Danielle Robinson

Danielle Robinson
BS (Vanderbilt), MA (Northwestern), PhD (University of California, Riverside)
Associate Professor
Dance Ethnography, Cultural Studies, Dance History

Danielle Robinson is a dance scholar who researches the cross-cultural movement of Afro-Diasporic popular dances within the Americas. Her 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, during 2011-12, she was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Chichester (UK), sponsored by the Leverhulme Trust.

Dr. Robinson’s book manuscript, Modern Moves: Ragtime Dancing and American Cultures (under contract with Oxford University Press), examines how notions of modernity were embodied in early 20th century social dancing and the nascent dance industry that supported it. Her articles on ragtime, jazz and swing dancing in the United States 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 collection I See America Dancing (with Juliet McMains). She has recently presented papers at the Congress on Research in Dance, Society for Ethnomusicology, Society of Dance History Scholars and the Symposium on Popular Dance and Music (now known as PoP Moves).

Professor Robinson is currently 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 recently recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage. The project will culminate in a co-authored book, Roots Sambas: Collaborations and Conflicts in Dancing, Music and Culture, that explores the potential for decolonizing cross-cultural research. Her first article from this research project appears in Bodies of Sound: Studies Across Popular Music and Dance (Ashgate), co-authored with Jeff Packman.

Dr. Robinson taught at the Federal University of Bahia in Salvador (Brazil), University of California (Riverside), and University of Texas (Austin) before joining the faculty in York University’s Department of Dance in 2005. She is cross-appointed to the Graduate Programs in Theatre Studies and Communication and Culture and is a Fellow of York’s Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean and of Winters College. She received the Faculty of Fine Arts Dean’s Teaching Award for junior faculty in 2009.

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