC Davis’ 7th Annual Native American Studies Graduate Student Symposium. In 2018, he helped choreograph USA’s Team Form performance that won gold in the Global Stick and Blade Alliance World Championships at Lisbon, Portugal. He also competes in the bronze syllabus of American Smooth/Rhythm and International Standard/Latin ballroom dance styles since 2017. His research and choreography engage to flesh out the dynamics of the Filipino dancing body as it navigates the physical and textual spaces of performance rooted in indigenous practices to deal with histories, memories, and futurities and confront the impact of colonial oppression, imperial violence, and historical trauma.

portfolio: www.kahidlaw.com
creativehub: www.saranggolatbp.com

 

Theresa Goldbach

Theresa Goldbach

theresa.goldbach@email.ucr.edu

Theresa Goldbach is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside and recipient of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship. Goldbach is originally from San Antonio, Texas. She studied ballet, Mexican Folklorico, flamenco, and Spanish dance, and performed with Fandango San Antonio, Ballet Folklorico de San Antonio, Rumba Brava, Estampa Española, and Viva Flamenco. Goldbach attended the University of Texas at Austin as a National Merit Scholar, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Radio-TV-Film in 1999. She studied flamenco at the Amor de Dios studio in Madrid, Spain. She graduated from the University of New Mexico's Master's program in Dance History in 2014 where she received a Student Mentor Grant from El Centro de la Raza. Goldbach conducted the research for her thesis, "Fascism, Flamenco, and Ballet Español" in the Archivo General de la Administración in Spain with research grants from the Office of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Professional Students Association. Goldbach has chapters published in both the Global Reach of the Fandango and Transatlantic Malagueñas anthologies from Cambridge Scholars. During Summer 2017, she conducted dissertation research at archives and flamenco venues in Madrid with an Alumni Dissertation Grant and a Humanities Graduate Student Research Grant. In Spring 2018, she was awarded the Emerging Scholar Award from the Tourism and Leisure Studies Network. Goldbach is also a certified yoga and pilates instructor currently teaching in Los Angeles. Her research interests include flamenco, Spanish dance, tourism, urban planning, bars and live music venues.

 

Irvin Gonzalez

Irvin Manuel Gonzalez

igonz003@ucr.edu

Irvin Manuel Gonzalez is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Riverside in the Critical Dance Studies Department and holds degrees in English and Dance. He has had the honor of presenting dance work at the Society of Dance History Scholars Conference in 2013 (Riverside, CA), REDCAT (Los Angeles, CA), HIGHWAYS Performance Space (Los Angeles, CA), ACDA Nationals (DC), Bootleg Theater (Los Angeles, CA), Dance Mission Theater in San Francisco, Human Resources (Los Angeles) and the Barbara and Arts Culver Center (Riverside, CA.) He has also presented papers at the SDHS/CORD Conference (2016 & 2017 & 2018), and the Migrations Conference at the University of Ottawa in Canada (2016.) Gonzalez is a recipient of the Eugene Cota Robles Fellowship, four Gluck Fellowship Awards, and Dance Magazine's Award for "Outstanding Student Choreography" (2016) for his collaborative role in "fourtold." He also works collaboratively alongside Alfonso Cervera, Patricia Huerta, and Rosa Rodriguez-Frazier in their collective, Primera Generación Dance, crafting work that speaks to mexicanidad(es) and being first generational artists. His research focuses on the cultivation of Mexican American identity through Quebradita dancing in the 1990s and beyond, analyzing how trans/national, racial, economic, and queer politics are negotiated within its movement and construction. Gonzalez has had the honor of receiving the Humanities Student Research Grant and the Graduate Research Mentorship Program Fellowship to fund his quebradita investigations.

 

Dav D. Hernández

Dava D. Hernández

dhern038@ucr.edu

Dava D. Hernández is a third year Ph.D. student in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside. She is a recipient of the Gluck Fellowship for the Arts and the prestigious Eugene Cota Robles Award. She holds an MA in Dance and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from Texas Woman’s University, where she earned the 2015 award for Outstanding Graduate Student from the Former Student’s Association and the department of Dance. Hernández also holds a BA in Mexican American Studies with a concentration in Literary Studies and a minor in Bicultural/Bilingual studies from the University of Texas, San Antonio. Hernández was a long-time member of the Guadalupe Dance Company, one of the nation’s leading professional folklórico and flamenco dance companies and has been involved in various dance-theater productions throughout the U.S. Southwest, including Teatro Campesino’s touring anniversary production of Zoot Suit. Her artistic and scholarly work is based in Mexican Folklórico and the dance expressions of the U.S.//Mexico borderlands. Hernández’s research interests also include an investigation of how dance intersects with notions of identity in South Texas’ Chicana/o communities and what that looks like in choreography.

