Photo Credit: Jimmy Lai

Ph.D. STUDENTS

Johnny Castro, He/Him/His
Johnny.Castro@email.ucr.edu
M.A. in Creative Enterprise Cultural Leadership, Arizona State University
B.S. in Nonprofit Management & Leadership, Arizona State University
Johnny Castro is a first year Ph.D. student in Critical Dance Studies at UCR. He holds a M.A. in Creative Enterprise Cultural Leadership from Arizona State University. He is a member of the Furious Styles Crew and co-founder of Worth The Weight event series. Johnny is a leader in the Arizona dance community as a bboy, practitioner, and event organizer/host & has witnessed unique aesthetic trends form in the Arizona dance scene.  His research is rooted in the lived experiences of street dancers and examines the relationship between social media and feelings of belonging and dis-belonging as experienced by street dancers.

Sinjini Chatterjee, She/Her/Hers
schat024@ucr.edu
B.A. in Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University, India

M.A. in Comparative Literature, King’s College London, University if London, United Kingdom
M.A. in South Asian Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, United Kingdom
Sinjini Chatterjee is a second year Phd student in the Department of Dance at UCR. Her research is on Odissi dance and how the recent choreographic ventures shifts the dance form from its traditional approach. She has trained for 15 years un Odissi dance and has performed widely in India and United Kingdom. She has received the Dena’s Fellowship and multiple Gluck Program of the Arts Award.

Colette Marie Eloi, She/Her/We/Us
celoi001@ucr.edu
B.A. in Development Studies, International Relations, UC Berkeley
M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies Creative Inquiry, California Institute Of Integral Studies
Ms. Eloi is an accomplished dancer/commissioned choreographer and director of ELWAH Movement Dance and Research.  Her area of focus is the African Diaspora and Indigenous dance.  Ms.  Eloi is interested in Pre-colonial Archives of African Rooted dance culture. Her research methodology is dialogical bridging knowledge of cultural communities to the academy.  She has conducted fieldwork in Haiti, Cuba, Brazil, Benin, Ghana, and the US.  Her work looks at the way the commodified imperialized body undergoes the extraction of its wholeness. Colette has received many awards as a social justice artist and she is a sought after guest lecturer.

Xiomara Forbez, She/Her/Hers
xforb001@ucr.edu
B.A. in Linguistics, B.A. in French Language and Literature, Boston University
Xiomara Forbez is a Ph.D. Candidate in Critical Dance Studies at UCR. She was born and raised in Miami, FL but spent holidays in Queens, NY. After college she worked as a Fiscal Administrator at Boston University and then a Research Management Specialist at Harvard University. Her Caribbean family and friends taught her how to dance merengue, salsa, bachata, Colombian cumbia, reggaeton, and dancehall. She has also studied ballet, Horton, Graham and is now learning hula kahiko, hula auana, and kizomba. Her dissertation research looks at expanding definitions of “dance” and “dancer.”

jemuel jr. barrera garcia, He/Him/His
jgarc137@ucr.edu
B.P.E. in Dance & Sports, College of PESCAR, West Visayas State University, Iloilo City, Philippines
M.P.E. in Dance Stream, College of PESCAR, West Visayas State University, Iloilo City, Philippines
jemuel is a Filipino 4th year Ph.D. student in Critical Dance Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Southeast Asian Studies at UCR. He is a fellow of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program and the Gluck Program of the Arts. His choreography weaves his passion for dance, music, storytelling, theater, and comics. As a transdisciplinary mover, his works were performed in countries like the USA, Thailand, Japan, Germany, and Spain. His research foregrounds an Indigenous-centered, decolonial, and transpacific dance studies lens to nuance the intercultural convergent experience of Filipino Indigenous communities and folk dance companies in the homeland and the diaspora.

Dava D. Hernández, She/Her/Ella
Dhern038@ucr.edu
M.A. in Dance, Texas Woman’s University
B.A. in Mexican American Studies, University of Texas, San Antonio
Dava D. Hernández is a Ph.D. candidate in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside researching dancing and performing bodies from early twentieth century Mexican American carpas or traveling tent shows. Hernández has received the Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship, Gluck Fellowship, and Eugene Cota Robles Award. She was a long-time member of the Guadalupe Dance Company in San Antonio, TX and has been involved in various dance-theater productions throughout the U.S. Southwest. She taught Dance throughout San Antonio and as an adjunct at Palo Alto College, San Antonio College, Texas Woman’s University, and California State University, San Marcos.

