Dancing Motherhood  book cover
1st Edition

Dancing Motherhood

Edited By

Ali Duffy

  • Available for pre-order on April 13, 2023. Item will ship after May 4, 2023
ISBN 9780367619275
May 4, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
224 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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USD $48.95

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Book Description

Dancing Motherhood explores how unique factors about the dance profession impact mothers working in it.

Ali Duffy introduces the book by laying a foundation of social and cultural histories and trends leading to the issues mothers in dance negotiate today. This study then reveals perspectives from mothers in dance working in areas such as performance choreography, dance education, writing, and advocacy though survey and interview data. Based on participant responses, recommendations for changes in policy, hiring, evaluation, and other work practices to better support working mothers in dance are outlined and discussed. Finally, essays from five working mothers in dance offers more intimate, personal stories and guidance geared to mothers, future mothers, and colleagues and supervisors of mothers in the dance field.

By describing lived experiences and offering suggestions for improved working conditions and self-advocacy, this book initiates expanded discussion about women in dance and promotes change to positively impact dancing mothers, their employers, and the dance field.

Table of Contents


Author Biography

Contributor Biographies


Chapter 1: Research Design, Methodologies, and Processes

Chapter 2: Theoretical Framework and Dominant Narratives of Women at

Work and Women in Dance

Chapter 3: Bodies

Chapter 4: Identities, Values, and Relationships

Chapter 5: Unmet Needs, Conflicts, and Challenges

Chapter 6: ‘For the Tribe:’ Essays to Mothers, Future Mothers, and Non-Mothers

Chapter 7: Organizational and Cultural Transformations to Benefit Mothers

and Pregnant People in Dance

Prologue: In Closing - A Dancing Letter to My Child


Contributor Biographies

Alison Bory is Associate Professor of Dance at Davidson College, Davidson, NC, USA. She completed her PhD in Dance History & Theory (2008) and her MFA in Experimental Choreography (2006) from University of California, Riverside. Situating dance as rich site for understanding and theorizing experience, her creative research and scholarship both consider the affective possibilities of contemporary performance. She has previously published her own work in a/b: auto/biography studies, Performance Matters, and Art and Dance in Dialogue, as well as co-authored work with AGA Collaborative.

A’Keitha Carey is a PhD student in Global SocioCultural Studies at Florida International University in Miami, Florida, USA. She received her B.A. in Dance from Florida International University, an M.F.A. in Dance from Florida State University, an M.A. in African and African Diaspora Studies from Florida International University and she also holds a Certificate in Women's Studies from Texas Woman’s University. A’Keitha developed the dance technique CaribFunk, a fusion of Afro‐Caribbean, ballet, modern, and fitness principles and rooted in Africanist and Euro-American aesthetics and expressions. She researches Caribbean spaces, locating movements that are indigenous, contemporary, and fusion based and investigates how Caribbean cultural performance (Bahamian Junkanoo, Trinidadian Carnival, and Jamaican Dancehall) can be viewed as praxis.

Genevieve Durham DeCesaro is Vice Provost for Faculty Success and Professor of Dance at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.  She obtained her MFA in Dance from Texas Woman’s University in 2004 and is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and a monograph on transdisciplinary research and the efficacy of dance, in combination with other disciplines, as a change-agent. Her choreography, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, has been commissioned and performed across the country, with notable presentations at Virginia Tech, Spelman College, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.


Elizabeth Johnson is Associate Professor, University of Florida School of Theatre and Dance (USA) is a performer, choreographer, educator, Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst, certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, Registered Somatic Movement Educator/Therapist, and registered yoga teacher. Artistic Director of her contemporary dance-theatre company, Your Mother Dances, her work has been seen in NYC, D.C., Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee and beyond. She teaches and presents nationally and internationally on dance/movement pedagogies and somatics that center developmental movement, prosocial/trauma informed education, and feminist perspectives. She has co-authored/authored three book chapters featuring applied Alexander Technique and developmental movement. 

Nicole Y. McClam is Assistant Professor in the Health, Physical Education, and Dance Department at Queensborough Community College, Bayside, NY. She received her MFA in Dance while pursuing her CMA in the Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies modular program at the University of Maryland in College Park in 2015. Her book chapter, "A Letter Re -Membering Ballet Class: My Young Black Self Writes Her White Ballet Teacher," was recently published in Dancing Across the Lifespan: Negotiating Age, Place, and Purpose and she has written several book reviews for the Journal of Dance Education. She has presented on dance and motherhood, anti-racist praxis in composition and dance history classes, and zombies.

Lucy McCrudden is the founder of Dance Mama, UK. Currently studying her PhD at Christ Church Canterbury University, UK (2027), she has contributed articles for periodicals including One Dance UK’s One and to non-fiction books including Maternal Journal. She created Dance Mama in 2014 – an advocacy platform – out of her own lived experience. Her research interests include physiology and the postnatal dancer. 

Melissa Pihos is Associate Professor of Dance at the Department of Communication Arts (Theatre and Dance), Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA. She obtained her MFA in Dance from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2011 and is the co-author of Dance &Culture. She is the creator of PIHOS A Moving Biography and the award-winning film, Dear Dad,.  Her research interests include Benefits of using IMPROVment® for brain/body health, specifically for individuals with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Dementia, DocuDance, Dance and Social Justice, Screendance, Choreography, Filmmaking, and Multimedia Performance. 

Anisha Rajesh is the artistic director of Upasana Performing Arts Center, Houston, TX where she teaches dance to K-12 kids. Her research as a PhD candidate at Texas Woman’s University focuses on the pedagogy and practice of the Indian dance form Mohiniyattam. Anisha has presented her research at CORD, SDHS, DSA and World Dance Alliance 






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Ali Duffy is Professor, Graduate Director, and Associate Head of Dance and Honors Studies in the School of Theatre and Dance at Texas Tech University, USA.