Students in DSA

Chair: Pritika Agarwal ([email protected]) & Sariel Golomb ([email protected])

A forum for graduate students to connect, share resources, and converse on the possibilities and challenges of advanced studies in dance.

All DSA grad student members (MA, MFA, and PhD) are welcome to join us and get involved. We raise funds for travel grants that enable students to attend the annual conference, where our working group meeting provides space for discussing continuing and changing grad needs; these ongoing discussions shape the grad professionalization workshop that we curate annually. We also gather throughout the year for online meetups and skill-building workshops.

Staying in Touch:

Students interested in expanding and sustaining communication outside the conference are welcome to contact the graduate student representatives. In the interim, students can stay in contact through the following channels:

Join the Facebook group “Dance Studies Grad Students and Young Professionals.”

JOIN the DSA Graduate Student Listserv

JOIN the Graduate Students in Dance Studies Slack Channel

Graduate Student Representative:

As Graduate Student Representatives, our role is to serve as a bridge between the student membership and the DSA Board of Directors.  

Currently, Grad Reps serve overlapping two-year terms. Reps are elected by the DSA membership, through an annual voting process, and serve in volunteer positions as part of the DSA Board of Directors. The chief duties and responsibilities of these positions include participating in board meetings, chairing the working group meeting at the annual conference, assisting in ongoing fundraising to help finance the DSA Student Travel Grants, and organizing year-round programming for grad students. 

Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions, concerns, and proposals/ideas for initiatives.

History of the Working Group:

In 1998, Karen Silen formed a working group for graduate students in Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS) to encourage students to join the society. The first meeting was held at the 1999 conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Students who attended defined the group as a forum for graduate students of all levels to explore the possibilities and challenges of advanced studies in dance. After the merging of SDHS and Congress of Research in Dance (CORD), and the formation of the Dance Studies Association (DSA), the working group was renamed “Students in DSA.” 

Students in DSA continues the tradition of congregating graduate students to support their needs, ideas, and participation in the advancement of our field. Topics of common interest include research methods and strategies, grant opportunities, the job market, relationships with advisors and mentors, pursuing research and careers beyond the academy, balancing artistic practice with academic study, and the multifaceted identity of studying while working as instructors and teaching assistants. We discuss these aspects every year at the working group meeting during the conference. The benefits of active participation in the graduate student working group include dialogue with peers and faculty from various universities. Students working in departments other than dance/performance studies, prospective students seeking information about graduate study/programs, and artists balancing studies with professional work are welcome to join and participate.

Past and Current DSA Graduate Representatives: (under construction)

  • Sariel Golomb
  • Pritika Agarwal
  • Irvin Manuel Gonzalez
  • Melissa Melpignano (2018-2020)
  • Colleen Hooper
  • Meiver De la Cruz
  • Lizzie Leopold
  • Elliot Gordon Mercer

Financial Resources for Student Members of DSA:

DSA Student Travel Grant

Any student member of DSA enrolled in a graduate degree program and engaged in dance research is eligible to apply for travel funding. Students need not have a paper accepted for presentation at the conference in order to apply. Click HERE.

Selma Jeanne Cohen Award

The Selma Jeanne Cohen Award aims to encourage graduate students by recognizing excellence in dance scholarship. Up to three awards are offered at each conference. Each award includes an invitation to present a paper at the annual conference, waiver of the registration fee for that conference, and a grant to help defray costs of attending the conference. Awards are based on the originality of the research, the rigor of the argument, and the clarity of the writing. For application instructions and more information, visit the Selma Jeanne Cohen Award page.

Upcoming Conferences

Click here for information about upcoming conferences.