Conferences / Annual Conference

Dancing in Common

August 8 – August 11, 2019
Northwestern University
Evanston, IL, United States

The Dance Studies Association is hosting its 2019 annual conference at Northwestern University August 8-11, located on the shore of Lake Michigan with a view of the Chicago skyline. We invite you to join us for papers, panels, roundtable discussions, lecture-demonstrations, movement workshops, dance works, and screendances that address the conference theme, "Dancing in Common".

What might it mean to speak about "the common" or "the commons" in relation to dancing bodies? How do long-standing ideas about the common good and common property inflect past and present practices? What opportunities might dance and its concomitant registers of embodied exchange and identity offer in solidarity to emancipator modes of sociality? Thinking about our different experiences and understandings of the commons, we gather in Chicago to reflect, move and create.

"Dancing in Common" meets on the campus of Northwestern University on the shore of Lake Michigan. The Hotel Orrington is just a few blocks away in Evanston, near public transportation to downtown Chicago and airports. Film screenings, club outings, and performances at Links Hall complement the wide range of panels, workshops, and plenaries planned for DSA 2019.

Conference details


DSA Member: Full-Time Faculty

Early Registration

Before Jun 13, 2019

Regular Registration

Before Aug 1, 2019

On-Site Registration

Until Aug 10, 2019

Single Day Registration

Until Aug 10, 2019


DSA Member: Student/Retired/Institut./Indep Artist or Scholar

Early Registration

Before Jun 13, 2019

Regular Registration

Before Aug 1, 2019

On-Site Registration

Until Aug 10, 2019

Single Day Registration

Until Aug 10, 2019


Non-Member: Full-Time Faculty

Early Registration

Before Jun 13, 2019

Regular Registration

Before Aug 1, 2019

On-Site Registration

Until Aug 10, 2019

Single Day Registration

Until Aug 10, 2019


Non-Member: Student/Retired/Independent Artist or Scholar

Early Registration

Before Jun 13, 2019

Regular Registration

Before Aug 1, 2019

On-Site Registration

Until Aug 10, 2019

Single Day Registration

Until Aug 10, 2019


After July 15th registration for Dancing in Common is non-refundable, as DSA plans for the conference catering and space rental based on current registration numbers.

*Single-day registration does not include Opening Reception or Awards Luncheon.

Click here to view the Conference Schedule.

Click here to view the Moderator Instructions

Online registration is now closed. Onsite registration will be available. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Because catering must be confirmed in advance, the Awards Luncheon cannot be offered/available to on-site registrants.


Conference Chair

  • Melissa Blanco Borelli , Royal Holloway University of London
  • Kate Elswit, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
  • Susan Manning , Northwestern University

Program Coordinator

  • Lizzie Leopold

Program Committee

  • Anurima Banerji, UCLA
  • Sherril Dodds, Temple University
  • Imani K Johnson, University of California Riverside
  • Einav Katan-Schmid, Humboldt University of Berlin
  • Kareem Khubchandani, Tufts University
  • Lorenzo Perillo, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Crystal Michelle Perkins
  • VK Preston, University of Toronto
  • Chiayi Seetoo
  • Arabella Stanger, University of Sussex

Local Arrangements Committee

  • Susan Manning
  • Lizzie Leopold
  • Rachel Russell
  • Danielle Ross
  • Amy Swanson
  • Mario LaMothe
  • Joel Valentin-Martinez
  • Amy Wilkinson
  • Jenai Cutcher West
  • Mlondi Zondi
  • Anna Martine Whitehead

Conference Contacts


Publishers' Exhibit Opportunities

With an estimated 500 dance scholars and educators in attendance, DSA 2019 conference offers publishers an excellent venue to promote dance and performance titles.

Display by Table

Make an impact as an exhibitor. This opportunity gives you the ability to network, advertise, promote and sell your books, products, and services to a captive audience which is highly invested in the study of dance.

Each six-foot display table includes two chairs, wastebasket, and name badges for booth attendants. Display tables must be attended for the duration of the Exhibit.

First table: $375.00
Additional tables: $175.00 each


This is the perfect opportunity to promote one of your books to dance scholars and educators from around the world!

Display books or materials on the DSA Scholars Table. Each display item is $30.00. (You may display a book and an order form for the $30 price; additional display items subject to the $30 fee.)


Sponsor a conference event and become part of the action. During three plenary sessions, an opening reception, and our annual awards luncheon, all 500+ attendees gather together at one time. By sponsoring one of these events you will have the opportunity to be seen by all. You will receive signage at the event, public announcement of your sponsorship, program credit, and website credit. There are only five opportunities for event sponsorship.

