Aysha Upchurch

Learn about Aysha Upchurch, an artist and educator who creates, facilitates and designs for radical change

Lecturer, Dance

Aysha Upchurch, the Dancing Diplomat, is an artist and educator who creates, facilitates and designs for radical change. As a dancer/choreographer, she is an embodied storyteller who leans on African diasporic movement to create works of joy, connection and liberation. She has been a John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts commissioned artist and a Bessie Schonberg Dance Fellow at the Yard and has led teaching and choreographic residencies at universities across the country. As an educator and consultant, she considers herself a DJ whose mission is to responsively and responsibly design the learning community as a cypher where everyone can build knowledge with each other, while feeling held, heard and humanized. Upchurch has been on faculty at George Mason University, Salem University and most recently at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she spearheaded courses and initiatives on embodied learning and Hip Hop pedagogy. Whether on stage or in a classroom, as a U.S. State Department cultural envoy or professor, Upchurch is making moves and demonstrating how to be D.O.P.E. - dismantling oppression and pushing education.

What do you enjoy most about being a part of UT Theatre and Dance?

The faculty, staff and students have been so incredibly welcoming -- I'm loving this southern hospitality and being surrounded by folks who understand the innate power of dance and the arts.

What is your favorite thing about Austin?

I will NOT be clearing snow off my car this winter. Yay!

Hip Hop pedagogy, Hip Hop culture and dance, arts integration, embodied learning

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