Our Fellows

Meet Dance/USA’s Archiving and Preservation Fellows! Generously funded by the Mellon Foundation, the Archiving and Preservation Fellowship program creates opportunities for archiving students to get mentorship and hands-on experience working with dance research collections and assisting artists and dance companies to preserve and organize their archives.

2024 Archiving and Preservation Fellows

Isabel Brandt, Archiving and Preservation Fellow with Dianne Walker

A white woman with long dirty blond hair wearing gloves and arranging papers on the top surface of a bookshelf. She is smiling and shelves of books surround her..

Isabel Brandt is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science at Pratt Institute with a focus in archival studies. She received her BFA in Dance from The Ohio State University through which she pursued several research projects exploring the process of dance archiving and reconstruction. As an Undergraduate Library Research Fellow, Isabel conducted archival research and created a guide to unprocessed dance scores in the Dance Notation Bureau Collection to explore digital librarianship with dance notation. In 2022, she presented her research abroad to an international community of dance archivists and researchers at the conferences of the International Council of Traditional Music (ICTM) and the International Council of Kinetography Laban (ICKL). As an Archives and Audience Engagement intern with Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Isabel furthered her expertise in archival reference, exhibition development, finding aid cataloging, and archival processing. Isabel is drawn to the unique, collaborative, and creative nature of dance archiving and is excited to explore how the archivist role can center artistic voice and identity.

With Dianne Walker, Isabel is looking forward to finding creativity within archival practice while showcasing Dianne’s incredible influence and history with the tap dance community. She is thrilled to collaborate with Dianne to integrate artistic voice, unearth embodied narratives, and reveal inherent legacies through her archives.

Photo credit: Christopher Duggan

Lacy Molina, Archiving and Preservation Fellow with Cashion Cultural Legacy

A woman with dark long hair crossing her arms, leaning against a wall, and smiling slightly.Lacy Molina-Lyon is a doctoral student and research assistant at the College of Information at the University of North Texas. Her research examines information organization in archival records and ethical metadata. Lacy holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in history. Her love for research, archives, history, and libraries motivated her to pursue a doctorate. Under the direction of Dr. Oksana Zavalina, Lacy is working on her dissertation which seeks to understand applied ethical themes within community oral histories records. As a first-generation college student, Lacy is determined to show other Latinas that it is possible for them to earn advanced graduate degrees. Lacy is also a certified 7th-12th grade English, Language Arts, and Reading teacher and School Librarian in the state of Texas. She is a proud supporter of galleries, libraries, archives, and museums.

Photo credit: Esther Mary Photography

Amy Schofield, Archiving and Preservation Fellow with the National Institute of Flamenco

A woman with dark long hair wearing a white sweater smiling slightly and leaning her head into her hand.Amy Schofield (she/her) is a doctoral candidate in Dance Studies at The Ohio State University. She is a flamenco dancer, scholar, educator, and choreographer whose research explores the development and evolution of flamenco in the diaspora. Her dissertation analyzes the ways Latinx flamenco artists in the US can use their flamenco practice and performance as a decolonial praxis that mobilizes and reinterprets the percussive artform to reflect and serve Latinx communities. Amy holds an MFA in Dance from the University of New Mexico and a BFA in Dance from the University of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA). She has studied flamenco extensively in Spain and the US, and she regularly teaches and performs with U Will Dance Studio, The Flamenco Company of Columbus, and Caña Flamenca in Columbus, OH.

Amy is looking forward to bringing her embodied knowledge as a flamenco artist to the archive of the National Institute of Flamenco. She is excited to work toward preserving and honoring the past, present, and futures of flamenco in the southwest and working with the community to create archival access points in Albuquerque.

Photo credit: Elliot Archuleta

Benja Thompson, Archiving and Preservation Fellow with LEIMAY

A person with curly dark hair standing outdoors in front of a chain link fence. They are wearing an embroidered button down shirt and waving their hand.Benja Thompson is currently pursuing a masters degree in Library & Information Sciences at San Jose State University. They received their BAs in History of Art & Visual Culture and Film & Digital Media at University of Santa Cruz, California.

As a practicing queer archivist, Benja works to uncover obscured truths and bring untold stories to light. With the Mill Valley Public Library, they established the first queer archive of Marin County, which couples oral history interviews with current community members alongside materials stretching back one hundred years. They also train on analog film preservation with Other Cinema and Canyon Cinema. With the LEIMAY Archive, they are very excited to help share audiovisual material from this unique dance studio’s fascinating artistic practice, and intend to develop understandings of ‘the archive’ beyond a passive repository into an active vessel.

