Thesis

Dancing from the Margins: Body Narratives of Resistance

This study explores how Chicana, Mexicana-Peruana, and Puerto Rican grassroots dance performers in the U.S.-Mexico border communities of San Diego use dance as a form of resistance against postcolonialism, imperial borders and U.S. hegemony. This project is from a qualitative methods approach that includes interview research, visual ethnography, and ethnographic experiences with the dancers and performances. My analysis includes five thematic pieces: First, I examine dance as a "decolonial praxis" to reclaim ancestral roots and knowledges Second, I analyze the influences that of the U.S.-Mexico border on women of color dancers and how their dances are resisting and traversing borders. Third, I show how women of color dancers are challenging heteropatriarchal discourses on the body. Fourth, I examine how women of color use dance as a source of healing, and how that healing extends to the communities. Lastly, I conclude with how women of color use their bodies and dance to produce and pass feminist epistemologies of resistance and liberation.

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