I am a Professor in the Department of Dance at the University of Washington where I teach courses in salsa, tango, ballroom dance, research methods, and dance studies. My career has been split between teaching dance in commercial and academic settings. I transitioned into teaching primarily in universities because I wanted to integrate dance history into all my class and I used to think studio dancers weren’t interested in dance history. Now I believe every dance student is hungry to connect to their lineage. My goal is to help students to discover their own movement style through engagement with dance history. My movement classes offer a balance of skill-building and creative exploration and my academic classes include embodied experiences. All are informed by theories of critical pedagogies that center feminist goals. Some of my favorite subjects to teach include:

Juliet McMains leading middle school students.
Photo by  Kathy Sauber
  • Tango

    I am skilled at both leading/initiating and following/interpreting and enjoys teaching both roles to seasoned dancers as well as tango neophytes. I have taught tango at the Seattle Fusion Festival, the 8th Style School of Tango, Cellspace, and the University of Washington.

  • Salsa/Mambo

    I teach classes in salsa on-1 and salsa on-2 contextualized trough salsa dance history. I have been teaching salsa since 1999 and have been responsible for precipitating a clave obsession in thousands of students.

  • Social Dance Histories

    I’m interested in helping others question why dance styles, aesthetics, and values change over time, linking these shifts to broader historical, technological, political, and cultural movements that resist dominant paradigms of race, gender, class, and/or sexuality to forge new ways of being.

Tango class.jpg
UW Tango students Ky Ngo and Neha Saraf. Photo by Tim Summers.

I have been a visiting faculty at:

  • Choreomundus, Trondheim, Norway

  • Taipei National University of the Arts, Taipei, Taiwan

I was previously on the faculty at:

  • University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL               

  • Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA

I have taught at festivals such as:

  • Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Moscow, Idaho

  • Orlando Salsa Festival, Orlando, FL

  • New York Baroque Dance Company Summer Festival

Visit the University of Washington Department of Dance to see a list of courses taught. 


© 2021 Juliet McMains