headshot photo of Dr. Brynn Shiovitz

Dr. Brynn Shiovitz

Pronouns: she/her

Dance History/Dance Theory
College of Performing Arts; Department of Dance
Office Location: Partridge Dance Center By Appointment


Brynn Shiovitz holds a PhD in Culture and Performance from UCLA and an MA in Performance Studies from NYU. Her forthcoming monograph, Behind the Screen: Tap Dance, Race, and Invisibility During Hollywood's Golden Age (Oxford, late 2022) looks at representations of Blackness in 1930s/40s Hollywood cinema, and specifically the
unique role of tap dance in shaping aural perceptions of race. She is the editor of The Body, the Dance, and the Text: Essays on Performance and the Margins of History (McFarland, 2019). Additionally, her writing on dance can be seen in Dance Chronicle, Theatre Survey, Women and Performance, Jazz Perspectives, and Dance Research journals, Dance, Dance Spirit, and Dance Teacher Magazines, Newsweek, and the forthcoming (2023) Oxford Handbook of Black Dance edited by Thomas DeFrantz.

Brynn is the sole creator of The Rhythm Project, a series of documentaries that take up questions regarding the relationship between rhythm, race, and diaspora as it exists for contemporary tap dancers living in Los Angeles and New York City. Aside from her research, Brynn has danced professionally with the Oakland-based Mills College Repertory Dance Company and the New York-based tap dance company TapOle. Performance highlights include dancing with Meredith Monk at the Freud Playhouse, performing Floor of the Forest with the Trisha Brown Dance Company at the Hammer Museum in Westwood, and performing in Jérôme Bel’s Bessie Award Winning show, The Show Must Go On. She has been an invited dance expert on the BBC and NPR and has taught movement and theory across the country at schools such as UCLA, UC Berkeley, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA), and Brooklyn College. In addition to dance, Brynn is a certified Mat Pilates and Hatha yoga instructor.

Teaching and Research Interests

  • Dance History
  • Screen Dance
  • Tap Dance
  • Russian Ballet
  • The Hollywood Musical
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Performance Studies
  • Dance and Music

Courses Taught

  • Dance History
  • Dance in World Cultures