Theatre & Dance ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-21-2022


In the United States there has been many disagreements concerning the place of dance within Protestant Christianity. Some denominations have banned dance entirely while other utilize dance as an essential element of worship. At the center of this argument is the understanding, treatment, and use of the physical body. Beginning in the sixteenth century through current times, I analyze specific Protestant denominations including the Puritans, Evangelical Fundamentalists, Southern Baptists, the Shakers, certain African American denominations, and Pentecostals. Additionally, I examine notable liturgical modern dancers, as well as my own choreographic work, a dance film titled Rebirth. This research displays the importance of having a faith practice that fully utilizes the mind, soul, and body that does not demonize or prioritize one part over the other.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Theatre & Dance

First Committee Member (Chair)

Donna Jewell

Second Committee Member

Vladimir Reche

Third Committee Member

Kathleen Holscher

Fourth Committee Member

Marisol Encinias

Fifth Committee Member

Donna Ray

Sixth Committee Member

Ninoska Escobar


Dance, Christianity, Modern Dance, Religion, United States

Document Type