Cindy Garcia

Cindy García is an Associate Professor, dance theorist, performance ethnographer, and playwright in the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance at the University of Minnesota. Her article “‘Don’t Leave Me, Celia!’ Salsera Homosociality and Pan-Latina Corporealities” won the Gertrude Lippincott Award for the best English-language article published in Dance Studies in 2008. Duke University Press is publishing her book Salsa Crossings: Dancing Latinidad in Los Angeles that addresses the politics of social performances of Mexican-ness, latinidad, and migration in Los Angeles salsa clubs. Her research and teaching interests include the cultural politics of migration, race, and racialization, feminist ethnography, Chicana/o and Latin/o American Performance Studies, and the gendered performances of latinidad in urban libidinal economies. In 2010 she was awarded a Ford Foundation Research Fellowship The American Society for Theatre Research awarded her the Selma Jean Cohen Award in 2009 for Scholarship in Theatre and Dance/Movement-based Fields. She wrote the play How to Make it to the Dance Floor: A Salsa Guide for Women (Based on Actual Experiences), and performed a staged reading in collaboration with dramaturg Dr. Lucy Burns (UCLA) and director/choreographer Margit Edwards (Los Angeles) with critical commentary from Invited Scholar Deborah Paredez (University of Texas at Austin), University of Minnesota, 9/22/2008.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Culture and Performance, University of California, Los Angeles, 2005.
  • M.A.: Dance, University of California, Los Angeles, 2002.
  • B.A.: Anthropology, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1991.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Dance and the Practices of Everyday Life
  • Ethnography of Performance
  • Chicana/o and Latina/o Politics, Culture, and Performance
  • Migration, Race, and Performance Studies
Courses Taught
  • Theatre 8120: Race, Diaspora, and Performance
  • Theatre 8120: Ethnography of Performance
  • DNCE 3411: Dance and Popular Culture
  • DNCE 1401: Introduction to Dance
Research & Professional Activities


  • Member, Board of Directors for Academia Cesar Chavez Elementary School, St. Paul: 2010 - present
  • Salsa Crossings: Dancing Latinidad in Los Angeles. Garcia, Cindy, Duke University Press, Author, 2013.
  • Garcia, Cindy M. "The Great Migration: Salsa Speculations and the Performance of Latinidad." Dance Research Journal (2013 in press):
  • Garcia, Cindy M. ""Don't Leave Me, Celia!" Salsera Homosociality and Pan-Latina Corporealities." Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory Volume 18, Issue 3 (2008): 199-213.
  • Garcia, Cindy M. "Displace and Be Queen: Gender and Interculturalism in Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004)." Mediated Moves: A Popular Screen Dance Reader (2013 in press):
  • Ford Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program, 2010 - 2011
  • Selma Jean Cohen Award from ASTR for Scholarship in Theatre and Dance/Movement-based Fields, 2009
  • Gertrude Lippincott Award from SDHS for her article: "Don't Leave Me, Celia!" Salsera Homosocialities and Pan-Latina Corporealities, 2009