  • Plenary I, Opening and Indigenous Land Acknowledgement, Thursday 8/8 from 4:30-6:00 PM: $750
  • Plenary II, Dance Works for the Commons, Friday 8/9 from 4:30-6:00 PM: $750
  • Plenary III State of the Field, Sunday 8/11 from 12:30-2:00 PM: $750
  • Membership Awards Luncheon, Saturday 8/10 from 12:30-2:00 PM at Orrington Hotel: $2,000
  • Opening Reception, Thursday 8/8 from 6-8:00 PM at the Orrington Hotel: $2,000

Program Advertising

Market and endorse your books, products, events, and services by placing an ad in the program guide. This program guide is distributed and used by each attendee.

The following sizes are available in the Conference Program Guide:

  • Back Cover: $750
    8.5" W x 11" H with .125 in bleed
  • Inside front and inside back covers: $700
    8.5" W x 11" H with .125 in bleed
  • Full Page: $600
    7.5" W x 10" H
  • Half Page: $300
    7.5" W x 4.75" H
  • Quarter Page: $150
    3.5" W x 4.75" H

Please note all artwork must be received no later than June 15, 2019. If you have any questions, please contact Lizzie Leopold at



Traveling from abroad:

Foreign Currency Exchange at O'Hare and Midway Airports (

Passport/Visa Requirements:

Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the US without a visa. Please visit state department website (below) for exact requirements. (

Banks in Evanston (walk-able from hotel): Chase Bank, PNC Bank, First Bank & Trust, BMO Harris Bank, Citibank, First Northern Credit Union


O'Hare International Airport is approximately one hour from Northwestern's Evanston campus (depending on mode of transit). Midway International Airport is slightly farther and may take longer. Airport Express Shuttle is available from both locations (arrange ahead of time, Uber and Lyft are also available. Suburban taxi cabs are available (American Taxi) by calling (847-673-1000) or using the iOS app once you have landed at the airport. Average fare is $50-$60.



The Hilton Orrington Hotel is centrally located in the heart of downtown Evanston. It is walking distance to more than 50 restaurants and shops, with fitness center and two restaurants right on site and walking distance from a multiplex movie theater. It is also located just 11 miles from downtown Chicago and besides beautiful Lake Michigan.


DSA's  block of discounted rooms at the Hilton Orrington Hotel has sold out on some nights, and the discount will  no longer be available after July 8, 2019. The Orrington Hotel will continue to sell rooms at the the best available rate, so please contact them directly for reservations at 1-800-Hiltons.

The Dance Studies Association now has an additional block of rooms at the HOLIDAY INN-CHICAGO NORTH, August 6-11. The room rate is $129.00 per night for single, double triple or quad occupancy.

Click here to reserve (entering conference dates).

Or, to make reservations directly with the hotel, please call (847) 491-6400 and ask for “in house reservations,†mention the arrival and departure dates and Group Code: DS8.

All Bodies Welcome

All Bodies Welcome

The Hotel Orrington, where the plenaries and awards luncheon will be held, is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. So too are the Northwestern University buildings, where breakout sessions will be held, and Links Hall, the off-campus performance venue. Walking time from the hotel to the university is 5 to 10 minutes on level sidewalks. Ride shares from the hotel to campus are readily available; guest parking on campus is another option.

All Genders Welcome

Participants may choose to have their preferred gender pronouns on their conference badge by filling in the optional box on the registration form. Gender-neutral bathrooms on campus will be marked on the map in the conference program. EXPLODE!, a series of performances and events on- and off campus co-curated by Clare Croft and Anna Martine Whitehead, will consider how scholarship looks different when queer folks actively author spaces for gathering.

All Children Welcome

Although neither DSA nor Northwestern is licensed to provide daycare, parents and guardians may bring their children to the conference. Children who can quietly read or watch a video are welcome at all sessions, as are nursing infants. (Spaces that can serve as lactation rooms will be marked on campus map in conference program.) Local daycare centers may be able to provide drop-in care if arranged in advance. (Bright Horizons Evanston is down the block from the Hotel Orrington; the McGaw YMCA and Evanston KinderCare are a short ride away). Babysitters can be found through, UrbanSitter, and SitterCity.

There are abundant family-friendly options in the area. Near the conference hotel and university are playgrounds and the beach. Further afield are the Children's Museum at Navy Pier, the Bean at Millennium Park, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Museum of Natural History, Adler Planetarium, and Shedd Aquarium. The Chicago Architecture Foundation offers boat and walking tours, and the Chicago Art Institute offers family tours and a space for making art. The Cubs are out of town, but you can catch the White Sox Friday through Sunday of the conference weekend.

All Nationalities Welcome

DSA believes in international exchange and is committed to holding regular meetings outside the US. In 2018 we met in Malta and we are looking into other international locations for future conferences. For non-US citizens who require a visa to the US for 2019, the acceptance letter to the conference should be sufficient documentation. If you encounter obstacles, please contact our administrative office at

Evanston and Chicago