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Ilana Morgan researches dance education for incarcerated youth, focusing on dance experiences as social justice and as a restorative practice.


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Ilana Morgan, PhD, is an Associate Professor at Texas Woman’s University in the Department of Dance. She teaches dance pedagogy and theory courses, coordinates the MA in Dance, the BA in Dance with Teacher Certification, and mentors and guides student teachers and graduate students. Her research focuses on dance education as social justice with incarcerated and detained youth and contributes to the field of dance in areas such as restorative and trauma informed practices for the dance classroom, and choreography as an expressive wellness practice. This research and advocacy considers issues of confinement and freedom, governmental approaches to rehabilitation, juvenile justice, autonomy, democracy, and trauma-informed pedagogy. She has published articles in the Journal of Dance Education, the Journal of Emerging Dance Scholarship, and a chapter in Dance Education and Responsible Citizenship: Promoting Civic Engagement through Effective Dance Pedagogies. Additionally, she also serves as the Director of the Community Dance Center at Texas Woman’s University in the commitment to provide low-cost, high quality dance classes for local community members.






Featured in national Dance Teacher Magazine for community-engaged pedagogy and research

Awarded TWU’s Arts and Humanities $5,000 grant for dance education research with students at the

Juvenile Probation and Post-adjudication Correctional Facility 

in Denton County, Texas





Awarded a TEA “Grow Your Own” grant, $176,000, as part of a TWU multi-departmental research team




Contributed a book chapter entitled, “Arts Education and Citizenship: A Pedagogical Framework"

in the book Dance Education and Responsible Citizenship: promoting Civic Engagement through Effective Dance Pedagogies

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