About us

STEM Dance-ology is a collaboration between Shaila Kotadia and Amanda Whitehead. Shaila received her Ph.D. in Genetics and Development from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and conducted a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Santa Cruz where she began combining science and dance to teach students complex scientific concepts. Amanda Whitehead teaches creative movement in the Berkeley Unified School District and ballet at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center and Ah Lan Dance. She danced in The Washington Ballet Company, then began her study of modern dance while getting her bachelor’s degree at Princeton University. She currently performs with FACT/SF and ahdanco.
Shaila and Amanda joined forces - Shaila as the professional scientist and vocational dancer and Amanda as the professional dancer and vocational scientist. They are inspired by each other's strengths to collaboratively develop creative movement activities to engage the public and teach students about complex STEM concepts and to help researchers bond in a new way that leads to discovery.




Do you want new ways to communicate your science? We can work with you to generate a creative movement workshop activity for all ages.



We come onsite and take your group through a fun creative movement activity based on your favorite research project.

Educational partnerships

Educational partnerships

We partner with schools and universities to develop innovative outreach and broader impacts activities to teach students about STEM in new ways.

Events (click on post for older entries)

Cultivating Relationships with Fellow STEAMers

The Cultivating Ensembles in STEM Education and Research[...]

STEM Dance-ology’s Big Debut!

Having workshopped the Tumor Killing Bacteria (TKB)[...]

Motivating Scientist Volunteers to Dance

When planning the Tumor Killing Bacteria activity (first[...]


Shaila Kotadia


Professional scientist, vocational dancer.

Amanda Whitedhead


Professional dancer, vocational scientist.


How do you want to make science move?

Make your science move

Are you seeking a creative way to explain your STEM project to new audiences? Perhaps you want a new way to reach out to the public or educate students? Maybe you just like to move? Let us help you! Contact the STEM Dance-ology team about translating research into movement and meaning for new audiences. Let's explore how we can partner to convey STEM concepts and make your science move.

Quotes & Media

Amanda and Shaila provided our visitors with an educational and interactive dance about bee pollination. The workshop was fun for parents and their children, and got strangers interacting with one another. The content of the dance was interesting and engaging and they were great at adapting big concepts and the format of the dance to our very young audience. We would love to work with them again! - Sarah Hauser, STEM Superhero Festival, Bay Area Discovery Museum ¤ ¤ ¤ Shaila and Amanda took something as serious as tumor killing bacteria and made learning about it a lot of fun! This unique dance activity helped our guests imagine this cutting edge, life-saving research on a micro level. - Peter Arko, Micro NightLife, California Academy of Sciences ¢ ¢ ¢ It's great when scientists take their passions and interests and create something new that others can enjoy, engage in and learn from. The STEM Dance-ology creates a wonderful blend of movement and scientific content. And the conversations led by the facilitators creates a truly inclusive experience for all. - Raquell Holmes, CESTEMER, improvscience ¤ ¤ ¤ Gique had the pleasure of collaborating with Synberc to bring our Science Can DANCE! program to the Bay Area Science Festival during the Fall of 2015. We were able to make a tremendous impact on middle school girls by exposing them to STEAM concepts and careers through dance choreography and body movement! - Ashli Polanco, Science Can Dance, Gique ¢ ¢ ¢ I had a fantastic sixth grade chemistry teacher who not only encouraged my love of science, but also my passion for dance. One of her class assignments was to create a dance about the science content we were studying. This experience excited me and and opened a world of possibilities for my 12 year old self. STEM Dance-ology works on this same premise, giving students access to both scientific knowledge and expressive embodiment through dance. The program helps reinforce two areas often under-supported in our education system: making science learning accessible to all (regardless of gender, ethnicity, or background) and highlighting how dance is a form of active learning as well as artistic expression. - Katharine Hawthorne, Dancer & Choreographer, http://www.khawthorne.net/ ¤ ¤ ¤ Shaila and Amanda's work transforms deep science concepts into physical activities that are exceptional fun and educational. At first I thought their work would be best suited for kids and young adults. However, I was surprised by how engaging adults in the lab, including myself, were with the work. I really wish more people get a chance to participate in their work. It's an amazing gift. - Weidong Yang, Kinetech Arts ¢ ¢ ¢ Featured in Science Careers's article "Full STEAM Ahead" by Adam Ruben and in Diversity in Action's article "Making Science Move" by Megan Thornton. ¤ ¤ ¤