Dr. Queen Meccasia Zabriskie is an assistant professor of sociology at New College of Florida. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University. Zabriskie began studying West African dance as a child with Mama Wilhelmina Taylor and at MindBuilders Creative Arts Center in the Bronx, New York. She studied West African and Afro-Caribbean dance at Duke University with Professor Ava L. Vinesett, where she performed with the Duke University African Repertory Ensemble and Artistic Visions of Ashé. Zabriskie has traveled to Guinea and Senegal, West Africa, for intensive dance study with Moustapha Bangoura, Idy Ciss, and Khady Badji Ndaiye. She has also studied West African and Contemporary African Dance with a number of artists and groups including Chuck Davis, Ronald K. Brown/ Evidence Dance, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar/Urban Bush Women, Sheelah Muhammad, Imania Detry, and Tosha Alston. Zabriskie is co-author of Black Theater is Black Life: An Oral History of Chicago Theater and Dance, 1970-2010, which traces the development of black theater and dance communities in Chicago. She is currently working on a book manuscript about West African dance in Chicago titled Embodying Traditions: Black Performance and the Long Struggle for Cultural Equity in Urban America. A scholar, choreographer, dancer, performer, and organizer, Zabriskie has presented her artistry and scholarship in numerous cities around the U.S. and internationally. Zabriskie continues to further her knowledge of West African and African Diaspora dance as well as the role of the arts in community building and empowerment.