Prof. Mara Mandradjieff (Part-Time Instructor of Dance)
Doctoral Student of Dance, Texas Woman's University
M.Ed., University of Pittsburgh Areas of Emphasis: Ballet Technique, Dance Pedagogy, Critical Theory
Mara Mandradjieff began her ballet training with Pittsburgh Youth Ballet, where she performed principal roles in George Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes, Serenade, Valse Fantaisie, and Garland Waltz. Her summers were spent training at various programs such as the Chautauqua Institute, Miami City Ballet, and four summers at The School of American Ballet. Mara went on to dance professionally with Bodiography Contemporary Ballet, Columbus Dance Theatre, Texture Contemporary Ballet, The Georgia Ballet, where she performed principal roles in The Nutcracker and George Balanchine's Who Cares, Dance Canvas, and City Gate Dance Theater Company.
Turning towards academics, Mara received her bachelors summa cum laude at the University of Pittsburgh in English Literature with a minor in Dance and a certificate in Gender Studies. She later finished her Masters in Education at the University of Pittsburgh with a certification to teach Secondary English Education. Once graduated, Mara remained at the University of Pittsburgh as a choreographer and part-time faculty member, in addition to her involvement with Point Park University.
Currently, Mara is working towards her Ph.D. in Dance at Texas Woman’s University, where her research focuses on Posthumanism, Gender Studies, and Ballet. She teaches as an adjunct professor at Emory University and has called Kennesaw State University her home since 2012. Through these universities, Mara has choreographed contemporary ballets and performance art pieces. She has presented research nationally and internationally with forthcoming publications in Text and Performance Quarterly and a collaborative piece in Journal of Dance Medicine and Science.
Mara also runs the nonprofit Lume Foundation: an organization that uses dance to engage and inspire individuals at healthcare facilities. Over the years, Lume has performed for children’s hospitals and senior centers; it strives to promote the joyfulness of dance. For more information please see, www.lumefoundation.com