Mara Mandradjieff


Office: 115 Rich Building



Mara Mandradjieff began her ballet training with Pittsburgh Youth Ballet, where she performed principal roles in George Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes, Serenade, Valse Fantaisie, and Garland Waltz. Her summers were spent training at various programs such as the Chautauqua Institute, Miami City Ballet, and four summers at The School of American Ballet. Mara went on to dance professionally with Bodiography Contemporary Ballet, Columbus Dance Theatre, Texture Contemporary Ballet, The Georgia Ballet, where she performed principal roles in The Nutcracker and George Balanchine's Who Cares, Dance Canvas, and City Gate Dance Theater Company.

Turning towards academics, Mara received her bachelors summa cum laude at the University of Pittsburgh in English Literature with a minor in Dance and a certificate in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. She later finished her Masters in Education at the University of Pittsburgh with a certification to teach Secondary English Education. Once graduated, Mara remained at the University of Pittsburgh as a choreographer and part-time faculty member, in addition to her involvement with Point Park University.

Mara is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Dance at Texas Woman’s University, where her research focuses on posthumanism, gender studies, and ballet. She has called Emory University home since 2012, while working part-time at Kennesaw State University as well. Through these universities, Mara has choreographed contemporary ballets and performance art pieces. She has presented research internationally in Portugal, England, and Switzerland, has published in Text & Performance Quarterly, and has articles forthcoming in Dance Chronicle and a collaborative piece in Journal of Dance Medicine & Science.

While teaching and researching, Mara also runs her nonprofit Lume Foundation: an organization that uses dance to engage and inspire individuals at healthcare facilities. Over the years, Lume has performed for children’s hospitals and senior centers; it strives to promote the joyfulness of dance. For more information please see

Mara Mandradjieff

Mara Mandradjieff