Miya Shaffer

Miya Shaffer

Ph.D. in Culture and Performance

Miya Shaffer is a PhD student and dance artist from Toronto, Canada. Her current research theorizes the concept of “mixed-race” as an analytic of spectatorship, rather than a literal identity category, in contemporary North American experimental dance. As a dancer, Miya has worked with many of Canada’s leading choreographers, currently dances for UCLA MFA candidate Ghislain Grellier, and teaches classes in ballet (adult beginners) and Limón modern (all levels). She has performed at L.A. Dance Project, Highways Performance Space, and Pieter Performance Space in Los Angeles; Fleck Dance Theatre, The Citadel + Compagnie, and Dusk Dances Festival in Toronto; as well as Théâtre La Chapelle and Montréal Arts Interculturels in Montréal. Miya is a 2019 recipient of the Dance Studies Association’s Selma Jeanne Cohen Award for graduate student excellence in scholarship. She holds a MA in Culture and Performance from UCLA (2019) and a BA with First Class Honours in English Literature and World Cinema Studies from McGill University (2016).

Areas of Interest

Dance studies; performance studies; critical race theory; critical mixed-race studies; queer theory; visual studies; media studies; politics of spectatorship


• PhD Culture and Performance, UCLA (in progress)
• MA Culture and Performance, UCLA
• BA English Literature, Minor in World Cinema Studies, McGill University

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