Adanna Kai Jones

Affiliation: Theater and Dance
Assistant Professor of Dance

Adanna Kai Jones is an Assistant Professor of Dance in the Department of Theater and Dance. She received her Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside, and her BFA in Dance from Mason Gross School of the Arts—Rutgers University. She has performed in professional dance companies based in NYC, including the "Julia Ritter Performance Group" and "Souloworks" with Andrea E. Woods. And in general, her research remains focused on Caribbean dance and identity politics within the Diaspora, paying particular focus to the rolling hip dance known as winin’.

From 2017 to 2018, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow for Faculty Diversity in the Dance Department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. As a fellow, she expanded upon her latest research project, which uses multi-sited, transnational ethnography to track the ways in which Caribbean choreographers play an integral role in the support and preservation of contemporary Caribbean identity politics within the US. Effectively, her research puts both Dance and Caribbean Studies into a critical dialogue with African-American Studies by attending to the ways these dancers complicate US-based constitutions of black identity.

With regards to her own creative pursuits, she has choreographed dance-theater pieces that were not only based on her research, but were also used as tools for generating more research questions. In July 2015, she choreographed “Wine & Tales” in Port of Spain, Trinidad, which was presented by New Waves! 2015 and the Dancing While Black Performance Lab. And in June 2018, she choreographed and performed “Remembering D’Angelo’s Untitled” in New York City at Field Studies 2018. Both performances were rooted in her ethnographic fieldwork on the wine, Caribbean Carnivals, and the sexualization of Caribbean bodies.


  • PhD, Critical Dance Studies, University of California, 2016
  • BFA, Dance, Rutgers University, 2005