Cinthia Duran Larrea, She/Her
cdura033@ucr.edu
B.A. (Honors) in International Affairs, Double-Minor in Dance and Latin American Studies, Skidmore College
M.A. in Dance Knowledge, Practice and Heritage, at the CHOREOMUNDUS consortium: UCA(France), SZTE(Hungary), NTNU(Norway), and RU (United Kingdom)
Cinthia is a movement researcher with a decolonial vision and a commitment for social and environmental justice. Her international trajectory includes ethnographic research in Ecuador, Peru, the United States and Austria on contemporary forms of ritual dance as a tool for decolonial praxis. As a performer and activist, Cinthia has participated in several productions in Ecuador, the US, and the UK addressing issues ranging from gender and racial violence to mental health stigma. Her current research focuses on the embodied decolonial strategies articulated by Latin American Mestizas in the context of migration, assimilation, uprootedness, transgenerational trauma, and transnational constellations of belonging.

Rosalia Lerner, She/Her/Hers
rlern001@ucr.edu
B.A. in Dance and Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley
M.A. in Performance Studies at New York University
Rosalia Lerner is a doctoral student in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Her dissertation project, “Get Well Soon!: Sick Bodied Performance in Chronic Conditions” considers how chronic illness reframes embodiments of crisis as quotidian and ongoing rather than eruptive and ephemeral. Her research looks at the intersections of disability, race, and choreographies of space to interrogate ideas around sickness and health.

Kendall Loyer, She/They
Kloye001@ucr.edu
B.A. in Dance Performance, Columbia College Chicago
M.F.A. in Experimental Choreography, University of California, Riverside
Kendall Loyer is a dancer, dancemaker, dramaturg, scholar, educator, photographer, and creative writer. Her movement practice investigates memory, embodied processes of remembering and themes of dispossession, haunting and displacement. Her doctoral research aims to unravel the queer layers of time, geography, and embodiment in Appalachia through the lens of Critical Dance Studies. Her work focuses on performance, storytelling, labor, folk lifeways and the radical antiracist potential of “white trash aesthetics” under the necropolitical violence of racial capitalism.

manuelMANNYmacias, He/Him/His
mmaci012@ucr.edu
B.A. in Gender, Ethnic, and Multicultural Studies, Minor in New Dance, Cal Poly Pomona
M.F.A. in Dance, California State University, Long Beach
manuelMANNYmacias is an interdisciplinary artist from La Puente, CA. He is a founding member of Mechanism Dancetheatre Collective, a Pomona-based project that centers de-colonial performance practices//processes//experiments in the areas “East of the 605.” He is also a collaborator//instigator with FEK-MAC, a bicoastal (NYC/LA) project with Gayle Fekete. His research//practice explores power structures and the cultivation//manifestation of emergent//divergent frameworks.

Yeji Moon, She/Her/Hers
ymoon016@ucr.edu
B.F.A. in Dance, Dongduk Women’s University
M.A. in Dance Education: Teaching Dance in the Professions, New York University
Yeji Moon is a second-year Ph.D. student in Critical Dance Studies at UCR. As a professional dancer, her background is in performing, choreographing, and directing contemporary dance. She is also a certified Yoga and Pilates(RCCB) instructor. After her BFA program, She moved to New York City and continued to choreograph and perform with various choreographers and dancers. She also studied and worked at the Laban / Bartenieff Institution of Movement Studies as a Certified Movement Analyst (CMA). Her current research interests include K-pop dance, ritual dance, communal identity, and especially the relationship between K-pop culture and young audiences.

Cuauhtémoc Peranda, They/He/She/Prince/Father/Ella
cpera001@ucr.edu
B.A. in Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity, Stanford University 
M.F.A. in Dance, Mills College
(Mescalero Apache, Mexika-Chichimeca/Cano; cihuaiyolo butch queen) Their research focuses on the development of the House Ballroom Scene, and how queer, transgender and two-spirit black, and blackened indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere have deployed the dance form of vogue as a praxis of decolonization, realness, colonialism, transformational resilience via shade, and queering indigenous knowledge reclamation. They walk and raise children as “Overall Prince Don’Té Lauren” of The Legendary House of Lauren, International. Their studies have been supported by several fellowships including the U.S. Dept. of Education Native American Studies Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (G.A.A.N.N.).

