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Faculty of Culture, Creative and Performing Arts


Dr. Rainy Demerson

Dr. Rainy Demerson

Lecturer in Dance

Department: EBCCI


Rainy Demerson is a contemporary dance artist and scholar invested in intersectional feminism and global decolonial embodiments. In addition to extensive studies in New York City, she trained at L’ecole des Sables in Senegal, Teatro Nacional de Cuba, Escola de Dança da FUNCEB in Brazil, and in collaboration with The Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts in Germany. She has produced concerts in New York and Senegal and her work has been presented in festivals across the United States.

For seven years Dr. Demerson taught Dance and Yoga to youth in underserved public schools before developing an intercultural dance program at MS 267 in Brooklyn. She then went on to teach at Lindenwood University, El Paso Community College, Crafton Hills College, Scripps College, California Polytechnic University Pomona, and California State University San Marcos before joining the University of the West Indies Cave Hill.


PhD Critical Dance Studies, University of California Riverside, 2020
MFA Dance, Hollins University, 2016
MA Dance Education, New York University, 2012
BA World Arts and Cultures/Dance, University of California Los Angeles, 2002

Research Areas

Dr. Demerson is currently working on a chapter called “Viva el Juego: Play in Latin American Performance Art” which will appear in Play and Democracy: Philosophical Perspectives published by Routledge. Sensing the Stage: Decolonial Readings of African Contemporary Dance is also soon to appear in the book African Somaesthetics published by Brill.

Dr. Demerson’s doctoral work was supported by a Eugene Cota Robles Award and three Gluck fellowships. Her fieldwork in South Africa was supported by the Dance Research Grant and the Humanities Graduate Student Research Grant of the University of California Riverside.

Teaching Areas

Contemporary Dance, Africana Performance Theory, Afro-Brazilian Dance, Choreography, Improvisation

Select Publications

“Beginner’s Mind: Applying the Zen Practice of ‘Soshin’ to Best Practices in Dance Education.” Journal of Dance Education 13, no. 3 (2013): 99–102.

“Teaching Dances of the African Diaspora: An Emancipatory Intercultural Approach.” Journal of Emerging Dance Scholarship 1 (2013): 1–26.


Dance, African Diaspora, Africana Studies, Critical Dance Studies, Choreography, Performance, Decolonial, Dance Education, Critical Pedagogy, African Feminism, Intersectional Feminism, Gender and Sexuality, Aesthetics, Feminism.

Faculty of Culture, Creative and Performing Arts
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