BROADWAY DANCER, choreographer, entrepreneur and new TWU Ph.D. dance grad Iquail Shaheed ’22 has studied at some of the most illustrious dance programs in the country including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Philadanco and the Juilliard School. 

Today he’s the founder and artistic director of DANCE IQUAIL!, which has earned prestigious grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and other funding agencies. He also starred in Broadway productions of The Lion King, Hot Feet and Super Fly

MENTORING IQUAIL over the past six years, as he has grown into a dance scholar, has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my job, Iquail’s dissertation has the potential to shift how the field thinks about Black men in American concert dance.

Rosemary Candelario, Director of TWU’s dance program

Shaheed’s path to a doctorate in dance was made possible by TWU’s lowresidency program, which enables mid-career students to pursue a Ph.D. without taking time off from work.

Celebrating its 65th year in 2022, the TWU Ph.D. dance program is the longest running of its kind and one of only five in the country. Its flexibility allowed Shaheed to maintain his active schedule as a professional performer and dance instructor in Maryland at Goucher College, a former women’s college. 

Shaheed’s Ph.D. is an asset in many ways. It denotes expertise in the scholarship of dance, and it sets the stage for becoming a sought-after author and thought leader. 

"A lot of the work we do is social-justice focused and brings attention to voices that often aren’t heard," he said. "The Ph.D. gives me the tools to bring those voices to light in my instruction and practice."