Photo credit: Cam Archer

2023 Archiving and Preservation Fellows

Blair Black, Archiving and Preservation Fellow with JazzAntiqua

A Black woman smiles at the camera, with a canyon in the backgroundA Los Angeles native, Blair Black (she/her) is a doctoral candidate in UCLA’s Ethnomusicology department. Her work focuses on the representational politics of underrepresented communities within electronic dance music and club cultures. Her dissertation studies the aesthetic developments and discursive strategies people of color and queer communities employ in navigating (in)formal EDM industries. A recipient of the University of California’s Dissertation Year & Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowships, Blair has worked with projects such as the Center for the Study of Women’s Chemical Entanglements Oral History Project, the Center for Oral History Research’s Black LGBTQ in Los Angeles Oral History Project & UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Library’s forthcoming My Life in the Sunshine: Sampling the Soundscape of Black Los Angeles Exhibit. An aspiring archivist, she’s worked closely with Southern California repositories (UCLA’s Ethnomusicology Archive & The ONE Archives at USC) and hopes to continue processing collections of underdocumented communities with JazzAntiqua. Photo courtesy of Blair Black.

Read Blair’s blogs about her Fellowship here.

Laila J. Franklin, Archiving and Preservation Fellow with Jennifer Harge/Harge Dance Stories

A Black woman, wearing a black dress, stands in front of a lawn with trees.Laila J. Franklin (she/her) is a dance maker, performer, teacher, administrator, and writer based in the unceded territory of the Massachusett and Pawtucket peoples (Boston, Massachusetts.) Her work extends from lineages of Black queer experimental dance makers, with a particular interest in postmodern improvisatory practices and aesthetics, and dance theater.  In her work, she explores kinetic imagination through the rigor of juxtaposing virtuosic and intimate performances, seeking to make legible the (in)visibility of lived experience. Her performance/collaboration credits include work with Miguel Gutierrez, Melinda Jean Myers, Dr. Christopher-Rasheem McMilland, and Ruckus Dance. 

As a Fellow, Laila is looking forward to collaborating with Jennifer Harge/Harge Dance Stories to explore ways to bring further legibility to an embodied and culturally citational body of work, taking experiential approaches to transfer bodily archives to physical archives. 

Laila holds an MFA in Dance from the University of Iowa and a BFA in Contemporary Dance Performance from The Boston Conservatory. Photo credit: Bailey Bailey.

Read Laila’s blogs about her Fellowship here.

Bethany Greenho, Archiving and Preservation Fellow with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance

A white woman with short brown hair, wearing a white sweater, smiling.Bethany Greenho (she/her) is finishing a master’s degree in library and information science with a focus in archives and digital curation at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is interested in discovering how user-oriented access and ethical and community-centered description can become the means through which hidden or ignored stories become findable and accessible. 

Bethany’s work with the George Balanchine Trust showed her the importance of having access to the tangible artifacts of dance as a way to preserve dance and its history beyond its ephemeral nature. In her current work with the University of Maryland Libraries Preservation Department, Bethany has seen how preservation works in concert with archives to ensure continued access to all stories. 

Bethany is excited to use her background in dance and archival science at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company to begin the process of organizing and preserving their collections to make them accessible to the community. Photo courtesy of Bethany Greenho.

Read Bethany’s blogs about her Fellowship here.

Abdiel Jacobsen, Archiving and Preservation Fellow with Segunda Quimbamba Folkloric Center

A non-binary person, wearing a sparkly top and bright lipstick.Abdiel Jacobsen (they/them) is a Hustle dance champion, educator, and community organizer dedicated to the cultural preservation and creative expansion of the New York Hustle partner dance style. As co-founder of “Dance is Life”–a communitarian free public dance party event– Abdiel creates space to facilitate human connection, communal healing, and celebration while revitalizing cultural historical sites where Hustle has been traditionally danced. Abdiel currently teaches their gender neutral approach to partner dance as a Pre Doctoral Lecturer at the University of Washington. They are also a former Fulbright Specialist with the US Dept. of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and a former Principal dancer of the Martha Graham Dance Company. Abdiel is looking forward to deepening their archival practices through the collaboration of the Segunda Quimbamba Folkloric Center and creating communitarian protocol for outreach, collection, and cataloging of crowdsourced materials.  For more information on Abdiel: Instagram. Photo Credit: Warren Woo.

Read Abdiel’s blogs about their Fellowship here.

