The diverse research interests of our graduate students reflect the wide range of specializations that we address in our dance program as we prepare students to be educators, artists and scholars of dance and movement.
Ella-Gabriel Mason is an MFA student in Dance. They want to understand who we are, how we got here, and how we’re all thinking and feeling about that. An artmaker, educator and bodyworker, they combine rigorous academic research with lived experience, words with dance, brain with body, living in the tension between ways of knowing and methods of being. They have been granted residencies at Future Tenant Gallery (PGH) and Pearlarts Studios (PGH), and their works have been presented at the New Hazlett Theater (PGH), Kelly-Strayhorn Theater (PGH), vox populi (PHL), wild project (NYC), WOW Café Theater (NYC), and BAAD! (NYC). In addition to their work as a creator and performer, Mason is a licensed massage therapist specializing in trauma-sensitive bodywork.
Boram Yi received her BA and MFA in Dance Performance from Korea National University of Arts and MA in Dance Education from CUNY, Hunter College. Boram taught special kids at Nuri School in 2013, and taught pre-professional students at Gyeongbuk Arts High School from 2016 to 2017. After moving to NYC, she choreographed, performed Articulation Work I, was selected by the American Dance Guild Festival, and received a scholarship for the Bolshoi Teacher Certification program in 2019. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Dance. Her research interests focus on Korean Dance in foreign countries, Korean Diaspora, Multiculturalism, and Dance Curriculum. https://hunter-soe.digication.com/boramyi
Frances Emberly is a first-year MA student with a focus on early 20th-century American vernacular jazz dances, such as the Lindy Hop and Charleston. Originally from Saint Paul, Minnesota, Frances’ career has been based on social dance. She has taught ballroom and Latin dancing, performed with the Lindy Hop performance troupes Rhythm and Swing and The Saint Paul Swingcapators, competed at the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, and most recently acted as Creative Director for the Minnesota division of Dancing Classrooms. She earned undergraduate degrees in Economics and Apparel Design and received DVIDA teacher certification for American smooth and rhythm dances.
Ranse Howell is a first-year MA student.
Jena Barton is an MFA student in Dance. Jena's research seeks to navigate and experiment with the methodologies and modalities of movement pedagogy as they parallel those of choreographic process through a collective observation and exploration of somatic learning, art-making, and movement research. It seeks to facilitate embodied experiences for movers, audiences, and students alike while deconstructing the current parameters of performance in an effort to create transparency within the artmaking process.
Caitlyn Bess is an MFA student in Dance. As a part of this program, I wish to further explore the inner workings of developing choreography, kinesthetics, performance and pedagogy. I have been teaching dance at a non-profit dance studio in Orange, NJ for 8 years and an elementary school in Newark, NJ for 2 years and I've grown immensely during this time. I hope to dive deeper into the creative process of choreography while further enhancing my methods of instruction. Engaging in this program specifically will offer me the opportunity to further my teaching ability and choreographic vision to push my students to be their best on both a professional or recreational level.
Yuying Chen is an MFA student in Dance.
Connor Cook is an MFA student in Dance. He is an accomplished dancer, singer, actor, and choreographer with wide ranging experiences, seeking performance and choreography opportunities. He began his career in the Musical Theatre field working in professional productions all over the country. During the pandemic he decided to use the time to shift his focus towards contemporary dance and developing his own choreographic craft. Notables: Point Park Summer Dance Intensive, creator track for Choreography Collective (Point Park) teaching for Larry Cervi School of Performing Arts, Dance Captain"Damn Yankees" at Otterbein University, commissioned contemporary work for dance recitals with Premiere Performing Arts, choreographed multiple undergraduate contemporary works, conducting student workshops, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and independent study with the head of dance Stella Kane, Otterbein University.
Olivia Danni is an MFA student in Dance, anticipating graduation in 2024. She graduated with a BFA from University of the Arts in 2015. After graduating, she danced with artist Curt Haworth before moving to New York City to pursue performing and teaching. Her current work deals with humor and kinesthetic empathy. She is driven to make dance an accessible tool for children and teenagers in school.
Erica Denismore is an MFA student in Dance.
