Dr. Jill Flanders Crosby

Jill Flanders Crosby
Department of Theatre and Dance
ARTS 323
(907) 786-1164


  • Ed.M. & Ed.D., Teachers College Columbia University
  • M.A., New York University


Jill Flanders Crosby holds an EdD from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, University of Alaska Anchorage. She began research in Ghana in 1991, and focused on ritual dance forms in Ghana, Togo and Cuba from 1997 to 2018. She spearheaded a collaborative art installation inspired by her extensive Ghanaian and Cuban fieldwork that appeared in Havana, Cuba in December 2010, in Ghana, West Africa in 2013, and in San Francisco in 2014. She has presented her Ghanaian and Cuban research at numerous scholarly conferences, including those of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the African Studies Association, the Congress on Research in Dance, and the Society for Applied Anthropology. She has published her work on Ghana and Cuba in the edited volume Making Caribbean Dance (UPF), the journals Southern Quarterly, Material Religion, Etnofoor, Revista Catauro, and on the Centre for Imaginative Ethnography website. She has also researched the making of jazz dance and published in the edited volume Jazz Dance: A History of the Root and Branches (UPF). She is currently conducting oral history research in the Cook Islands of the South Pacific among dancers, choreographers, and composers.

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Coordinator Dance Program, Department of Theatre and Dance
  • Reviewer for various peer-reviewed professional journals
  • Courses:
    • Dance Appreciation
    • Modern Dance
    • Jazz Dance

Research Interests

  • Dance Research Methodology and Dance Ethnography
  • Religious dances of the Ewe of West Africa and the Arará of Cuba
  • Sensational Heritage Forms


Crosby, Jill Flanders and Katherine K. Kramer (forthcoming). Jazz Dance. Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd Ed. (definition contribution).
Crosby, Jill Flanders (2010). “The Social Memory of Arará in Cuba: Oral Histories from Perico and Agramonte.” Southern Quarterly 47:4.
Crosby, Jill Flanders (2010). “Secrets Under the Skin: They Brought the Essence of Africa.” In Making Caribbean Dance: Continuity and Creativity in Island Cultures Editor, Susana Sloat. University of Florida Press.

Crosby, Jill Flanders (2008). “West African Music and Dance in the United States and Cuba. Looking at Social and Concert Jazz Dance and at Cuban Religious and Social Dances. Dancing at the Crossroads 1(1): 1-28.
Crosby, Jill Flanders 2007. “A Felt Authentic Grounding: Intersecting Theories of Authenticity, and Tradition.” In Choreographies of Migration: Patterns of Global Mobility. Congress on Research in Dance, pp 24-28.
Dils, Ann, & Crosby, Jill Flanders (2001). “Dialogue in Dance Studies Research.” Dance Research Journal, 33(1), 62-81. NY: Congress Research in Dance (CORD).
Crosby, Jill Flanders (1997). “The Dancer’s Way of Knowing: Merging practice and Theory in the Doing and Writing of Ethnography.” Etnofoor 10(1/2): 65-78.


  • 2010-2011: Secrets Under the Skin. Multidisciplinary and Collaborative Arts Installation. Project Director and Lead Investigator. Presented at: Bunnell Street Arts Center April 2011, Kimura Gallery, UAA January, Fundación Ludwig Havana, Cuba December (Premiere). Website created Spring 2011 – www.uaa.alaska.edu/spotlight/secretsundertheskin
  • 2010: Water, Air, Earth, Fire. Four Performance-Based Videos for Secrets Under the Skin installation.
  • 2009: “Secrets Under the Skin” Work in Progress on the University of Alaska New Dances Series.
  • 2005: “Conversations” Rhythm Explosion, Bozeman, Montana
  • 2004: “Simplicity and Grace” UAA Dance Ensemble in Concert
  • 2003: “Mobius” Alaska Dance Theatre. Guest artist performer.                                
  • 2002: “Look Again” – an NEA funded statewide multidisciplinary 3 week performance
  •       project – co-project design creator and executive producer.
  • 2002: “Clowns and Scholars” Dance on Film Project - performer. Los Angeles CA: independent project.                              
  • 2001: “Mostly Love Stories” Featured guest artist with Chicago-based XSIGHT!    
  •         Performance Group.
  • 2001: “Softly as in a Morning Sunrise” Co-choreographer and performer with nationally recognized tap artist Katherine Kramer, UAA Jazz Week.
  • 2000: “Impressions of Cuba” Video realization and conceptualization. Filmed in Chicago and in Havana, Cuba. Co creators, Brian Jeffery and Stephen Mazurek.
  • 1997: “Tired.” Co-choreographer and performer with Brian Jeffery, Artistic Director, Chicago-based XSIGHT! Featured guest artist with XSIGHT! Performance Group.
  • 1997: “Estate.” Co-choreographer and performer with Heather Cornell, Artistic Director of Manhattan Tap, UAA Jazz Week.
  • 1991: Performer; Morningside Dance Festival, New York City.