Clare Croft is a dance historian and theorist, as well as a dramaturg and curator. She is the author of Dancers as Diplomats: American Choreography in Cultural Exchange (Oxford, 2015), a study of the U.S. State Department’s sponsorship of international dance tours as a form of cultural diplomacy. She is also the editor of the book and website Queer Dance: Meanings and Makings (Oxford, 2017), a collection of essays by scholars and artists. In connection to this volume, Croft also curates the EXPLODE: queer dance festival, which began as a series of performances in Ann Arbor from 2012-2015, and has since toured to New York, Chicago, and California.
Croft is also the founder and curator of Daring Dances, a curatorial initiative based in southeast Michigan. An active dramaturg, Croft frequently collaborates with artists including Thomas DeFrantz and Jennifer Harge, and leads community engagement work with arts presenters including Ann Arbor’s UMS; the Fusebox Festival in Austin, Texas; and Portland, Oregon’s TBA Festival.
Croft’s academic writing has appeared in numerous journals including QED: Journal of LGBTQ Worldmaking, Dance Research Journal, and Theatre Journal. Her writing has been recognized widely: Dancers as Diplomats received the Congress on Research in Dance’s Outstanding Publication Prize in 2016, and the article “Ballet Nations” received the American Society of Theatre Research’s Sally Banes Publication Prize in 2010. Dance Magazine named the 2019 EXPLODE queer dance festival in Chicago (co-curated with Anna Martine Whitehead) one of the “Top Dance Events of 2019.” In all her work, Croft seeks to cross the divide between academia and the art world, and she has written for venues like The Brooklyn Rail, The Washington Post, and the LA Review of Books. Croft is also the editor of the book series, Studies in Dance History, the book series of the Dance Studies Association. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan.
Croft is appointed in the departments of Dance and American Culture. She holds a Ph.D. in Performance as Public Practice from the University of Texas-Austin.
- AMCULT 405: Dancing Women, Dancing Queer
- DANCE 496 / WS 433 / AMCULT 405: Fantasies and Anxieties of Racial Integration in American Performance
- 20th- and 21st-century American dance
- critical race theory
- feminist and queer theory