Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Theatre and Dance

Document Type



As a dancer, choreographer, and naturally sarcastic person, humor has always been a tool that I recognize and appreciate. I was specifically drawn to the role of humor in dance choreography and performance when I was responsible for creating my own dance works, and I realized the complexity behind making even the simplest joke in dance. This thesis explores humor, from its biological and psychological origins in our brains, to an evaluation of what constitutes “humor” (in past and present American society), to a discussion on how to create humor within dance using the traditionally defined elements of choreography. Contained in this discussion, I also review examples of different types of humor in dance, noting how each has achieved comedic success through different approaches. Finally, my research into this topic comes back to my own practical application, through an analysis of my choreography, and how I created (or attempted to create) comedy through movement.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Amanda Clark



Included in

Dance Commons