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PhD Area: Dance 

Thesis Title :Roots:  Establishing British Caribbean Diasporic Identity through Dance


Thesis Description

This research considers the way British Caribbean Diasporic (BCD) dancers use dance as a medium of establishing a sense of being rooted within their identities. It analyses the ways by which this is established, and how this varies over two generations. These generations are defined as those who started working professionally in the 1970s and 1980s as the first generation, and in the 1990s and 2000s as the second younger generation. BCD people are defined for this research as, individuals whose parents are of Caribbean heritage and have been born or brought up in the UK, as I have been myself. The overarching research questions are: How are BCD Identities constructed through dance? How does this differ over two different generations of choreographers? How is this embodied and expressed over these two generations? In what ways does this contribute to the identities of the wider BCD community?

Dance is historically integral to Caribbean culture. Its artistic manifestation illuminates an invisible history, producing a connection between the Caribbean and those who are engaging with it through dance. The strategies identified will enhance BCD dancers’ understanding of their practice and have an impact on the presentation and promotion of their work to arts organisations.

Supervisors and Institution(s):

Professor Ramsay Burt (De Montfort University)

Dr Patricia Noxolo (University of Birmingham)


-          BA Hons in Dance and Drama (2:1) 2008-2011

-          Masters by Research in Dance (Distinction) 2011-2014

-          Arts and Humanities Research Council and Midlands3Cities DTP Funded PhD Researcher 2016-Present



UZOR, T. (2013) The Evolving Face of the Iwa Akwa. African Performance Review. Vol.7, No.1, pp. 104-115

UZOR, T. (2016) Werking the Twerk: Empowerment of the Black Female Body. In BROOKES, P.(ED) Blurring Boundaries- Urban Street meets Contemporary Dance.Leicester, Serendipity Artists Movement. pp.57-65

UZOR, T. (2016) Negotiating African Diasporic Identity Through Dance, Association of Dance of the African Diaspora . (In Press)


Conference Papers: 

November 2016 - ADAD Re:Generations 4. Diasporic Dance: Legacies of Imagination. Paper Title: Avoiding Capture- Brown Women Creating and Defining Their Own Spaces.

April 2015 -   Serendipity, Let’s Dance International Frontiers Blurring Boundaries Urban Street Meets Contemporary Dance. Paper Title Werking the Twerk: Empowerment of the Black Female Body.

November 2012 – ADAD Re:Generations 2012 – The Next Generation  Paper Title: The Evolving Face of the Iwa Akwa


Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities

January 2018 - Presented Paper : Avoiding Capture, Coming to Movement: African Diasporic Women in British Dance at the International Association of Blacks in Dance conference ( Los Angeles, California) 


October 2017 - Systems Lab Artist with Dance Umbrella supported by Dance of the African Diaspora at One Dance UK

October 2017 - Presented a reworked version of Avoiding Capture- Brown Women Creating and Defining Their Own Spaces at Women of Colour in Europe symposium , (Amsterdam) 

September 2017-  Lecture ' Dancing In-betweeness'   (Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany)

September 2017 - Guest contributor to The Move (an online platform for Black British Millennials) September Edition 

July - August 2017 -Completed Danse Noire #2 Training (Ecoles Des Sables, Senegal)

April 2017- Co-Covened a session on PGR at the 'Unsymposium' at Dance Fields Conference (Coventry University, De Montfort University and Roehampton University)

Feburary 2017- Presented PhD research in Caribbean In/Securities Symposium by CARSICC  (University of The West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica)

January 2017 - Comisssioned by MOBO nominated  Artist Ayanna Witter-Johnson to choreograph and perform (Kings Place, London)


December 2016- Facilitated Workshop at PGR Dance Fields 'Unsyposium' on African and Contemporary Dance Aesthetics as a way of embodying identity. 

December 2016- Social Media and Communications Co-Ordinator for Dance Fields 2017 

October 2016 - Presented PhD research at BSA Postgraduate Forum on Race and Ethnicity ( London, UK)

September 2016- Attended Dance, Diaspora and the role of the Archive

August 2016 Attended Wrighting the Somatic: Dance and Professional Practice Symposium (Middlesex University London)

August 2016 – Social Media Co-ordinator for Dance Fields Un-symposium (Coventry University, De Montfort University and Roehampton University)

July 2016- Selected for Lanla’s ‘The March’ Professional Dance Intensive of Acogny Technique (Ecoles De Sables,Senegal)

May 2016 – Attended Serendipity’s Black Women in Dance: Stepping out of the Barriers


September 2013 – Attended Black Dance British Routes at Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum

April 2013 – Internship as a Producer and Project Co-ordinator with EC Arts

May 2012 -  Follow up visit to Nigeria to collect interviews

Dec 2011/Jan 2012- Research Visit to Nigeria to observe traditional dance

October 2010 – Volunteer for Re:Generations Conference with ADAD

August 2010 – Internship with Akram Khan Dance Company



Since October 2015 I have taught on the BA Hons Dance course at De Montfort University this includes both theory and technique modules

September 2017  I gave a Lecture on African Diasporic Identity and Dance-  'Dancing In-betweeness'  at a Summer School focused on Performing  Postcolonialism  (Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany) 


Other Research Interests:

Embodied Movement Practice

The Choreographic Process - Movement as Research

Cultural Traffic and Identity in Movement

Continuity and Traditional African Dance

Popular Culture and the African Diasporic Dance

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