Thomas F. DeFrantz

Director of SLIPPAGE

Thomas F DeFrantz in a black suite with blue shirt and dreads jumping.

Thomas F. DeFrantz directs SLIPPAGE: Performance | Culture | Technology — A research group that explores emerging technology in live performance applications.

DeFrantz received the 2017 Outstanding Research in Dance award from the Dance Studies Association.

DeFrantz believes in our shared capacity to do better, and to engage our creative spirit for a collective good that is anti-racist, anti-homophobic, proto-feminist, and queer affirming.

DeFrantz acted as a consultant for the Smithsonian Museum of African American Life and Culture, contributing concept and a voice-over for a permanent installation on Black Social Dance that opened with the museum in 2016.

Select Books by DeFrantz

Black Performance Theory (2014)

Co-edited with Anita Gonzalez

Choreography and Corporeality: Relay in Motion (2016)

Co-edited with Philipa Rothfield

The Routledge Companion to African American Theater and Performance (2018)

Co-edited with Kathy Perkins, Sandra Richards, and Renee Alexander Craft

An Afrofuturist Fantasy

TELEBREA – Futures of Black Dance

In a time not far from today… DeFrantz offers a unique perspective into the future of Black Dance with this short story. 


Select Creative Works

Queer Theory! An Academic Travesty

Commissioned by the Theater Offensive of Boston and the Flynn Center for the Arts


Created for the Detroit Institute for the Arts


Commissioned by the Nasher Museum in response to the work of Kara Walker, January, 2017

Academic Contributions

DeFrantz has taught courses, choreographed unique works for students, and been a faculty member with world-renowned universities. 

View Full CV

Recent Teachings

University of the Arts Mobile MFA in Dance; ImPulsTanz; SNDO; New Waves Institute


Hampshire College, Stanford, Yale, MIT, NYU, University of Nice

Collegium for African Diaspora Dance

In 2013, working with Takiyah Nur Amin, Thomas founded the Collegium, a growing consortium of 300 researchers.

"tell me a secret"

In 2015, DeFrantz created a tap work for students at Washington University in St. Louis.

"...but are we good now?"

In 2016, DeFrantz created a contemporary improvisational work for the students at Columbia College Chicago.

" could I have known?"

In 2017, DeFrantz created a tap work for students at Connecticut College.


In 2018, DeFrantz created a contemporary improvisational work for students at Duke Univeristy.

"this is what i want"​

In 2021, DeFrantz created a unique work for students at the University of Iowa.