Tatiana Greer is an MFA student in dance with an interest in pluralism. In 2021, Tatiana presented at the National Dance Education Organization Conference on a panel that discussed the necessity for socially just teaching. As a Teaching Assistant she has presented on topics such as culturally relevant pedagogy and facilitated group conversation and activities with undergraduate students. In addition to her studies at Temple she continues to pursue aspirations in the commercial field. With a combination of teaching and taking commercial heels and hip hop classes Tatiana plans to continue to perform/ advocate for the styles she loves.
Kevin Harris is an MFA student in Dance. I am an alumnus from Ursinus College, holding my bachelor's degree in both dance and philosophy. I am a Philadelphia native born and raised in the uptown area where I started off my dance journey from the backyard with breaking 10 years ago. I am a member of Chocolate Ballerina Company and when I dance, I refer to myself as Azari, meaning powerful and complete. My lifetime goal is to create a safe environment where students can use their critical thinking skills to develop movement processes that lead to new self-discoveries.
Karly Meehan is an MFA student in Dance. She is a Chicago native who grew up performing throughout the Chicagoland area and the Midwest with companies such as Midwest Dance Collective and Inaside Chicago Dance. She obtained her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2021. While attending UNLV, she had the wonderful privilege of performing lead roles in two works from the Erick Hawkins repertoire, "New Moon" and "Early Floating". Since graduating, Karly has been invited back to UNLV as a guest choreographer in two shows for the performing arts department. Additionally, two of the works in her repertoire, "Butterflies" and "SONDER" have been featured in the Inaside Dance Chicago choreography competition and the Inspired Dance Australia Film Festival. In January 2022, she developed her own dance program for the Elite Academy of Gymnastics, managing classes, teaching, and scheduling. Karly is very excited to continue her artistic development through Temple's MFA program.
Nycole Nurse, is an MFA student in Dance, with an interest in phenomenology. In 2021, she participated on a panel for the National Dance Education Organization Conference giving her insight on experiences and trials faced with virtual learning as well as the benefits of socially just teaching. Nycole received her BA from Drew University in 2016 in political science and dance. Nycole was awarded the 2016 Rumi Choreography Prize, which is awarded to one graduating senior each year whose work shows promise for more professional development.
Nycole has performed professionally throughout NYC as a part of the Nimbus Dance Company at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. As well as at Peridance Capezio Center for their Plunge Showcase VII, and Elliot Center Hudson Guild Theater for the Sans Limites Dance Festival, both under the direction of Miss Taina Bey. Since graduating from Drew in May 2016, Nycole has worked as a teaching artist for the Dance Power program contracted through the American Repertory Ballet & Princeton Ballet School for the New Brunswick School District.
N’dea Price is an MFA student in Dance.
Madeline Shuron is an MFA student in Dance. As an artist and educator based in Philadelphia, Madeline Shuron investigates embodied affect and interrogates the audience-performer relationship through an interdisciplinary approach of dance, theatre, film, puppetry, and clowning. Drawing from queer theory, Shuron's work and scholarship examines embodiment, corporeality, and somatics, and engages itself in questions of what it means to be a body in space, with particular attention to the other bodies that are (or aren't) a part of that space. Her teaching pedagogy is founded on communication and play.
Kat J. Sullivan is an MFA student in Dance. Her work has been described as having a “spare rigor” by thINKingDANCE and emerges in live, filmed, choreographed, and improvised forms. She has worked with artists in Philadelphia and beyond, including <fidget> and Yael Bartana with the Noa Eshkol Chamber Dance Group. She is curious about translating dance through the camera lens and the written word. Kat received her BA in Dance with a minor in Anthropology from Franklin & Marshall College.
Joi Suttle is an MFA student in Dance. Dance has been a therapeutic outlet for me that not only helped me discover myself, but also has revealed who I am. While in the MFA program, I plan to offer a different experience of dance that encourages self-exploration and healing. I aim to create work that reflects the many societies that we find ourselves a part of. My goal is to have viewers walk away from my piece, with a thought that would make them think more deeply. Most importantly, I want younger girls that look like me to know that they can, too, reach for the stars.