Photo by: Adolfo Cantú-Villarreal

 

Maiko Le Lay

Maiko Le Lay

mlela001@ucr.edu

Maïko Le Lay is a French and Japanese Ph.D. candidate in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside. She holds an M.A. in Cultural Studies from the University Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle (France) and an M.A. in Political Sciences from the University Catholic of Louvain (Belgium). Her research focuses on hip hop and embodied pedagogy and the intersection/tension between Western and Hip Hop knowledge in Western institutions. She currently acts as the Graduate Student Mentorship Coordinator. As the former Graduate Student Association Executive Vice President, Le Lay was one of four to be selected among 250 000 UC students to lobby at Congress and at the White House in Washington D.C. She is a recipient of the Gluck Fellowship for the Arts, the Carbon Neutral Initiative, and the Humanists@Work grants. She recently was awarded the first Outstanding International Student Award. In Europe, she was Maurice Bejart’s conservatory coordinator, was involved in the Hip Hop street dance community, and served as the co-founder of Crystal’Art which denounced social injustices through dance, music and video.

 

Rosalia Lerner

Rosalia Lerner

Rosalia Lerner is a second-year Ph.D. student in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside where she is a recipient of the Dean's Distinguished Fellowship and multiple Gluck Fellowships. She has presented artistic work in San Francisco, at places such as The Feedback and The LEVYdance Salon and has founded her own dance company, Unfinished People. In New York, she was a part of the Gibney Dance Choreographic Process program, concentrating her artistic efforts on solo improvisational movement studies influenced by her experiences of limited mobility due to rheumatoid arthritis. Her current research looks at the intersections of disability, race, and choreographies of space to interrogate ideas around compulsory recovery. Lerner holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Studies from New York University, where she received the Performance Studies Award (2017), and a Bachelor’s in Dance and Performance Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was awarded the Florence Shwimley Memorial Scholarship (2013) and the Mark Goodson Prize (2014).

 

Sophia Levine

Sophia Levine

slevi003@ucr.edu

Sophia Levine is a second-year Ph.D. Student in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside, where she is a Gluck Fellow and Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellow. As a dance artist trained in yoga, compositional improvisation and various Modern and Post-Modern forms, Levine has taught and performed in Pittsburgh, New York, Illinois, Vermont, the Dominican Republic, Switzerland and Italy. Levine was granted a B.A. in Dance with High Honors at Middlebury College (2010) and received a three-year teaching assistantship and various awards during her M.F.A. in Dance at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2015). She has presented three times with the Choreography Lab of the Conney Conference on Jewish Arts (2013, 2015, 2017) and has participated in the Mnemonics Network for Memory Studies conferences as a presenter (2015) and graduate student organizer (2016). Her current research concerns the history of tarantism—a need to dance ostensibly caused by the bite of a spider—in Southern Italy and the incorporation of that history into contemporary practice/performance and a broader national narrative.

 

Evangelina Lopez

Evangelina Lopez

evangelina.lopez@email.ucr.edu

Evangelina Lopez is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Lopez is honored to have been supported as a GAANN Fellow, and as a recipient of the prestigious Eugene Cota Robles Award. Lopez holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (2015) in Dance with a Modern Emphasis from Utah Valley University. Her dance and movement background include Fancy Shawl, Pole fitness, Samba, and diverse exposure to various Modern Techniques and Practices. Lopez is a member of the UCR Graduate American Indian Alliance, and member of the UCHRI multi-campus faculty working group on Indigenous Dance and the Academy. She is grateful to have had the opportunity to aid as an assistant coordinator in a variety of projects, which include: The special edition of Indigenous Dance Today in Dance Research Journal (2015), UCR Medicine Ways Conference (2015), Indigenous Choreographers at Riverside (2016), UCR Medicine Ways Powwow (2017), Dancing Earth and V'ni Dansi collaboration at the Talking Stick Festival in Vancouver (2018). In her research, Lopez's primary interests are in Native women's practices of danced defiance and Native women's sexual expression through different dance sites.