2022 Fellows

Tere Elizalde, Archiving and Preservation Fellow with Guadalupe Center for Arts and Culture

A woman with long brown hair and a flowered top looks at the camera, smiling slightly.Tere Elizalde is pursuing a master’s degree in information science at the University of Michigan’s School of Information, focusing on Digital Archives, Library Science, and Preservation. Prior to studying archives, she obtained her MA in International and Regional Studies from the University of Michigan in 2021. 

Drawn to how history impacts people’s way of interacting and understanding information, she sought out archives as a way to engage with underrepresented communities and increase their visibility and stories in collections to reshape societal narratives about history.  

Currently working at the Bentley Historical Library as a Reference Assistant, she gets to experience and understand how various audiences interact with archives, and uses it to inform her archival practice. 

Tere is looking forward to bringing her past and current experiences in research, reference, preservation, and community engagement to work alongside the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center this summer to begin the process of creating a sustainable and community-accessible archive that features the center’s rich and cultural engagement with dance. 

Read Tere’s blog about her Fellowship here.

Bernard Hall, Archiving and Preservation Fellow with TeMaTe Institute for Black Dance and Culture

A Black man wearing a dark suit and light tie stands in front of bookshelves.Bernard Hall completed his MLIS degree in May 2022 at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He pursued coursework that focused on digital technology. Bernard also received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he majored in art (painting) and art history. He minored in communications.

Bernard has dedicated his career to the arts. He has worked with several museums and galleries such as: the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA), the Weatherspoon Art Museum, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and Elliott University Center (EUC) galleries. His professional mission has always been to make the art world a more inclusive place for African-American artists and other marginalized groups. He is also interested in preserving their culture so that future generations will have access. This is what led him to pursue a master’s degree in library science. In addition, Bernard was recently named the recipient of the 2022 Samuel H. Kress Foundation Scholarship, which will help him promote digital stewardship of visual information through access to professional development workshops.

Bernard is excited to bring his arts and library science background to TeMaTe Institute for Black Dance and Culture. He looks forward to helping TeMaTe build out their digital archive and create a space that further promotes the Black Experience.

Hallie Oines, Archiving and Preservation Fellow with Dancing Wheels

A white woman with short brown hair wearing a maroon sweater stands in front of a brick wall.Hallie Oines is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Library and Information Science at the University of Maryland with a focus on Archives and Digital Curation. Her passion is inclusive community-centered archives that work to center their narratives on voices that have previously been silenced and ignored.

Hallie’s previous professional experience includes archival processing at institutions such as the People’s Archive in the Washington DC Public Library. In her years working with nonprofits managing large-scale databases and fundraising, she continually seeks to ensure dignity for oppressed individuals in all aspects of her work.

Hallie is excited to collaborate with Dancing Wheels as she works to preserve their historic collection while also raising awareness of the organization’s contributions to the larger community.  Her childhood experience in the performing arts has taught her the significance of dance and cultural values, as well as how powerful it is to see oneself represented in a performance.

Read Hallie’s blog about her Fellowship here

shady Radical, Archiving and Preservation Fellow with Ballethnic Dance Company

A Black woman with dreadlocks, wearing a flowered top, looks upward in an outdoor setting.shady Radical is a performance archivist and founder of The Radical Archive of Preservation. Her practice is grounded in ritual, resistance, and movement practices. She uses exhibition and performance to pull anarchival material out of traditional archives and historical memory to activate silences and erasures attributed to forms of subjugation.

As a Fellow, shady looks forward to working with a nationally recognized southern institution committed to expanding access to professional dance opportunities for people of color. By combining ballet with African dance and other forms, Ballethnic directly contributes to the Black cultural production shady is most interested in studying, knowing, and preserving.

shady earned a M.A. in Curatorial Studies from New York University and B.A. in Art History from The College of Saint Elizabeth. Her professional experience includes working at Tyler Perry Studios, Atlanta Contemporary, and Assistant Chair for Society of Georgia Archivists’ Education Committee. shady is a Ph.D candidate at Georgia State University.

Read shady’s blog about her Fellowship here

Quentin Sledge, Archiving and Preservation Fellow with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company

A Black man in a purple costume leaps with arms outspread, facing left.Quentin ApolloVaughn Sledge attended Morehouse College from 2010-2014 and earned a BA in management. He joined the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company in 2014 and has worked with a multitude of icons including Mr. Donald McKayle, Francesca Harper, Donald Byrd, Ray Mercer, Ron K. Brown and many more. He has taught and performed all over he world in theaters such as the Joyce, Lincoln Center, and Bolshoi. In 2016, he was a soloist in the Bessie awarded revival of Donald McKayle’s “Rainbow ‘Round My Shoulder” as well. Quentin is a certified teacher of the Lester Horton, Talawa African, and the Umfundalai dance techniques and serves as a dance liaison on DCDC’s board. Quentin is very excited to serve in this new role as archivist for DCDC and looks forward to the growth that learning new skills brings. He is dedicated to preserving the vital history of such a historic company.

