Dancers in Film "Uprooted"

Greensboro Dance Film Festival Presents “Uprooted: The Journey of Jazz Dance”

The UNC Greensboro School of Dance, in partnership with Sugarfoote Productions, will present the 7th Annual Greensboro Dance Film Festival October 29th-30th. The festival kicks off with a special screening of “Uprooted: The Journey of Jazz Dance” at the UNCG Auditorium.  

“Uprooted” is a ground-breaking documentary that traces the roots of jazz dance from Africa to its evolution as a contemporary genre. 

Professor of Dance Robin Gee is organizing the festival and appears in the film: 

dancer class at Alvin Ailey
Afro-Latin Fusion Class at Ailey Extension NYC. Photo credit: Vibecke Dahle

“Whilst exploring and commenting on its political and social influences, the film engenders an honest conversation about jazz dance, addressing topics such as appropriation, racism, socialism and sexism. It is a story of triumph over adversity, oppression and privilege as well as a celebration.” (more…)

Dr. Frank Lee McCarty, 1941-2021

Former School of Music Professor, Composer, and Author Frank Lee McCarty passed away on September 15th.

Dr. McCarty was Professor in the School of Music for 28 years from 1976 until 2004. He taught Composition, Music Theory, and Twentieth-Century Music History. He was the author of articles ranging in content from percussion and woodwind notation and advanced performance techniques in contemporary music theatre. A woodwind and percussion performer, McCarty worked extensively in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas. He was a member of the percussion section of the San Diego Symphony (1961-1971) and Timpanist of the Pacific Symphony (1969-1971). Additionally, he conducted musical theatre and church choirs. He also performed with BIOME, a mixed-media, live-electronic music ensemble that toured in the United States and Europe between 1970 and 1974. (more…)

Dr. Ana Paula Höfling Receives National Award

Congratulations to Associate Professor Ana Paula Höfling who was awarded the Dance Studies Association’s Oscar G. Brockett Prize for Dance Research for her book Staging Brazil: Choreographies of Capoeira (Wesleyan University Press, 2019).  The award is funded by the Oscar G. Brockett Center for Theatre History and Criticism at the University of Texas Austin, and honors Professor Brockett and advances its mission of recognizing the finest scholarship in theatre, dance, and performance history.
The 2021 award was made with this citation: “With its rich interweaving of history, cultural context, archival research, movement analysis, and ethnographic insight, Staging Brazil: Choreographies of Capoeira is a model for critical dance studies in the twenty-first century. This year’s Brockett Prize committee found this book to be beautifully written, methodologically rigorous, and theoretically sophisticated—a wonderful example of sharp postcolonial critique that is also willing to challenge conventional narratives of authenticity and origin. Höfling is a scholar who takes the time to allow ideas to ripen, producing an accessible book that synthesizes arguments across chapters and provides our field with an example of the best kind of kinesthetic literacy.
A dancer jumps over another dancer.

Join the School of Dance Graduate Programs!

The UNC Greensboro School of Dance invites applications for our resident MFA and MA programs to begin in Fall 2022.

The MFA in Choreography is a three-year, 60-hour program designed to develop and clarify students’ choreographic voices and to deepen understanding of dance-making as a personal, aesthetic, cultural, and social process. The MA in Theories & Practices is a 36-hour program focusing on the investigation of dance through a wide range of areas such as bodily training and cultural and social critique. MFA and MA dance students work as graduate assistants in a wide variety of roles and teach their own classes as instructors of record in their second and third years. MFA students can also receive support for a fully produced concert in the Dance Theater in the third year. K-12 teaching licensure can be added to these degrees, but more coursework is required.

The diverse UNCG School of Dance faculty is comprised of accomplished, internationally recognized artists and dance scholars. Our MFA alumni teach at various university dance programs throughout the United States, and our MA alumni have gone on to Ph.D. programs at prestigious universities.  Applications from underrepresented groups, including non-traditional applicants are welcomed.

Applications for the MA and MFA programs are now open at in new window) under the “Graduate” tab. The deadline to apply is November 15, 2021. Auditions in January 2022 will be virtual. The GRE is not required for entry into these programs.

For more information, visit in new window). You can also contact us at

Maranda DeBusk Assistant Professor of Lighting Design

Lighting the Way: Meet Assistant Professor Maranda DeBusk

In the arts, light is crucial. In paintings, light can provide depth. In music, dance, and theatre, light can set the mood. In keeping with the theme of UNC Greensboro’s recently launched fundraising initiative “Light the Way, the Campaign for Earned Achievement,” we asked Assistant Professor of Lighting Design Maranda DeBusk about how she designs light for the theatre.

Q: What is the function of Lighting Design in a theatrical production?

MD: If you think of a production like a 3D wooden puzzle, you have the script which is the outline, and you have the pieces, which are the acting, set, and costumes. The director helps to put all those pieces in order. Lighting helps pull it all together by creating an atmosphere and takes the audience members on an emotional journey by directing their focus, pulling them in, forcing them out —fading, snapping, or swirling. Lighting is the element that connects us subconsciously to a story and makes a production whole.

Q: How did you get into Lighting Design?

MD: Lighting Design is at the nexus of the creative and the technical. As a child, I was very imaginative. I loved playing pretend and making up stories, which all but streamlines you into being a theatre maker. But I also loved math and problem solving, which didn’t always line up with what I saw in the portrayal of artist types. Lighting Design gave me a space to both paint with light and to work with a computer to problem solve, and do it all in the service of storytelling. Once I figured that out, there was no turning back. 

Q: Do you have a favorite show—either one you’ve done or that you want to do— in which lighting is the big design element? (more…)