Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Dance (MA)




Dr. Juanita Suarez

Graduate Program Director

Dr. Juanita Suarez


Artist/scholar/educator Katherine Dunham (1909-2006) focused her life’s work on finding ways to educate people about themselves and each other, through a pedagogy that emphasized an integration of the thinking mind, emotional self and expressive physical body.Over her lifetime as an educator, anthropologist, performer, choreographer, writer, activist, and humanist, she developed and enacted a holistic model of pedagogy that remains an exemplary model in the field of education.

The Dunham Pedagogy promotes intercultural awareness and understanding, social skills development, artistic training, and encourages scholarly pursuit, through its foundation in the Dunham Philosophies of Form and Function, Intercultural Communication and Socialization Through the Arts. This thesis will trace Dunham’s dual training in dance and anthropology and the intertwined development of the Dunham Technique, Philosophies, and Pedagogy. It will explore the underlying values and aesthetics present in the physical Technique, the cross-cultural, multi-disciplinary curriculum within Dunham schools, the role and practice of a teacher within a Dunham classroom, and the process of Dunham Teacher Certification.

Included in

Dance Commons