Photo of Cyrah Ward, smiling and wearing a yellow sweater

Cyrah L. Ward

( She/They )
Associate Professor
Dance (beginning in Fall 2024)
Location: CA 164

Cyrah L. Ward (seer-ah) is a scholar of Black dance, critical race theorist, and interdisciplinary performance maker. Her value of utilizing dance as a tool for community organizing has led her to work with an array of artists, including Crystal Michelle Perkins & DeShona Pepper Robertson of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, MK Abadoo of MK Arts, as well as perform with world-renowned dance company Urban Bush Women.

Deeply rooted in the storytelling tradition, Ward’s work converges Africanist aesthetics within movement and language to transform her art into a vessel for sacred ritual, sociopolitical critique, and Black joy. Ward’s most notable collaboration, Hoofer’s Memory Lab, performed at New York City Center with tap dancers Brinae Ali and Gerson Lanza, was described by the New York Times as being “reminiscent of baptismal ritual,” further revealing her commitment to conjuring sacred art.

Her interdisciplinary research involves finding innovative ways to privilege the Black Gaze by activating Black oral traditions and digitized Black Archives. In doing so, her work manifests as embodied performances, sermonic poetry, digital collage art, and immersive installations.

Ward holds a B.F.A. with distinction in dance from The Ohio State University and an M.F.A. in dance from The University of Maryland, College Park.