Mary Fogarty Woehrel

Mary Fogarty
Mary Fogarty Woehrel
BA Hons (UWO), MA (Brock), PhD (University of Edinburgh)
Associate Professor
Director, Graduate Program in Dance Studies (MA/PhD)

Mary Woehrel is Graduate Program Director in Dance (2018-2021) and Associate Professor in Dance. She is cross-appointed with Theatre & Performance, Sociology and Communication & Culture graduate degree programs. She has also been an invited Visiting Scholar at New York University (2013-2015 and 2017-2018).

She is probably best known for her extensive research about breaking and hip-hop culture that appears under the name Mary Fogarty in multiple journal articles and book chapters.  This ethnographic work took place cross-culturally, situating local experiences within the larger international breaking scene and battles (competitions).

With degrees in music (PhD), popular culture (MA) and film studies (BA Honours), Professor Woehrel’s work is interdisciplinary yet bound to cultural sociology. (She was supervised by popular music sociologists, Simon Frith and Andy Bennett, during her graduate degrees.)

Her research is concerned with popular culture broadly defined and the relationship between music and dance scholarship. She is currently working on a project about the sociology of movement involving social histories of posture and scientific claims about the spine (from posture handbooks to the latest developments in neuroscience). She also has some new projects about dance and popular music in the pipeline.

Dr. Woehrel is currently the Chair of the North American committee for PoP Moves and is on the editorial board of IASPM. She has helped organize several conferences for PoP Moves and IASPM (UK and Canadian chapters for both organizations) over the years. A list of her publications is available on her personal website at