Cindy Garcia

Cindy García is an Associate Professor, dance theorist, performance ethnographer, and playwright in the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance at the University of Minnesota.

Her research and teaching interests include the cultural politics of migration, race and performance in the Americas, feminist ethnography, Chicana/o and Latin/o American performance studies, and the gendered performances of latinidad in urban libidinal economies. Her current research in Cuba has two primary focuses: the Red Barrial Afrodescendiente’s anti-racist activism and the social dance gatherings of Volver a Vivir, a program operated by and for older Cubans.

Cindy is affiliated with the Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies and Chicano and Latino Studies.

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Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Culture and Performance, University of California, Los Angeles, 2005.
  • M.A.: Dance, University of California, Los Angeles, 2002.
  • B.A.: Anthropology, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1991.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Dance and the Practices of Everyday Life
  • Choreographic Ethnography, Ethnography of Performance
  • Chicana/o and Latina/o Politics, Culture, and Performance
  • Race and Performance in the Americas
Courses Taught
  • TH 8120: Ethnography of Performance
  • DNCE 3411: Dance and Popular Culture
  • DNCE 1401: Introduction to Dance
  • HSEM 2063H: #SayHerName: Black Women and Performance
Research & Professional Activities


  • Member, Board of Directors for Academia Cesar Chavez Elementary School, St. Paul: 2010 - 2013
  • Member, Committee on Trustees, Friends School of Minnesota: 2019 - Present
  • Co-editor (with Ramón Rivera-Servera) of “La Onda Próxima: Latina/o Dance and Performance,” a special edition of Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies, a peer-reviewed journal published by Society of Dance History Scholars
  • Edited Volume Chapter: “Dancing Salsa Wrong,” edited by Yutian Wong and Jens Giersdorf. The Routledge Dance Studies Reader, 3rd Edition. Routledge, 2019.
  • Invited Edited Volume Chapter. “Dancing Salsa Wrong.” Routledge Dance Studies Reader, 3rd Edition, 2019.
  • Book review: “Shannon Rose Riley’s Performing Race and Erasure: Cuba, Haiti, and US Culture, 1898-1940.” Theatre Annual, 2017.
  • Salsa Crossings: Dancing Latinidad in Los Angeles. Garcia, Cindy, Duke University Press, Author, 2013.
  • Invited Peer-reviewed chapter. “Choreographic Connections: The Los Angeles/Latin America Performances of Contra-tiempo and Versa-Style Dance Companies” in The Tide Was Always High: The Music of Latin America in Los Angeles Anthology edited by Josh Kun, part of Pacific Standard Time funded by the Getty Foundation. University of California Press. 2017.
  • “Braceros and Blackness: Disrupting Racialized Disciplinary Legacies with Joel Valentín Martínez’s Polvo,” in Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies, a peer-reviewed journal published by Society of Dance History Scholars. 2015.
  • Garcia, Cindy M. "The Great Migration: Salsa Speculations and the Performance of Latinidad." Dance Research Journal (2013 in press):
  • Garcia, Cindy M. "Displace and Be Queen: Gender and Interculturalism in Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004)." Mediated Moves: A Popular Screen Dance Reader (2013 in press):
  • Garcia, Cindy M. ""Don't Leave Me, Celia!" Salsera Homosociality and Pan-Latina Corporealities." Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory Volume 18, Issue 3 (2008): 199-213.
  • Co-Principal Investigator. Grand Challenges Interdisciplinary Research Award: Displacement, Dispossession, Belonging, and Embodiment: Co-creating Translocal Sciences and Arts of Storytelling for Justice, 2017 - 2019
  • Humanities Without Walls Global Midwest Grant: “Perform Midwest: Incubating Collaborative Research”, 2015 - 2016
  • Ford Foundation Fellowship for Postdoctoral Scholars, 2010 - 2011
  • Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship research residence, Fall 2015
  • Ford Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program, 2010 - 2011
  • Selma Jean Cohen Award from ASTR for Scholarship in Theatre and Dance/Movement-based Fields, 2009
  • Gertrude Lippincott Award from SDHS for her article: "Don't Leave Me, Celia!" Salsera Homosocialities and Pan-Latina Corporealities, 2009