Nadia Ureña is an MFA and Graduate Fellow in Dance, expecting to graduate in 2024. She is an active performer and dance researcher who aims to intersect dance with black feminism and media theory. She is interested in questioning the ways in which modern dance has both constructed and represented itself in the past until now as a means of diagnosing where it could go in the future. As a performer, Nadia has had the opportunity to work with professional artists such as Israeli choreographer Sharon Vanzana, Former Paul Taylor Company Member Orion Duckstein, Charles Anderson, Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner, and Randall Anthony Smith. Nadia received a BA in Dance and Media & Communications from Muhlenberg College.
Shiyu Wang is an MFA student in Dance. Shiyu graduated with her BFA in Dance from Minzu University of China in 2019. Before coming to Philadelphia, Shiyu taught Chinese classical dance and Folk dance in China. She also participated in the exchange activity of the African Dance Troupe at the MUC in 2019 and was a part of CCTV’s recording of the column show of “Dance World” in 2018. Shiyu won 3rd Prize in the 9th Modern Dance Competition among 5 provinces of North China in 2019. Shiyu joined Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers as an apprentice in 2021.Oct 23, 2021 Performance with Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers at Uptown Knauer Performing Arts Center; April 8-9, 2022 Performance with Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers at the Suzan Robert Theatre in downtown Philadelphia.Shiyu’s work“Gaze” has been selected to adjudicate in the 2022 ACDA at-Large Virtual Adjudication.
CJ Whitmire is an MFA student in Dance. He received his BFA from West Chester University, and was an active member and choreographer in West Chester’s University Dance Company (2015-2019). He is currently interested in the discovery of identity through the choreographic process. Common threads found through his work are gendered movement, sexulaity, masculinity vs femininity, and authenticity. Additionally, he works as an educator and choreographer for “Remix Dance Collective” and “Genius Theatre.”
Pritika Agarwal is a PhD student in Dance. Her dissertation research on Kalbeliya dance is being supported by the Temple University Fellowship and a Junior Research Fellowship from the American Institute of Indian Studies. Pritika is also the recipient of the Edrie Ferdun Emerging Scholar Award. Interested in dance on screen research and pedagogy, she has completed an MA in Choreography from Trinity Laban (London, U.K.) and BSc in Mass Communication and Videography from St. Xavier’s College (Kolkata, India).
Sena Abigail Atsugah is a Fulbright PhD student in dance. She is interested in exploring Ghanaian Ewe ritual dance forms. She obtained her BFA and an MFA in choreography at the University of Ghana, Legon. As an enthusiastic choreographer and dancer, she has taken part in major editions of a dance workshop dubbed Engagement Feminin in Burkina-Faso. She has toured and performed in Burkina Faso, France, and in the United States, and participated in numerous dance workshop in Ecole de sable in Senegal, Mali and in Germany.Her particular focus is on Dance, Gender, Performance and Social Reintegration of the marginalized in society.
Christine Colosimo is researching the embodied theories of 20th century dance pioneer Erick Hawkins and his influence on the fields of dance science and somatic education. Having worked with Hawkins for five years as understudy, apprentice, administrative assistant and teacher, Colosimo is passionate about crediting Hawkins for the many contributions he has made to dance.
Emmanuel Cudjoe is a dancer, researcher and musician from Ghana- Africa. Currently, a PhD Candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant at the Boyer College of Music and Dance - Temple University. He holds a first class BFA degree in theatre studies with dance and MA in African Studies from the University of Ghana, and another MA in Dance Knowledge, Practice and Heritage from the ERASMUS-MUNDUS Choreomundus consortium in Europe - University of Clermont Auvergne (UCA, coordinator), Clermont-Ferrand, France; Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway; University of Szeged (SZTE), Hungary; University of Roehampton, London (URL), United Kingdom specializing in Dance Anthropology, Ethnochoreology, Ethnology and Intangible Cultural Heritage. He is a recipient of the Edrie Ferdun Emerging Scholar Award and Edrie Ferdun Scholarly Achievement Award at Temple University. His current works highlight decolonizing dance research.