http://evangelinaalopez.weebly.com/

 

Kendall Loyer

Kendall Loyer

Kendall Loyer is a second-year PhD student in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside. She is the proud recipient of the Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship award, an AMPA Military Spouse Scholarship and is also a returning Gluck Fellow. She is a former Humanities Graduate Student Research Grant recipient. 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 and dance spaces as a cite of memory, solastalgia/nostalgia, rural resistance, as well as environmental and food activism.

 

Anna Nikulina

Ania Nikulina

akala001@ucr.edu

Ania Nikulina is a PhD Candidate and a recipient of the Mellon CLIR Fellowship for Dissertation Research in Original Sources for her work focused on state-sponsored ballet as a site of cultural and political tension. Ania’s dissertation project explores the history of ballet performances and dance training in state theatres and ballet schools of contemporary Ukraine. Prior to entering the PhD program at UCR, Ania earned her Master’s degree in Performance Studies from Texas A&M University, focusing on the relationships between state-sponsored ballet, performance and political processes. Ania is a recipient of the UC Riverside Graduate Dean’s Fellowship, the CIS Humanities Graduate Student Research Grant, the UC Riverside Dissertation Research Grant, UC Riverside Alumni Graduate Research Travel Award and the UC Riverside Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship Award. Ania has diverse dance training in Ballet, Modern and Jazz dance; her additional interests include ballet digital ethnography, ballet oral narratives and public interviews as off-stage performance.

 

Cuahtemoc Peranda

Cuauhtémoc Peranda

cpera001@ucr.edu

Cuauhtémoc Peranda (Mescalero-Apache & Mexica-Chichimeca) M.F.A., is a third-year Critical Dance Studies Ph.D. student at the University of California, Riverside. Their studies are supported by the U.S. Department of Education Native American Studies Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellowship, and the Dean’s Distinguished Doctoral Student Fellowship. Their research focuses on the history of the United States’s West Coast House Ballroom Scene involvement with how Queer and Two-Spirit Native Americans of the Western Hemisphere have deployed the dance form of vogue (voguing) as a method of decolonization, anti-colonialism, resilience, and quare Indigenous Knowledge revitalization and reclamation. They have presented their research at the 2016 Congress on Research in Dance & Society of Dance History Scholars Joint Conference, the 2017 UC Davis Sixth Annual Native American Studies Graduate Student Symposium, Native American Studies Graduate Student Symposium, the 2017 UC Santa Cruz Queer and Trans People of Color Conference, the 2017 UC Riverside Fifteenth Annual Graduate Student Dance Showing, the 2016 UC Riverside Beyond R’Margins Conference, and they were awarded the 2016 Lambda Graduate Student Service Award for their commitment to the success of the 2016 BlaqOUT Conference and the LGBT community at UC Riverside. They are the founder of the Graduate American Indian Alliance (GAIA) at UC Riverside, an organizing member of the UC Riverside 2018 ​¡Presente! Summit, and are California Father Ome’Lauren of the West Coast Chapter of the Iconic House of Lauren, International. Cuauhtémoc holds a B.A. in Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity from Stanford University, and an M.F.A. in Dance from Mills College. 

 

Preethi Ramaprasad

Preethi Ramaprasad

Preethi Ramaprasad is a first-year Ph.D. student in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside, where she is a recipient of the Gluck Fellowship and the Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship Award. She has received training in South Indian classical dance (Bharatanatyam) from Prof. Sudharani Raghupathy and music (Carnatic) for over two decades. She has also performed and taught Bharatanatyam in India, Europe and the United States.

Some of Ramaprasad’s accomplishments prior to joining UCR include curating San Francisco’s first Indian choreography festival, When Eyes Speak, “Yuva Kala Bharati All- Rounder” Award for Young Performers in Chennai, the Trinity Festival Award, the Bigel Research Travel Award, the Aresty Research Award, the New Jersey Government Award for Arts Education, and the National YoungArts Scholarship.

