You are here

Juliet McMains (she/her)

Ph.D., Professor
Juliet McMains

Contact Information

(206) 616-0931
Meany 260
Office Hours: 
Mondays 3-4pm (or by apt)


Juliet is a dance scholar and artist whose work centers partnered social dance practices and their theatrical expression, with particular emphasis on Latin American and Afro-diasporic traditions in the United States. She examines how commodification, globalization, and recontextualization in competition alter social dances traditions and shape experiences of  gender, race, and ethnicity.  

Her first book, Glamour Addiction: Inside the American Ballroom Dance Industry (Wesleyan, 2006) won the 2008 Congress on Research in Dance (CORD) Outstanding Publication Award. Her second book, Spinning Mambo into Salsa: Caribbean Dance in Global Commerce (Oxford University Press, 2015) chronicles histories of salsa and mambo dancing in New York, South Florida, and Los Angeles. Her research on rumba, salsa, swing, ballroom dance, and tango has appeared in: TDR: The Drama Review, Dance Research Journal, the Journal of Dance Education, Dance Research, The Dance Chronicle, The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Competition, The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Ethnicity, The Routledge Dance Studies Reader, the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, and Making Caribbean Dance: Continuity and Creativity in Island Cultures.

Juliet is also a filmmaker who specializes in choreographic editing (creating choreography through the editing process). She is currently working on Faces of Contemporary Tango, a series of video portraits of tango artists in Buenos Aires that portrays tango as a living tradition that, although in dialogue with its rich history, is also forward-facing, contributing to creation of a contemporary world where gender roles are evolving and innovation thrives. Juliet is an avid dual-role practitioner of Argentine tango.

Juliet is also building a Social Dance Pedagogy Co-Laboratory to investigate application of critical pedagogy theories to social dance teaching, bringing her own teaching and writing on issues such as open-role dancing and affirmative consent in the classroom into dialogue with work of community-based social dance teachers. 

Juliet has a Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory from the University of California at Riverside and a B.A. in Women's Studies from Harvard University. She served on the Congress on Research in Dance Board of Directors from 2008-2011. She was appointed as a Donald E. Petersen Endowed Fellow for 2013-2016 and a Floyd & Delores Jones Endowed Professorship in the Arts in 2020.

More info at:

Research & Creative Work

Selected Research

Courses Taught

Summer 2023 Full-term

Summer 2021 Full-term

Summer 2018 Full-term

Summer 2017 Full-term

Summer 2016 Full-term

Resources & Related Links

News & Events

Related Events