Ziying Cui is a PhD candidate in Dance. She earned her MFA in Contemporary Dance at Case Western Reserve University in 2016. Before she came to the US, she got her bachelor degree in Dance History and Theory from Beijing Dance Academy in 2012. Her dissertation focuses on the hybridity of Chinese dance and ballet in negotiating the idea of Chineseness. Her book review for Revolutionary Bodies: Chinese Dance and the Socialist Legacy by Emily Wilcox has been published by Asian Theatre Journal in 2020. She also collaborated with Shanghai Music Publishing House for translating English dance book into Chinese language.
Garamh Kim (Ed.M., CMA.) is a dance educator, dance researcher, dancer and choreographer who has a passion to advocate dance to the public. She has a dance background mainly in ballet and currently interested in researching women empowerment through dance, feminist pedagogy, and somatic studies.
Colin Murray is a PhD student. His research centers around the male dancer in early nineteenth-century France. His dissertation examines exceptional performers in fairground theater and opera as well as dance, and the relationship between dance and law. Colin is a ballet dancer and holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University, an M.Phil. from New York University, and a J.D. from Cornell Law School. Colin is a Presidential Fellow at Temple, and his research has been supported by the Chateaubriand Fellowship Program and the Giorgio Cini Foundation. He is presently a Fulbright Research Scholar in Paris at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS).
Emily Oleson is a crossover dancer interested in a broad range of styles, from traditional Appalachian flatfooting, to forms of Irish dance, partner dance, contemporary urban dances, and vernacular jazz. Her scholarship in American Vernacular Dance interrogates whiteness, eccentricity, and social responsibility.
Kakali Paramguru is an Odissi (Indian classical dance) performer and researcher with a background on Indian classical music, paintings, mathematics, and teaching little children. Currently, she is a third-year doctoral student who is researching on Modernism of the twentieth-century North America and India for her Ph.D. thesis.
Mora-Amina Parker is a Dance PhD student. Her theoretical and performance work are rooted in Black dance aesthetics and sonics. She has danced with a variety of companies notably Dallas Black Dance Theater, Philadanco, and Camille A. Brown and Dancers. As a founding member of CABD, the company was awarded a Bessie—New York Dance and Performance Award for outstanding production for Mr. Tol E. RanCE in 2014. Mora-Amina is excited to continue her studies at Temple University.
Shaahida Samuel is an incoming student in the Dance PhD program. My current research interests are in the realm of exploring Dances of the African Diaspora. As a Grenadian-American, I am specifically passionate about prioritizing dances of the African Diaspora within the curriculum that are traditionally reserved for euro-centric dance forms.
Justin Tornow is a third year PhD student. Her research integrates her interests in philosophy, spatial design, choreography, and education reform. Her artistic work is often collaborative and interdisciplinary creations for COMPANY and beta tests, a sound-and-movement duo with Ultrabillions. Justin recently premiered Mesa, commissioned for the 2022 American Dance Festival season. Justin teaches college-level courses and workshops, served as teaching-artist-in-residence at Tanzart Atelier in Kirschau, Germany, and was a 2019 artist-in-residence at UNC-Chapel Hill. A 2018-2019 Cunningham Dance Research Fellow with the New York Public Library, Justin presented original research titled Cunningham Technique as a Practice of Freedom.
Amanda Whitehead grew up in Maryland, studying and performing with The Washington School of Ballet. She then performed and taught in the San Francisco Bay area. She received her MA in Dance Education from New York University in 2020 and is an ABT® Certified Teacher in Pre-Primary through Level 7 and Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. Her research asks what liberatory ballet pedagogy might look like and how historical instructional manuals, archives of ballet teaching tradition, can act as sites of inquiry and change for present-day ballet students.
Yunfan Xing completed a BA in Musicology in China and an MA in Dance Philosophy and History in the UK. In my recent work, my choreographic practice moved online due to COVID-19, replacing my in-person performances with film dance. And I was inspired and impressed by the creative possibilities of screen dance and plan to delve further into the medium for my PhD research and studies.
Yao Xu is trained in Chinese classical dance, Chinese folk and ethnic minority dance, ballet, and modern dance. She has performed internationally and presented choreography in New York City. Yao’s current research focus is to develop a dance pedagogy which cultivates empathy among students of different ethnic backgrounds.