The very cornerstone of my work as an interdisciplinary dancer-scholar is to listen and understand people. Through a fusion of various aesthetic approaches, embodied research, storytelling, community engagement, and performance, I explore ideas of healing, community, and social change. My teaching is a reflection of my research and performance work. I encourage students to use dance as a tool to explore and expose the hidden and often challenging emotions surrounding race, identity, and class.
Christa Oliver is an educator, activist, dancer, and choreographer born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio. She is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Theater and Dance at Texas State University. Her research and performance work examines bearing witness through dance, and using dance as a tool for healing in places where trauma has occurred.
She has worked with Valerie Preston-Dunlop, Donald McKayle, Donald Byrd, Lula Washington, Christopher Huggins, Victor Quijada, Willi Dorner, Miguel Periera, Rafael Bonachela, Rennie Harris, Robin Lewis, Dominique Kelly, Gary Lambert, and Sonia Rafferty. Christa has danced professionally in Amsterdam, Austria, England, France, Germany, Italy, Kosovo, and Mexico. She was the dance captain and soloist with the national tour of The Color Purple, and was a dancer in the films Avatar and Crazy on the Outside. Christa began her undergraduate studies at the University of Akron, and finished at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, where she received her Professional Diploma in Dance Studies, and her M.A. in Dance Performance. Christa also completed a course of study, Migrations, at the Mellon School of Theater and Performance Research at Harvard University. She is a member of Citizen Tales, a research collective housed at Emerson College.
Contact Christa at: firstname.lastname@example.org