Read Quentin’s blog about his Fellowship here

Lingyu Wang, Archiving and Preservation Fellow with Charya Burt Cambodian Dance

A non-binary person of Chinese descent, wearing a white top and glasses, is seated at a deskLingyu Wang (he/they) is a doctoral student in the School of Information and Library Science at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His ongoing research looks at social movement archiving in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and beyond. He received a B.A. in Film and a B.S. in Computer Science from University of California, Berkeley, as well as a M.A. in Media, Culture, and Communication from New York University. Previously, he worked at the Media Resources Center at UC Berkeley, and served as graduate assistant at NYU Libraries’ Scholarly Communications Office. He has also extensively worked in film and stage productions.

Recent social movements across the globe have propelled Lingyu to study creative, performative forms of activism; people use these highly affective forms to resist erasure and build communities. Lingyu is thus drawn to Charya Burt, whose dances use a rich repertoire of mediums and techniques to discuss similar memories and histories. Together with Charya and her colleagues, he looks forward to pushing the archives’ boundaries to tell better stories and connect people with shared pasts.

Read Lingyu’s blog about his Fellowship here.

2020/2021 Fellows

Sasha Jelan: 2020/2021 Dance Archiving Fellow with Viver Brasil

Sasha Jelan: 2020/2021 Archiving and Preservation Fellow with Viver Brasil

Sasha Jelan is currently pursuing a masters degree in Archival Studies at Clayton State University. She received her BA in Art at the University of Southern California’s Roski School of Art & Design, with an emphasis in photography. 

Sasha’s professional experience includes supporting the digitization and educational programming of institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem. Her archival practice is rooted in re-thinking and reclaiming the authorship and access of the African Diaspora. 

Dance was a constant in Sasha’s youth, where she studied West African, Ballet and Modern dance techniques. Sasha is very excited to revisit the history of African Dance with Viver Brasil, and to support an organization whose mission closely aligns with her archival interests.

Read Sasha’s blog about her Fellowship here. 

R. Sumi Matsumoto: 2020/2021 Dance Archiving Fellow with World Arts WestR. Sumi Matsumoto: 2020/2021 Archiving and Preservation Fellow with World Arts West

R. Sumi Matsumoto is pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science at the Pratt Institute, focusing on archival studies. She received her BFA in Dance with a minor in Computer Science from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She is currently the Audiovisual Archivist for the Merce Cunningham Trust. Previously, she worked in the Dance Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, interned at the Jacob’s Pillow Archives, and volunteered in the archives of the José Limón Dance Foundation. As a dancer, Sumi performed at the Joyce Theater with the José Limón Institute and at MoMA with Ai Dance Theater. Sumi is passionate about dance archiving and is excited to build upon her existing experience through the Dance/USA Fellowship in Dance Archiving and Preservation.

She looks forward to working more closely with dance artists through World Arts West and empowering practitioners of traditional dance forms to build personal archives.

Read Sumi’s blog about her Fellowship here.

Sarah wears glasses, overalls, and a pink scarf.

Sarah Nguyễn: 2020/2021 Archiving and Preservation Fellow with AXIS Dance Company

Sarah Nguyễn is a librarian-archivist in training and a movement practitioner. Their research interests include the ephemerality of dance, the obsolescence rate of digital creations, and the processes and ethics behind preservation, reproduction, and representation. As an advocate for open, accessible, and secure technologies, Sarah has fulfilled these values through projects such as Preserve This Podcast, Investigating & Archiving the Scholarly Git Experience, Mark Morris Dance Group Archive, CUNY City Tech Open Education Resources, and linkRot, an intermedia performance simulating the physical euphoria that internet content creation permits into the digital decay that comes with/out feelings of loss.

With AXIS Dance Company, Sarah is looking forward to bringing physically integrated dance, disability rights, and independent living movements to our cultural heritage legacy. The North Bay Area is Sarah’s hometown and they are excited to bridge recent experiences in archival practices with their lifelong dance practice to the community that inspired them to pursue dance preservation. Currently, Sarah is a PhD student at the University of Washington.

Read Sarah’s blog about their Fellowship here.

