Transnational Dance Immersion 2018 with Donna Mejia

Programming category: 
August 2, 2018 - 5:00pm - August 5, 2018 - 3:00pm

After over 30 years of study, Donna Mejia has galvanized a teaching practice that defies categorization, highlighting dances of the North African/Arab rural communities, Yoga, Ballet, American hip hop, and Brazilian Silvestre Contemporary technique. Inventive fusion, hardcore rhythms, precision hip work, and attentive bodywork feed the mix. 

Each morning features three hours of bodywork (stretching, alignment, yoga, & somatic science). Each afternoon, we dance!

Proceeds support Earthdance’s Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship.

Tuition, Room & Board All Inclusive:
earlybird special! Save $25 if you register by June 1st

Professional Rate: $425 | $450
Full Price:               $375 | $400
Subsidized Rate:   $325 | $350
Camping: $5 off/day  |  Commuting: $15 off/day

(Photo Credit: Donna Mejia Performing at USF, October 2015 by Salwa/Art2Action)

Our Sliding Scale: The fees to attend Earthdance Jams and Workshops are priced on a sliding scale. Please pay at the highest level of the sliding scale that you can afford. This allows others who need to pay less the opportunity to attend.

Professional Rate: for those comfortably paying their rent or mortgage.The Professional Rate also helps us offer lower prices to those who could otherwise not afford to attend.
Full Rate: for those who have a regular income and are paying their mortgage or rent. Prices at this level contribute to the range of Earthdance's operating costs.
Subsidized Rate: for those with an income low enough that making ends meet is a challenge.


Sample schedule (subject to change):

Thursday, August 2nd
4pm on Arrival
5pm Registration
6 - 7pm Dinner | 6:30 - 8pm Dinner clean
8pm Opening Circle 

Friday + Saturday, August 3rd & 4th
8 - 9am Breakfast | 8:30 - 10am Breakfast clean
10 - 1pm Morning Workshop Session 
1 - 2pm Lunch | 1:30 - 3pm Lunch clean
3 - 6pm Afternoon Workshop Session
6 - 7pm Dinner | 6:30 - 8pm Dinner clean
8pm Evening activities (tbd)

Sunday, August 5th
8 - 9am Breakfast | 8:30 - 10am Breakfast clean
10 - 1pm Morning Workshop Session into Closing Circle
1 - 2pm Lunch | 1:30 - 3pm Lunch clean
2 - 3pm Final house clean all together
3pm on Departures

All are welcome to stay overnight on Sunday for an extra $30 (includes self-serve dinner & breakfast)

Participant Community Support
As Earthdance runs as a​ community, all participants contribute to 1-2 chore shifts (typically meal cleans) throughout the Jam and a Final House Clean on Sunday, August 5th. These are great ways to connect more with your fellow participants, Earthdance staff, and to feel more at home here. We will be welcoming you into this collective home and thus so appreciate your contributions to our space!


Donna Mejia
Donna Mejia (Assistant Professor, CU Boulder Theatre and Dance Department)  is a choreographer, scholar, instructor, and performer specializing in contemporary dance, traditions of the African and Arab Diaspora, and emerging fusion traditions in Transnational Electronica.  This genre provides a rich arena for the study of cultural imperialism, gender representation and electronic/digital globalization. Donna is also an authorized instructor of the Brazilian Silvestre Modern Dance Technique and is a lauded representative of this esoteric study of dance after 20 years of practice. 

For 10 years she was a faculty member at Colorado College and Director of the Colorado College International Summer Dance Festival. For twelve years she served as Managing Director of the award-winning Harambee African Dance Ensemble of CU-Boulder under the amazing leadership of Instructor Emerita Letitia Williams. The Harambee ensemble was awarded the prestigious El Pomar Foundation grant, was featured in the March 1996 issue of Dance Magazine, performed for President Bill Clinton and Nobel Laureate Archbiship Desmond Tutu, is part of the Denver International Airport time capsule, and was hailed as the “Best of Boulder” for 3 years. 

Donna was the Guest Artist in Residence for Smith College Dance 2006 – 2009, and has been awarded residencies at the Naropa Institute, University of South Florida, Mt. Holyoke College, Hampshire College, University of Northern Colorado, Taipei National University of the Arts, Bucknell University, Earth Dance, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (three years) and the Bates Dance Festival (three years). She was nominated for a Pikes Peak Area Artist award in 2005. 

In October of 2011 she was selected by the Fulbright Association to present the Selma Jeanne Cohen Endowed Lecture for International DanceScholarship in Dance, notably for her paper “Digital Diasporas and Transnational Dance Communities: The Effects of the Internet on Identity Formation and Collective Cultural Memory.” Her research was also the featured keynote of Syracuse University’s 2012 Symposium on Public Diplomacy.  In 2014 Donna directed the first Viral Dance Colloquium; an interdisciplinary gathering of scholars and artists to discuss the impact of Internet usage on human affairs.  The digital archive for this event can be found at  More recently she collaborated with poet Andrea Assaf in performances for the venerable La Mama Theatre in Manhattan, The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and with vocalist Mankwe Ndosi for the famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, NY.

Donna’s current projects include directing the philanthropic performance group The Sovereign Collective, and working as part of the research and development team of Kenji Williams’ Bella Gaia/Origin Stories/Beautiful Earth Education Initiative.

Donna completed her undergraduate degree in Business Administration at CU-Boulder, and received her Master of Fine Arts degree on full fellowship from Smith College. She joined the University of Colorado at Boulder as an Assistant Professor of Dance in 2012. She is the first professor of tribal/transnational fusion globally. Donna balances her time teaching and touring throughout the U.S. and abroad.   Her choreographic commissions and performances continue to generate outstanding critical reviews from print and digital media.

Research Interests: 

  • Gender representation/social coding in movement practices and dance traditions (both domestically and internationally) 
  • Transnationalism, overlapping identities, multi-ethnicity and emerging models of global citizenship 
  • Investigating how Internet usage is impacting personal identity and collective cultural memory production 
  • Ethics/integrity/cultural appropriation issues in dance fusion and movement transformation
  • Hidden biases, historical trauma, blind spots, cultures of inclusion and peaceful coexistence
  • Evolving norms of cultural tolerance and representation in a remixing and “cut and paste”culture
  • Movement training/specialization in yoga, and the dances of Brazil, Mexico, the Caribbean, West Africa (Gambia, Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Nigeria, Ghana), North Africa (Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and Western Sahara), Ethiopia, Northern India, American Modern Dance,
  • Ethnomusicology of Hip Hop, Underground Electronica and DJ culture. 
  • All things Sewing!


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