Minerva Tapia



Minerva Tapia is a Mexican-American choreographer, 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 in Mexico, New York, Los Angeles, 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 and linkages. Her work has been performed in Argentina, Spain, Panama, Mexico, and the United States. Among 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.





“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

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
Professor of Dance. Artistic Director. The University of California Dance Department, 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