Dance Program News

RWU Graduate Jenny Rocha '96 in Residency This Week

RWU graduate Jenny Rocha '96 to teach, choreograph and perform on campus.

Roger Williams Dance Program
Jenny Rocha
Jenny Rocha (center)

Jenny Rocha is scheduled to teach technique and choreograph a new work with RWU dance majors from Jan 27 - Feb 2. Jenny Rocha's residency will culminate with a performance by Rocha Dance Theater on Feb. 8 for the RWU performing arts series Arts Alive! in the Performing Arts Center's William Grandgeorge Theatre at 7:30 pm. Visit for more information about her work in NYC and Internationally.

Jenny Rocha is a choreographer, dancer, costume designer and Artistic Director of Rocha Dance Theater, the Brooklyn-based dance company she founded in 2001. She is also the Director of The Painted Ladies, a cabaret group that was admitted into the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas.

A first generation Portuguese-American from New Bedford, Massachusetts, Rocha attended Roger Williams University for Dance and Performance, where she graduated with an Outstanding Achievement in Dance Award.

She then moved to New York City, where Jenny was a member of Sean Curran Company, Heidi Latsky Dance and other freelance choreographers for 12 years. Her choreography has been presented by esteemed venues such as The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Boston Center for the Arts, Danspace Project, La MaMa, Galapagos Art Space, and more.

Rocha has received awards and residencies including The Puffin Foundation grant, Galapagos Art Space Residency from 2008-2014, Armitage Gone! Dance/MANA Contemporary Space Residency and CUNY Dance Initiative in 2015. The US Embassy in Lisbon has awarded her two consecutive Innovation Grants to perform her work in Azores, Portugal, as well as host educational workshops in September 2018 and the upcoming residency in April 2020.

Rocha’s choreography has received critical acclaim in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Village Voice, among others. She has taught dance at universities and colleges nationwide, including Roger Williams University, Connecticut College, Rhode Island College, West Virginia University, and Lehman College. Rocha has been a teaching artist at the Brooklyn Academy of Music for eight years and serves on the guest faculty at Mark Morris Dance Center.

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