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Dance in the 


Dance in the Desert: A Gathering of Latinx Dancemakers

Conceived and organized by Tucson-based choreographer and dancer Yvonne Montoya, Dance in the Desert brought Latinx dancemakers together for three-day gathering Inaugural convening held in Phoenix, April 26-28, 2018.  Dance in the Desert included a choreographer’s jam, meetings among dancemakers and arts administrators, and research interviews. The three-day convening concluded  with a community share-out and public reception.  Dance in the Desert arrived at a critical point for Latinx dancemakers: a moment of aesthetic innovation grounded in the experiences of Latinx communities. Montoya envisions the gathering as a pilot for future Latinx dance initiatives. To realize her vision, Montoya engaged a diverse set of partners, including Safos Dance Theatre; AZ ArtWorker, an initiative of the Arizona Commission on the Arts funded by a grant from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation; Liz Lerman LLC; Phoenix Hostel & Cultural Center; and Projecting All Voices, an initiative launched by ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and supported by ASU Gammage. This project received support from WESTAF and the National Endowment for the Arts. The inaugural Dance in the Desert occurred during Montoya's post-graduate fellowship at Arizona State University. For more information about this project click here, here, or here. And stay tuned for Dance in the Desert 2019!

The MPA Project

The Motherhood and the Performing Arts (MPA) Project

The Motherhood and the Performing Arts (MPA) Project is a reflection of the challenges and joys of juggling motherhood and a career in the performing arts. There are 3 components of the MPA Project: the dance film Reflections a collaboration with film maker Dominic AZ Bonuccelli, a blog, and a  handmade upcycled earring collection. For more information about the MPA Project, visit

Safos Dance Theatre

Safos Dance Theatre

Yvonne Montoya is a co-founder and founding Artistic/Executive Director of Safos Dance Theatre, a non-profit multi-disciplinary performing arts organization based in Tucson, AZ. Since 2009, Montoya directed and produced six showcases for Safos, led six arts education residencies for youth and seniors, and staged 17 new pieces of choreography. Under her direction, Safos won the Tucson Pima Arts Council’s Lumie Award for Emerging Organization in 2015. for more information about Safos, visit

Color the Mural

Dancing the Mural

Color the Mural/Dancing the Mural Project

Color the Mural/Dancing the Mural was a two-year community based multidisciplinary arts project that took place in the City of South Tucson 2013-2015. A brain child of Yvonne Montoya, the project included 264 community members who voted on the theme and the design of the mural, 290 community painters from ages 0-88 painted the mural, and over 30 visual and performing artists, arts administrators, community members, donors, and volunteers worked on the project. Under Montoya’s direction, choreographers created seven new pieces of choreography inspired by the images of the mural. For more information about this project, click here!

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© 2018 by Yvonne Montoya.

Photography by Dominic Bonuccelli.
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Dancing the Mural 2015

photo by Dominic AZ Bonuccelli Choreography "La Troquita" by Yvonne Montoya photo courtesy of Safos Dance Theatre

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