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Ph.D. Program in Dance

Current Student Research Interests


Robert Bingham holds a B.A. in anthropology/sociology from Wesleyan University, an M.F.A. in dance from SUNY Brockport, and he is a Fulbright Scholar Award recipient (Berlin, summer 2013).  His Ph.D. research focuses on counter-normative aesthetics in contemporary dance and performance, with particular emphasis on the context of New York City during the Giuliani era.

Jennifer Conley holds a BA in Integrative Arts from Pennsylvania State University and an MFA in Dance from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.  Her dissertation, "Terrestrial Resonance: Exploring Earth through Dance," is an interdisciplinary study examining the interface of geology and dance through choreographic and pedagogical applications. Jennifer is exploring how geologic ways knowing impact her creative process and inspire the development of new approaches to understanding our bodies in motion.  Inversely, she is translating these findings into a metaphorical understanding of Earth as a body in motion.  During the course of this study, she has staged nine geologically inspired dances and has piloted an undergraduate course on the subject, "Dancing Earth, Dancing Body."  

Nicholeen Degrasse-Johnson holds BS and MA degrees in Dance from SUNY Brockport and is the Director of The School of Dance at Edna Manley College of the Arts in Kingston, Jamaica.  The working title of her dissertation is "An inquiry into the need for a National Dance Education Policy for the early childhood, primary and secondary curriculum in Jamaica: A step towards ownership of dance education for Jamaica's children."

Amanda DiLodovico holds a B.A. in English and Dance with a concentration in Dance Studies from Marymount Manhattan College and a M.A. in Performance Studies from New York University. She is also a Temple University Fellow. Her research interests include dance and disability, non-normative bodies, humor in performance, discomfort, and the connections between movement, practice, and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Anna Dodge holds a BA in Dance and English from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an MA in Dance Education from New York University.  Her research interests include dance-music collaboration, pedagogy, and criticism.  

Jodi Falk holds a BA in Psychology from Brown University and an MFA in Dance from Temple University.  Her research focuses on Dance and Social Justice, Dance and Disability, and Dance as a transformational tool for learning.

Lindsey Grites Weeks holds a B.A. in Dance from Rutgers University and an M.A. in Dance Education from New York University. Her research interests center on the teaching of dance in higher education, including first-year experience for undergraduate dancers, transitions from private studios and K-12 programs into higher education, and applications of college student learning and development theories for the dance classroom. Lindsey is a ballet educator and a member of the Cecchetti Council of America, National Dance Education Organization, Dance New Jersey, and Associated Dance Teachers of New Jersey.

Colleen Hooper is Philadelphia-based writer, performer and choreographer. Her interests include community performance, cultural studies, and site-specific dance: she is presently researching dancers who participated in the Comprehensive Employment Training Act (CETA). Her choreography has been presented at venues in New York City, Philadelphia, and most recently Milwaukee. She earned her B.A. in Dance and English from George Washington University and her M.F.A. in Dance from Temple University with a Certificate in Community Arts. She is currently a Temple University Fellowship recipient and received the 2013 Edrie Ferdun Award for Scholarly Achievement. She serves as the Dance Research Journal Editorial Assistant and is a Graduate Student Representative to the Society of Dance History Scholars Board of Directors.

Julie B. Johnson holds a BA degree in Dance with a pedagogy concentration from Marymount Manhattan College, and an MS degree in Nonprofit Management from Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy. She is a co-founder of the nonprofit dance organization, Evolve Dance Inc.; she teaches and presents choreography throughout New York, Philadelphia, and beyond; and she conducts collaborative dance residencies with various communities, locally and abroad. Her research is centered on community interaction through choreography, education, performance, and collaboration.

Marija Krtolica holds an M.F.A. in choreography (UC Davis), and M.A. in Performance Studies (NYU). Her Ph.D. topic revolves around conceptualizations of body and unconscious in modernity in relationship to the histories of: dance performances and body-pathology; especially during socio-economic crisis. Marija is inquiring into insanity as a social construct contingent on the scientific knowledge and labor requirements. The critical focus is on the conscious performances of grotesque physicality. In her research she is applying Marxist analysis of the alienated labor, and Foucault’s genealogy of the abnormal related to power structures. Marija is a recipient Presidential Fellowship from Temple University (website:

C. Kemal Nance received his Ed.M. in Dance from Temple University and his BA in Sociology/Anthropology with a concerntration in Black Studies from Swarthmore College.  His research interests center on the intersection of the Umfundalai tradition of African dance and African-American male dancer's construction of maleness. Kemal is the world's first male, master teacher of Umfundalai and the Associate Artistic Director of Kariamu & Company: Traditions (K&C), Umfundalai's professional performance company. He also directs the Berry & Nance Dance Project, an all-male African dance initiative.

Cassandra Pinzon-Hulderman, born in Bogota, Colombia, was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She attended Calvin College, receiving a BS in Recreation Therapy, Minor in Dance (2008). She completed her EdM at Temple University (2011). During her undergraduate education Cassandra studied African dance at The University of Ghana (2007) and performed with the At-Neemrah Dance Company (2008). She is a current recipient of the Calvin College Graduate Study Fellowship and is currently working with Dr. Teresa Benzwie to use creative movement in the dance classroom at Barclay Early Childhood Center.  Her research interests include: dance and disability, and biblical studies and dance.

Molly Shanahan holds a B.A. in Dance and English from Denison University, and an M.A. in Dance Composition from The Ohio State University. She is the founder and artistic director of Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak, a contemporary dance company that supports the development of her work, and was on the faculty at Northwestern University's Dance Program prior to deciding to pursue a Ph.D. at Temple. Her research interests are rooted in subjective embodied practice, and include evolving her distinct movement vocabulary within a broader context, and articulating the impact of the witness/witnessed relationship on the performance of her work.

Charmian Wells holds a B.F.A. in Dance and M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Charmian’s research is focused on choreographing belonging, particularly across lines of race, gender, sexuality, class, nation, etc. This interest stems from her performance background as a dancer with Forces of Nature Dance Theatre. Research interests include: black performance theory; queer theory; critical race theory; feminist theory; feminist ethnography; transnational theory and diaspora; and affect theory.