Joy Davis is a dance maker, performer, scholar, and teacher. Originally from Nashville, Joy has spent the last fifteen years between her beloved Tennessee, Chicago, Amsterdam, and New England creating, performing, and studying contemporary dance and improvisation.


Joy received an MFA in Choreography and Performance from the Smith College Department of Dance in Northampton, MA. She teaches Countertechnique at Smith College and guest teaches in the Five College Dance Department. As a Graduate Teaching Fellow, she was advised by Angie Hauser, Daphne Lowell, and Lenard Berkman. She is honored to have been Graduate Assistant for Composition with Angie Hauser and for Dance&Culture with Daphne Lowell; her studies include working with Chris Aiken, Rodger Blum, Jenn Nugent, and Candice Salyers. Joy holds a BA in Performing Arts through the College Scholars Program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She served as Artistic Director of Circle Modern Dance, founded by Mark Lamb, and was on dance faculty at the University of Tennessee Dance Department in Knoxville. 


Since 2005, Joy continues study in the Countertechnique with originator, Anouk van Dijk, Artistic Director of Chunky Move. In 2012, Joy was certified to teach Countertechnique and is one four American instructors teaching classes and workshops all over the United States. She has pleasure of teaching at Velocity Dance Center in Seattle, Moving Target in Boston, Conduit and Bodyvox in Portland, and New Dialect in Nashville, amongst others. Joy completed vinyasa yoga teacher training at yogaview in Chicago; after teaching in Chicago, Nashville, at Smith College and UMass Amherst, she currently offers yoga classes for individual practitioners. 


Joy has independently co-produced seven evening-length works in site-specific locations; she was a recipient of the Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF) Greenhouse Grant for Emerging Choreographers produced by Links Hall and received a choreographic residency at Sandra Hirth’s Workspace for Choreographers in Virginia. Her solo work has been presented by The San Diego Dance Theatre, the H-O-T series at Mascher Space in Philadelphia, Mountain Empire’s Salons in Northampton and Philadelphia, and Company Rose in Nashville. Joy has performed works by Chris Aiken (MA) , Shaina Cantino (MA), Delfos Danza (Mexico), Kathleen Hermesdorf (SF), Katie Martin (MA), Barbie Diewald (NYC/MA) and Erica Mott (CHI). She is profoundly influenced by collaborations with performance artist Meg Anderson (SF), composer/producer Jeremy Cox (SF), sound artist Jen Rock (TN), and dramaturg Robyn Coady (NYC/MA).  She recently joined Jennifer Nugent and Jen Polins in co-direction of the School for Contemporary Dance and Thought (SCDT) in Northampton, MA. Joy is honored to be teaching and performing at Velocity Dance Center's international Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation (SFDI), Banning Bouldin's New Dialect Summer Intensive in Nashville, and Charles Slender-White's Fact/ SF Dance Lab this summer. Joy will be teaching at Smith College and Wesleyan University beginning in the fall semester 2015.


For her Greenhouse project, Joy developed material for the creation of a work called, The Queen's and The Magician.  Through the fusion of sleight-of-hand card magic, capoeria, and dance theater, the piece explored a physical, musical and illusory dialogue between a reincarnating Queen and Magician. Davis worked with Jonathan Meyer as her mentor. Meyer is the Artistic Director of Khecari Dance Theatre. 


Magic Design and Performance by: Akal Singh

Musicians: Prologue, Queen of Diamonds, and Queen of Hearts composed by Aaron Johnson. Queen of Spades music by Jeremy Cox with Jamison Sevits. Queen of Clubs instrumental music by Jeremy Cox and Aaron Johnson.

Dancers: Meg Anderson, Joy Davis, Genevieve Garcia, Aileen May, Michelle Burger Modrzejewski

Dramaturg: Lorna Johnson

Costume Design and Construction by: Cassy Clark, Constance Lee, and Joy Davis


Joy received an MFA in Performance and Choreography from Smith College in May 2015. Her thesis performance and research is in Dance Dramaturgy. This research will be published in part by Sara Smith's Kinnebego this fall. Joy is teaching at SFDI and Fact/SF Dance Lab this summer, she co-directs the School for Contemporary Dance and Thought in Northampton, and will be at Smith College and Wesleyan University starting in the fall semester 2015.