Theses Doctoral

(Ubuntu + Sankofa) x Dance: Visions of a Joyful Afrofuturist Dance Education Praxis

Markus, Andrea K.

This qualitative arts-based narrative inquiry explored and analyzed the experiences of five Black women dance educators who teach with micro-interventions of care, love, and mentorship toward racial uplift in Black youth. This inquiry’s data collection included participants’ journal entries, sent weekly via email; one-on-one, semi-structured interviews with the women; and roundtable sista’ circles convened within community dialogues. Participants were prompted to share stories of their lived experiences as community members, artists, educators, and scholars. The collected data was analyzed using thematic and narrative methods, beginning with deductive coding and continuing with chunked comparisons of the women’s narratives.

This study’s findings revealed that the women’s narratives as educators, persons, and community leaders, centered Blackness, care and love for themselves and their community, and Afrofuturity extant in their dance education practices. The narratives themselves revealed anecdotes of community, artistry, spirituality, culture, and healing, told and retold in the form of storytelling and poetry. This study sheds light on the unique experiences and perspectives of Black women dance educators, highlighting the importance of their contributions to the field.

This study also proposes future considerations for research and practice in unearthing more stories of dance education as a micro-intervention of care, love, and mentorship toward racial uplift in Black youth. The inquiry and its results hold ramifications for and suggest a new vision for Black youth as well as educators that is a joyful Afrofuturistic dance education praxis rooted in peace, love, harmony, and #JOY.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Arts and Humanities
Thesis Advisors
Henley, Matthew Kenney
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
May 22, 2024