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Publications in VIVO

Mejia, Donna

Associate Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Donna Mejia's initial research and work investigated: Dance; Gender representation/social coding in movement practices and dance traditions (domestically and internationally); Transnationalism, overlapping identities, multi-ethnicity and emerging models of global citizenship; Investigating how Internet usage is impacting personal identity and collective cultural memory production; Ethics/integrity/cultural appropriation issues in dance fusion and movement transformation; Hidden biases, historical trauma, Somatic studies, cultures of inclusion and coexistence; Evolving norms of cultural tolerance and representation in a remixing culture; anti-bias communication, Movement training/specialization in yoga, and the dances of Brazil, Mexico, the Caribbean, West Africa (Gambia, Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Nigeria, Ghana), North Africa (Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and Western Sahara), Ethiopia, Northern India, American Modern Dance, Ethnomusicology of Hip Hop, Underground Electronica/ DJ culture. Her research expansion began in 2020 as the Chancellor's Scholar for Health and Wellness with the Renee Crown Institute: anti-racism, embodiment and interception, mindfulness and meditation, wellness, and the arts (all intersectional issues related to this topic). She is the originator of Fumble Forward, a framework for encountering the unexpected, unknown and unfamiliar with increasing confidence and calm. Fumble forward has been an invited keynote for government organizations, multinational corporations, educational institutions, schools, and has been cited by the Dalai Lama Fellows, and several publications.


  • Dance, yoga, MENAT, Brazil, the Caribbean, West Africa, North Africa, Northern India, American Modern Dance, Hip Hop, Eletronica and Internet, Transnationalism, overlapping identities, multi-ethnicity, global citizenship, Digital Diasporas, identity and collective cultural memory production, gender representation, social coding in movement practices, ethics, cultural appropriation, gender, ethnomusicology, fusion, trauma-informed somatic programming, communication, Embodiment, Interoception



courses taught

  • ARSC 1520 - Health, Society, and Wellness in COVID-19 Times
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020 / Spring 2021
    The novel coronavirus pandemic has disrupted nearly every aspect of society around the world. The pandemic has resulted in the infection of millions and death of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. The economic, social, and mental health impacts of the pandemic are unprecedented and have laid bare and exacerbated long standing inequalities and disparities.' College students will benefit from an academic course that provides scientific, humanistic, and social scientific perspectives on disease and society broadly and the coronavirus crisis in particular. The course will offer students empirically proven strategies for maintaining wellness, which is especially important at a moment of pervasive uncertainty, heightened anxiety, and mental health vulnerability.
  • DNCE 1027 - Dance in Cultural Perception and Expression
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2020
    Explores how the practice of dance can reflect, disrupt, subvert, support, and reinforce cultural expectations, norms and practices. Introduces international and domestic dance traditions and provides context for an interdisciplinary examination. Comparative readings from sociology, anthropology, gender studies, history, post-colonial studies, and political science provide a foundation to understand how cultural identities are negotiated and represented through movement.
  • DNCE 3041 - Major Technique
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019 / Spring 2020 / Spring 2021
    Designed for dance majors. Enrollment by audition only. May be repeated up to 16 total credit hours.
  • DNCE 4036 - Dance Teaching Practices: Inclusive Approaches to Instruction
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2020
    Examines legal, practical, pedagogical and philosophical issues in current dance education. Goals and content of professional and recreational dance training are considered and strategies for effective teaching practice are discussed. All genres of dance may be utilized depending on the specialities of participants. Same as DNCE 5036.
  • DNCE 4939 - Dance Internship
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019 / Spring 2020 / Summer 2022
    Provides an opportunity for upper-division dance majors to serve apprenticeships in the community in work areas related to their major interests and career goals. Internships are available in areas such as arts administration, dance therapy, and technical production. May be repeated up to 3 total credit hours. Instructor consent rquired.
  • DNCE 5001 - Graduate Technique
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Spring 2020
    May be repeated up to 12 total credit hours.
  • DNCE 5056 - Graduate Teaching Seminar
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Spring 2021
    Examines practical, pedagogical, philosophical, and legal issues in current dance education. The goals and content of professional and recreational dance training are considered and strategies for effective teaching practice are discussed. Provides practice in practical application of theoretical material. All genres of dance may be utilized.
  • DNCE 6047 - Seminar: Dance
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Studies current dance trends, mostly in the United States, with particular attention paid to dance's intersection with philosophy, theory, technology, politics, current events and the other arts.
  • DNCE 6969 - The Graduate Project
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Spring 2020 / Fall 2020 / Spring 2021 / Fall 2021 / Spring 2022
    Provides the opportunity for synthesizing the graduate experience through the execution of a project related to the student's major area of interest. Project must be approved by the graduate faculty advisor.


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