Award: Research & Development Grant

Discipline: Performing Arts

Project Collaborator(s):

City/Town: Glendale

Year: 2019

Artist Website:

Dance artist Ruby Morales will use her grant funds to support her ongoing experimentation in fusing disparate dance styles while developing a decolonialized, intentional process of teaching, learning, and creating dance rooted in the traditions of her culture. Morales’s artistic vision reflects her experience of three distinct that are typically far removed from each other: the European-derived contemporary modern modes centered in her academic training and professional practice; the non-institionalized, competitive/cooperative styles of hip-hop dance culture; and the social dance traditions of her family, namely Cumbia.

Morales will convene a group of dancers for a five-week paid training intensive and rehearsal process. The dancers will learn breaking from internationally-acclaimed B-boy and hip hop polymath YNOT. In keeping with traditional Mexican culture, the dancers will learn Cumbia from experienced elders, Morales’s own mother, father, and uncles. As the dancers work to master these two forms, Morales will guide process-focused rehearsals to develop a new perofmance piece, using modern and postmodern dance as “sewing needle and thread” to unite the distinct forms into a cohesive whole that, nevertheless, honors their respective histories and cultural identities.

Excerpt from “CafĂ© con Leche”

Premiered on August 24th 2018 at the Phoenix, AZ BlakTina Dance

“This interdisciplinary piece is a representation of my experience with
being a brown little girl and being self-conscious about the darkness
of my skin. I included this work sample because it shows my ability to
combine multiple art forms into one performance. Additionally, the
movement included in this except shows my exploration with fusing
post-modern contemporary dance and breaking floor work. Although it
is subtle and minimal movement it is quick, precise, and gentle. It also
matches the poetry well and fits with the structure of the piece as a

Excerpt from “Birthday Card to Myself”
Completer on October 22nd 2018
Work submitted to Breaking Ground Contemporary Dance and Film
The movement seen in this work sample really shows my ability to
physically combine movement styles. Throughout the piece there is a
clear representation of both post-modern contemporary dance and

Ruby Morales is a dancer, lover, social activist, performer, poet, and educator. In 2018 she graduated from Arizona State University with a BFA in Dance and was awarded the Gammage Herberger Scholarship for demonstrating active leadership and community involvement. Her art comes from a deeply rooted love for Hip hop, her Mexican culture and the blending of the two. By questioning ideas of culture, definitions, and aesthetics she explores how her interests can come together to relay an emotion through a composed choreographic dance. Her most recent work, “Café con Leche”, is an interdisciplinary piece combining, contemporary movement, breaking and poetry while exploring ideas of identity and colorism within the mind of a Mexican woman. She currently trains as a bgirl and in contemporary dance. She is also an intern for CONTRA-TIEMPO, a touring Urban Latin Dance Theatre Company, and has recently been invited to perform and tour with the company as an understudy. Ruby will continue to be driven by her passion for art as social activism, pushing societal norms, and radical expression of emotions as she jumps into her future as a dancer.

Artist photo by Ervin Arana