Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Cynthia Pratt


As a dancer, it is of the utmost importance to know the history behind the origins of movement with intent. In a collegiate setting, we are immersed in the different styles and origins that have shaped the refinement and adaptations of dance into the genres that it exists today. But, I have recognized a lack of knowledge in one extraordinary facet; dance performed by those who are deaf. With this project, I have educated a group of dancers on the different aspects and struggles of being deaf within America and through the creation of a dance that mimics the rehearsal processes of deaf dancers, I have shown how those who are wrongly considered to be disabled, can still connect with audiences through the use of nonverbal communication and emotionally established movement. This piece will culminate with a live performance during the first week of March. The written portion of my thesis highlights nonverbal communication as the link between American Deaf Culture and Dance. I assess the history of its use in both areas as well as the benefits of implementing performance art within a deaf child’s education and how deaf dancers have emerged within the profession. My thesis fuses the knowledge of nonverbal communication in dance and Deaf Culture and will reveal the importance of dance as a means of bridging the gap between those who can hear and those who cannot.