USC Kaufman welcomes multi-disciplinary artist and scholar Thomas Ford to its faculty

April 21, 2023

Artist and scholar Thomas Ford | Photo courtesy of Ford

Ford’s research examines the mechanisms of identity and culture through an exploration of embodiment, choreography, and Black, queer, critical and performance studies.

The USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance is pleased to announce that interdisciplinary dance artist and scholar Thomas Ford will join the USC Kaufman faculty as an Assistant Professor of Practice, beginning in fall 2023. Hailing from New York City, Ford has established a versatile career as a writer, performer, curator, and teacher for some of the dance field’s most prestigious institutions and organizations.  

“Thomas’s  pedagogical profile spans so many different theoretical approaches and movement practices. His interdisciplinary inquiry manifests through choreography, writing, and digital media, revealing deep knowledge, curiosity, and success across multiple genres,” said USC Kaufman Dean Julia M. Ritter. “Thomas is a wonderful addition to our growing and diverse faculty.” 

Ford’s choreographic work has appeared at the Joyce Theater, Symphony Space, Ailey Citigroup Theater, and the Kaye Playhouse, along with presentations at Next@Graham, the Peridance APEX Showcase, the Capezio A.C.E. Awards, the STEPS Performance Lab and the Joffrey Ballet School’s winter and summer concerts. His writing has appeared in ELLE, Dance Magazine, Movement Research Performance Journal, the Brooklyn Rail, and Dance Spirit, where he previously served as a contributing editor. His work has also appeared in Dance Teacher, the Dance Enthusiast, and CultureBot. Ford’s writing is also part of a forthcoming anthology, edited by Sherrie Barr, Professor of Dance at the University of Oregon, and Karen Schupp, associate professor of dance and associate director of dance in the Herberger Institute School of Film, Dance and Theatre at Arizona State University, set for publication in 2024. 

Ford’s performance credits include The Kennedy Center Honors, The Today Show (NBC), Debbie Allen’s Dreams, A Capitol Fourth (PBS), The Radio One Music Awards and performances with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He has toured with Mike Minery’s Tapaholics’ and the renowned D.C.-based troupe Tappers With Attitude. He has performed Darvejon Jones’ Afro-contemporary work at the Kraine Theater and La Mama Experimental Theatre Club in NYC. He continues to work with his collaborator, artistic partner, and husband, Steven Atwater. Using original sound scores, technology spanning mediated forms and emergent movement vocabularies inspired by historically ostracized bodies and sci-fi folklore, they build worlds, where the social, political and cultural entangle with the aesthetics of their collective histories.

He has taught at the Joffrey Ballet School (NY), Marymount Manhattan College and Hunter College/CUNY, and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Dance Education (JoDE). The National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA/YoungArts) recognized him as a Presidential Scholar. He holds a BA from Marymount Manhattan College and a MFA in dance from Hunter College/CUNY.