Student NameAmanda Gonzalez
Faculty Mentor NameJoan D. Frosch PhD
CollegeSchool of Theatre and Dance
MajorBiochemistry and Dance
Research InterestsHuman behavior and interaction, Public health and Disease
Academic AwardsInternational Baccalaureate Diploma 2020, Emerging Scholar 2021
OrganizationsDelta Zeta Sorority, UF Danza
Hobbies and InterestsDancing, cooking, traveling

Research Project

Impact of COVID-19 on the Contemporary Dance Sector in Urban African Settings

The research project intends to outline and analyze the effects of Covid-19 on individuals who are professional or emerging professional dancers specifically located in African communities. The already marginalized population of individuals who are being interviewed and take into account their lifestyle and standing during the pandemic as well as before. This is because other differences including socioeconomic status, race, gender and geographic location may affect their access to equal opportunities both before and after the Covid-19 pandemic. The goal is to understand and identify barriers within communities of artists, especially those barriers that increased during the pandemic and understand the impact on the creation of dance and art across African communities.

The research aims to increase understanding in a relatively new area of dance ethnography research which also seeks to foster social benefit for those researched. During the pandemic, arts and dance specifically has seen a tremendous change in how they are viewed and understood. Such rapid change to online platforms (zoom, etc.) can be both beneficial and harmful to dancers who spend years of their life training only to be subjected to the harsh critiques of a two-dimensional video. The backstories of these artists have the potential to provide a third dimension. Thus these same online platforms are the ones that remove the distances between people across nations and allow for collaborations that may never have happened otherwise. The goal is the work to identify barriers and possible solutions that can promote sustainable solutions of equality and equity for African artists who seek to move forward on the global stage.

The solutions will be centered around the spirit of innovation already inherent in African creative expression where resources are often maximized. The goal is to find sustainable solutions that ensure longevity amongst the communities to create better platforms and new possibilities for artists to continue to create. The practices of extreme resourcefulness, attitudes of resilience of daily lives can combine to implement new creative practices and skills. I will learn about and assist in a variety of qualitative research methodologies including, recordings and transcribing interviews; text analysis of interviews; movement analysis; data composition, and assist with development of continued review of the data during and after the pandemic.