Ramaprasad is interested in the intersection of dance, music, history, and political agency. She has a BA in Political Science and Cultural Anthropology from Rutgers University, where her thesis was on the relevance of temple dance tradition through language in Tamil Nadu.

 

Lindsay Blue Annie Rapport

Lindsay Blue Annie Rapport

lrapp001@ucr.edu

Lindsay Rapport is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside, where she is a recipient of both the Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship and the Graduate Research Mentorship Program Fellowship, as well as a five-time Gluck Fellow of the Arts. Her research explores the idea of fugitivity within hip hop dancers’ innovative movements as well as hip hop’s Black sociality, drawing connections with historical movements of African American fugitivity and Black liberation movements. She presented work at Show & Prove Hip Hop Studies Conference 2016, where she also had the pleasure of serving as Graduate Assistant, and her work has been accepted for presentation at the Dance Studies Association and American Studies Association conferences in 2017.

Rapport received her B.A. with Honors from Pitzer College, majoring in Spanish Language and Latin American Cultural Studies and minoring in Dance. She is a founding member of ENVY Dance Company and served as Assistant to the Founder and Artistic Director, Brandon J, from the Company’s inception in 2007 to 2017. She has been teaching hip hop in the Los Angeles area since 2008, and she joined the Dance faculties at both Riverside City College and Mt. San Jacinto College in 2016.

Photo credit: Chelsea Coleman Photography

 

Radi Shafie

Radi Shafie

rshaf003@ucr.edu

Radi Shafie is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) and a recipient of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship Award. Shafie graduated from the National University of Iran as a Doctor of Medicine and subsequently trained for four years in General Surgery at various hospitals in the U.S. He then decided on a different path in life and, after pursuing Flamenco for a number of years, discovered and fell in love with Argentine Tango. This love has taken him many times to Buenos Aires, as well as other corners of the world, dancing night after night at the milongas. He has been teaching Tango for some years, and has performed in well-known locales. In 2012, wanting to broaden his horizons, he went back to school in the Dance Department of the University of New Mexico (UNM), studying Ballet, Modern, and choreography, as well as dance history and pedagogy. He became very interested in the scholarly aspect of dance and what dance has to offer both the academy and the world at large. After completing the first year of the Masters in Dance History and Criticism at UNM, he came to UCR to begin his Ph.D. Shafie's current research is the role of popular gatherings of social tango as a resistance to the neoliberal order.

 

Katie Nicole Stahl-Kovell

Katie Nicole Stahl-Kovell

kstah001@ucr.edu

Katie Nicole Stahl-Kovell is a feminist ethnographer currently working on her dissertation, “Choreographing Childbirth,” as a Ph.D. Candidate in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). By applying critical dance studies as social theory to women in labor, she offers unique insight into the embodied nature of maternal power and agency, particularly how women under U.S. maternal healthcare respond to and shape medicalized authority, surveillance, and intervention. 

Stahl-Kovell is a proud mamma, a Dean’s Distinguished Fellow, Gluck Fellow of the Arts, and holds a M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies from UCR. She is also a proud McNair Scholar and an Anthropology alumna from California State University, Dominguez Hills and Cypress Community College.

 

Magnolia Yang Sao Yia

Magnolia Yang Sao Yia

magnolia.yangsaoyia@email.ucr.edu

Magnolia Yang Sao Yia is a dance artist and PhD student in Critical Dance Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Southeast Asian Studies. She holds a BFA in Dance and Minor in Asian American Studies from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Through the support of the Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship Award and the Gluck Fellows Program of the Arts, she will be researching dance and embodied practices of the Hmong diaspora in the United States. Yang Sao Yia is interested in how Hmong practitioners construct and reimagine identity and home.

Yang Sao Yia, a House Dance practitioner, has also trained in Yorchha™️, the Contemporary Indian dance technique of Ananya Dance Theatre (ADT). She has danced with ADT from 2013-2017 and will be rejoining them for the 2018 season and premier of Sutrajaal: Revelations of Gossamer. Informed by the work and vibrations of ADT, Yang Sao Yia creates at the intersection of social justice, dance and healing.

magnoliayangsaoyia.com

Photo credit: VPV, photo courtesy of ADT

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: danceadvising@ucr.edu

Undergraduate Program Inquiries: judith.llausas@ucr.edu

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