Dance 168:

Dancing Gender

with Natalie Zervou


About this Course

Gender theories and feminist theories focus on the body as the main site where gender distinctions are understood. As the body holds a central position in the art of dance and the academic discipline of dance studies, this course explores gender and feminist theories through the lens of dance.

Course Content

Students will learn how the body is treated as a site inscribed and defined by social hierarchies and power structures, and the discussions will, therefore, become increasingly more complex to encompass race, ethnicity, and social status as definitive factors of gendered identity. The class will also move beyond dance performance into examples of political protests and feminist activism to examine how we can view such instances as performances, and what dance studies methodologies have to offer for understanding and analyzing pedestrian performative actions.

The course is introductory. No prior experience in dance, gender studies, or women’s studies is required.

Course Units:

  • Unit #1: Introduction To Dance Studies, Gender Studies & Feminism
  • Unit #2: Queer Dance & Performativity
  • Unit #3: Global Dance Perspectives
  • Unit #4: Politicizing Gender
Dance 168: Dancing Gender Times


Dance 168: Dancing Gender Dates
June 26 –
August 6
Dance 168: Dancing Gender Credits
Dance 168: Dancing Gender Questions


Meet Your Instructor

Natalie Zervou

Natalie Zervou

Dance Scholar and Performer

Natalie Zervou is a dance scholar and performer with PhD in Critical Dance Studies from the University of California, Riverside, an MA in Dance Cultures: Histories and Practices from the University of Surrey (UK). She completed her undergraduate studies in Political Science and International Studies from the University of Athens (Greece), and earned Diploma in Dance and Dance Pedagogy from the Higher Professional Dance School Morianova Trasta (Greece).

​Her research interests concern contemporary dance in Greece, during the recent socio-political and economic crisis and the ways that dancing bodies negotiate national identity construction in this fluctuating landscape. Her research has been supported by the Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (Greece) and a Dissertation Year Fellowship from the University of California, Riverside.

As a performer, Zervou has trained in classical ballet and modern dance technique (Limón), as well as Greek folk dances and European character dance. She has choreographed and performed works in Greece, Britain, Amsterdam, and the USA and maintains an active artistic agenda, constantly experimenting with new media and art forms. (Source)

Her teaching philosophy: “As a dance studies scholar and dance teacher it is my responsibility to introduce students to the various ways that embodied practices intersect with scholarly theories, and to teach them the cultural, social and political value of dance. Having taught in a variety of settings, such as elementary and middle schools, lower division lecture classes, studio courses, as well as online courses, the majority of my students have been from a variety of disciplines with various backgrounds. The major challenge that I have encountered with such a diverse student populations has been to unsettle misconceptions that the students have about dance classes being ‘easy’, or viewing dance as entertainment, rather than a theoretical tool. My primary focus is thus on cultivating students’ appreciation of the art form and providing them with the methodological and theoretical tools to foster their ability to appreciate, critically analyze, and develop an informed understanding of dance and its many facets.” Read More on her Website >

Look for DANCE 168 in your

course guide or student center.