Minerva Tapia

Minerva Tapia is a choreographer, arts and culture administrator, educator, and company director of the Minerva Tapia Dance Group. Tapia received her Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies in 2014 at the University of California, Riverside. She received a Master of Fine Arts in Dance at the University of California, Irvine, in 2006, and in 1986 she received her B.A. at the Escuela de Danza Gloria Campobello in Tijuana, Mexico. She has honed her art at dance studios and companies in Mexico, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Brazil, Canada, Turkey, and Cuba, where she studied for seven years. In 1995 she formed the Minerva Tapia Dance Group, establishing important cross-border artistic collaborations. Her work has been presented in spaces like the Joyce SoHo in New York City and dance festivals in Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Argentina, and Spain. Its most notable choreographies are Borderline Bodies, Juana’s Little Machine, Flaquita, and Ellas danzan solas/ Illegal Border. Minerva is also the co-founder of the U.S.-Mexico Binational Choreographic Showcase, The San Diego/Tijuana Dance on Film Festival, and La Medalla al Arte Dancístico, an award bestowed upon notables from the dance world. Her research interest focuses on contemporary dance production at the U.S.-Mexico border. Recently she published her book “Danzas y Frontera”, in which she examines how border activities and conflicts have been thematized in choreographic works.


“Few artists have the ability to use the language of dance with the passion and clarity of Minerva Tapia. Her choreography is innovative and compelling, works that get to the essence of what it means to dance.”   

-Virginia Johnson. Artistic Director, Dance Theatre of Harlem

“Minerva Tapia has culled themes from the rich heritage of Mexican culture and woven them into dances of great originality. Her choreographic signature is bold and clear. Her works are filled with humor, irony, and a rich and vibrant humanity.”

-Donald McKayle. Choreographer and Director. Professor of Dance at the University of California Irvine

“The outstanding training that Minerva Tapia provides her dancers enables them to perform with virtuosity and expression unrivaled in Mexico today.”

-Jean Isaacs. Artistic Director, Jean Isaacs’ San Diego Dance Theater

“It has been an enlightening experience to see the evolving artistry and accomplishments of Minerva Tapia, a teacher, dancer, and choreographer par excellence. Minerva’s commitment to promoting dance in our region has brought rewards to many dancers, choreographers, and audiences. She is truly a binational artist.” 

-George Willis. Professor Emeritus, School of Music and Dance, San Diego State University

“Ms. Tapia et al, I was in attendance in Los Angeles for your stunning show on November 28th. My daughter, [ ] and I loved the work and were very moved by the pieces, especially Undocumented Dance. Congratulations on your fine work and I hope to see more in the future.”

-Jamie Lee Curtis. American actress and author.