Preethi Ramaprasad, She/Her/Hers
prama007@ucr.edu
B.A., in Political Science and Cultural Anthropology, Rutgers University

Preethi Ramaprasad is a third year Ph.D. student in Critical Dance Studies at UC Riverside, where she received the Gluck Fellowship and Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship.  She has trained in South Indian classical dance (Bharatanatyam) from Prof. Sudharani Raghupathy and music from Padma Srinivasan.  Ramaprasad has performed/taught in India, Europe, and the United States.  She is also the curator of When Eyes Speak, San Francisco’s first Indian Choreography Festival. Ramaprasad researches the intersection of Bharatanatyam and politics through performance, literature, and music. Her undergraduate honors thesis at Rutgers University investigated the connection between classical dance and music practices in Tamil Nadu.

Lindsay Blue Annie Rapport, She/Her
lrapp001@ucr.edu
B.A. in Spanish Language & Latin American Cultural Studies, Minor in Dance, Pitzer College
Lindsay Rapport is a Ph.D. Candidate in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Her dissertation, Get on this Vibe: Freestyling and Being in/as Radical Togetherness, explores vibing in hip hop freestyle dance practices as an alternative to violently individuated subjecthood. Arguing that what takes place in these spaces exists beyond the dance floor as well, her work considers how the practice of vibing can inform the practice of co-conspiring in the ongoing struggle for Black liberation. She is a founding dancer of ENVY Dance Company and Associate Faculty in the Dance Program at Riverside City College.

Sammitha Sreevathsa, She/Her
ssree009@ucr.edu
B.A. (Honors) in English Studies, Christ University
M.A. in Philosophy, MCPH, Manipal University
Sammitha Sreevathsa has worked as an arts writer, documentarian and as a social science teacher for middle school students. Her columns for Firstpost and for Pulse, focus on the historical and the political aspects of classical dance in India. She has also reviewed performances for the Friday Review section of The Hindu newspaper. In her research, she is interested to interrogate how the politics of upper caste hetero-patriarchal domestic space, have come to structure the contemporary ecosystems of classical dance in India. She follows and tries to learn from the ongoing Ambedkarite anti-caste movement and wants to explore how the Indian anti-caste discourse could help in re-imagining the savarna dominant  Indian dance field more equitably.

Fabiola Ochoa Torralba, She/They
fabiola.torralba@ucr.edu
B.A. in Mexican American Studies & Anthropology, University of Texas at San Antonio
A.A. in Dance, Palo Alto College; M.F.A. in Dance, University of Michigan
Fabiola is a movement artist, cultural worker, and activist who shares embodied learning with inner city youth, seniors, im/migrants, Spanish monolingual speakers, QTBIPOC, and working class people through choreography, research, practice, and performance. She has worked with SpareWorks Dance, Dance Exchange, Safos Dance Theatre, Forklift Danceworks, Urban-15, Dancing Earth Contemporary Creations, Erison Dancers, and the S.A. Parks and Recreation Department. Recent initiatives include the East to West Project centering the cultural expressions, politics, and histories of descendants of the African Diaspora and nx/sx, a performance project of kuir, questioning, gender fluid, and non-conforming im/migrants.

José Eduardo Valadés, él/He/Him/His
jvala005@ucr.edu
B.A. in Humanities, Universidad de Quintana Roo, México
M.F.A. in Creative Writing, New York University
Jose Eduardo is a 3rd year PhD student in Critical Dance Studies at UCR. He has worked as an editor, teacher, blogger, translator, freelance writer and shiatsu practitioner. He gained interest in Dance Studies on account of the extended influence of literary theory and language theory on art interpretation. His research interests focus on the connections between dance, intimacy, failure and the philosophy of action. He’s doing a UCHRI/UCOP funded research called “Performance in the Wake of the Political.”

Magnolia Yang Sao Yia, She/Her/Hers
myang053@ucr.edu
B.F.A. in Dance and Minor in Asian American Studies, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Magnolia Yang Sao Yia is a dance artist and PhD student in Critical Dance Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Southeast Asian Studies. She is Co-President of the Dance Graduate Student Association, and in 18-19 as Chair, organized Southeast Asian Studies Graduate Student Association’s first annual conference. As a 20-21 Graduate Research Mentorship Program Award recipient, and 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 Hmong in the U.S. Her research interests include social justice, decoloniality, and diaspora studies. magnoliayangsaoyia.com (Photo by Bill Cameron, 2019)