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Danielle Robinson

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Danielle Robinson

Associate Professor



BS (Vanderbilt), MA (Northwestern), PhD (University of California, Riverside)


Danielle Robinson is a dance scholar who researches the cross-cultural movement of Afro-Diasporic popular dances within the Americas. Her dance research has been recognized with awards from the Society of Dance History Scholars, the Congress on Research in Dance, and the American Theatre focus group of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. In addition, she held a Visiting Fellowship at the University of Chichester (UK), sponsored by the Leverhulme Trust.

Dr. Robinson’s book, Modern Moves: Dancing Race during the Ragtime and Jazz Eras (Oxford University Press, 2015), examines how notions of modernity were embodied in early 20th century social dancing and the nascent dance industry that supported it. Her articles have been published in Dance Theatre Journal (UK), Dance Research Journal (US), Dance Chronicle (US), Dance Research (UK), Research in Dance Education (UK), and the edited collections: Popular Dance and Music Matters (with Jeff Packman), Dancing to Remember/ Dancing to Forget, Dancing Bahia (with Jeff Packman), Moving Together (with Eloisa Domenici), Choreographic Dwellings/Practicing Place (with Jeff Packman), and I See America Dancing (with Juliet McMains). In addition, she was the popular and social dance editor of the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism (online).

Professor Robinson is currently co-leading a collaborative, interdisciplinary research project in Bahia, Brazil with funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). This project explores samba de roda, a dance and music complex with roots in Afro-Brazilian slave cultures, which was recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage.

Related to this research, she is the current director of CERLAC (Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean) as well as its Graduate Diploma Coordinator.

With regard to her academic teaching, Professor Robinson is a specialist in Experiential Education and Work Integrated Learning. She is the co-founder, with Professor Franz Newland, of York’s C4: Cross-Campus Capstone Classroom, Project Commons, and Capstone Network.

These initiatives have received funding from York’s Academic Innovation Fund, YUFA (York University Faculty Association), CEWIL (Cooperative Education and Work Integrated Learning, Canada), the Stedman Estate Foundation, Experience Ventures, and BHER (Business in Higher Education Roundtable).

C4 (Cross-Campus Capstone Classroom) received the GEDC (Global Engineering Dean’s Council) and Airbus Diversity Award in 2020 and was shortlisted in 2021 for the QS-Wharton ReImagine Education Award for Nurturing Wellbeing and Purpose.

Areas of Research and Teaching:
Dance Ethnography, Cultural Studies, Dance History, Critical Race Theory, Social Dance Reconstruction, Multicultural Dance Education, Popular Dance Practices, African Diaspora within the Americas, Latin American Dance Cultures, Capstones, Work Integrated Learning, Experiential Education