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Nyama McCarthy-Brown

Dr. Nyama McCarthy-Brown

Nyama McCarthy-Brown

Associate Professor, Artist Laureate


(614) 292-7977

312 Sullivant Hall
1813 North High Street
Columbus OH

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Areas of Expertise

  • Community Engagement
  • Contemporary Movement Practice
  • Pedagogy
  • Composition


  • BA in Political Science, Spelman College
  • MFA in Dance, University of Michigan
  • PhD in Dance Studies, Temple University

Nationally recognized culturally sustaining educator, Dr. Nyama McCarthy-Brown is an Associate Professor of Community Engagement through Dance Pedagogy, at The Ohio State University. Nyama has been an active performer, choreographer, and educator for the past twenty years. Originally from San Francisco, her love for dance developed at her community recreation center, and later at the School of the Arts High School. She earned her bachelor's degree in Political Science from Spelman College; followed by an MFA in Performance and Choreography from the University of Michigan; and a doctoral degree in Dance Studies from Temple University. 

In 2021, Dr. McCarthy-Brown was the recipient of awards from Dance Teacher Magazine and National Dance Education Organization for her work developing anti-racist dance curriculum.  Nyama teaches Dance Education, Community Engaged Artmaking, Black Dance Continuum, and Contemporary Dance with Africanist underpinnings grounded the celebration of all movers.

Her first book, Dance Pedagogy for a Diverse World: Culturally Relevant Teaching in Research, Theory, and Practice was released in 2017, and quickly became an anchoring text in dance education. The book is greatly informed by her teaching dance in the public schools, private studios, universities, and in the community. Dr. McCarthy-Brown’s scholarship is interdisciplinary and always relates to heightened understanding of cultural diversity. She has published research in The Journal of African American Studies, the Journal of Dance EducationArts Education Policy Review, Research in Dance Education, Whiteness in Education, and The International Journal of Education and the Arts. Currently she is working on her second book about women of Color in ballet. 

Dr. McCarthy-Brown is an active consultant and workshop facilitator for diversifying dance curriculum for organizations such as: San Francisco Ballet School; Cincinnati Ballet; Enrich Chicago; Dance Educators Coalition, Minnesota; Rutgers University Dance Department; University of Buffalo; Ohio Dance and Dance Education Laboratory.