Yvette Ramírez: 2021 Dance Archiving Fellow with DanceATL

Yvette Ramírez: 2021 Archiving and Preservation Fellow with DanceATL

Yvette Ramírez is an arts administrator, oral-historian, and archivist from Queens, NY. She is inspired by the power of community-centered archives to further explore the complexities of information transmission and memory within Andean and other diasporic Latinx communities of Indigenous descent. Her archival practice is rooted in recordkeeping practices that embrace a hyperlocal and liberatory praxis especially when working with identity-related collections. With nearly a decade of experience as a cultural producer, Yvette has worked alongside community-based and cultural organizations such as The Laundromat Project, PEN America, Make The Road New York and New Immigrant Community Empowerment. Currently, she is an MSI candidate in Digital Curation and Archives at the School of Information at The University of Michigan and currently works at the University of Michigan Library’s Digital Preservation Unit. 

At DanceATL, Yvette looks forward to working collaboratively with dance artists and the greater DanceATL community to co-build an organizational archive honoring the elders and pioneers of Atlanta Dance via oral history interviews and dance-legacy materials. 

Ishmael Ross: 2020 Dance Archiving Fellow with DanceATL

Ishmael Ross: 2020 Archiving and Preservation Fellow with DanceATL

My name is Ishmael Ross and I’m a first year MLIS student at LSU’s School of Library and Information Science. I’m originally from California and received my B.A. in Legal Studies from U.C. Berkeley, where I studied human rights and the ways in which law impacts people of color. Currently I live in New Orleans, work full-time as a Librarian Associate, and possess a combined three years’ worth of archival experience. I was initially introduced to the archival world when working on a digital archives project that involved assessing Confederate payrolls and identifying female slave owners as an undergraduate researcher. I later volunteered at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) and assisted creating metadata for a scrapbook digitization project; while more recently I received an internship at the Southern Food and Beverage (SoFAB) Museum doing several tasks ranging from acquiring acid-free boxes, repackaging collections for long-term preservation, processing artifacts that were donated to the museum, and even created finding aids. This past spring I took part in a wonderful internship at the Amistad Research Center, working in both processing and research services, and I’m eager to translate these experiences to my project this summer. I find myself most interested in repositories and organizations that contain artistic or cultural records, and after graduation I hope to work somewhere that revolves around these pillars.

Being that my mother was a dancer, I understand the importance of preserving the artistic legacies of our elders. Finding out I was going to be a Dance/USA Archiving Fellow was a dream come true and I honestly can’t wait to be working with DanceATL. Atlanta has such a beautiful history that is entangled with resilience and innovation—I’m looking forward to doing outreach in the Metro Atlanta area and sharing my archival knowledge.

2018 Fellows

Carolina Meneses: Summer 2018 Dance Archiving Fellow at UCLA

Carolina Meneses: 2018 Archiving and Preservation Fellow at UCLA

Carolina Meneses is pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science at UCLA, specializing in archival studies. A second generation Cuban-American from Miami, she received her BA in comparative literature at Smith College where she focused on the intersection of memory, dance, and language. After college, she participated in an archival internship with a dance company based in New York City, which became the foundation for her interest in the contradictory nature of preserving the ephemerality of dance performance for research and reproduction.  

Carolina is excited to build upon her earlier archival experience and learn standards and best practices at UCLA Library Special Collections. Moreover, she is determined to apply her new knowledge and expertise to empower a local dance artist or arts organizations with the advantages of an organized and accessible archive for their legacy. Carolina’s more long-term goals include creating practical solutions to the challenges of capturing and making discoverable ephemeral collections so that they may successfully enter a national and international network of cultural exchange and distribution of cultural heritage documents.

Carolina is also the recipient of a Mosaic Scholarship from the Society of American Archivists, which provides support for minority students pursuing graduate studies in archival science.

Read Carolina’s blog about her Fellowship here.

Daina Coffey: Fall 2018 Dance Archiving Fellow at Chicago Dance History Project

Daina Coffey:  2018 Archiving and Preservation Fellow at Chicago Dance History Project 

Daina Coffey is a Ph.D. Candidate studying U.S. history at the University of Chicago, where her teaching and research focuses on race, gender, and capitalism as well as urban and legal history. Deeply interested in digital preservation and records management, issues of accessibility, and curatorial practices, she has worked at a number of archives including the Bancroft Library at U.C. Berkeley, the Seaver Center for Western History Research at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, and the Special Collections and Research Center at the University of Chicago. Daina is thrilled to develop her archival skill set through working with local artists and dance-legacy materials at the Chicago Dance History Project this fall.

Read Daina’s blog about her Fellowship here.

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