Dance as International Diplomacy

Instructor(s): Bridgit Luján

Course Description

In this course, students will explore how dance serves as a cultural ambassador around the world.  Dance
performances, videos, and images of dance influence peoples’ beliefs about a culture and a nation’s
politics and values.  In this course students will explore how different styles of dance (ballet, jazz, tap,
hip-hop, modern, flamenco, Spanish dance) have influenced world views and served to increase
harmony across nations through live performance. Students will explore the political and economic
initiatives of the United States 1950-present that have supported dance as a world ambassador of
culture. They also will synthesize how dance has served other nations in diplomacy (specific focus on


1. Dancers as Diplomats American Choreography in Cultural Exchange by Clare Croft
2. Dance For Export Cultural Diplomacy and the Cold War by Naima Prevots
3. Flamenco Nation by Sandie Holguin
4. Dance Appreciation by Amanda Clark and Sara Pecina


Students will do readings, observe videos, participate in discussions, create a final project, and write reflections that apply the material through creative nonfiction and persuasive writing. This is not a movement class however there is an occasional movement component that gives students the opportunity to participate in embodied exploration of simple movements of each dance style.

About the Instructor(s): Bridgit Luján

Bridgit Luján was introduced to dance study at the young age of two. She is a UNM alumni graduating with a MA in Dance History and a MBA in International Management. She also study at a small liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, Wilson College, where she earned her MFA. Bridgit has taught in higher education since 2002 and is also a dance journalist for Dance Magazine in NYC.