Safos Dance Theatre is a small non-profit dance company founded in Tucson in 2009.


Our name, Safos, is based on José Antonio Burciaga’s description of the term ‘Con Safos’ in the book Drink Cultura: Chicanismo

Why was Safos created?


Our company was created to serve and support Mexican American, Chicana and Latine/x artists in contemporary dance in Tucson and Arizona. We provide a space for artistic expression and artistic growth.


Safos was founded in 2009 by Yvonne Montoya (Nuevomexicana/Xicana) and Michele Orduña (Tohono O’Odham). This dynamic duo founded the company to provide a space for dance artists with the aim of moving towards racial, ethnic and geographic equality in dance.


As the only Xicana/Latina in the Tucson modern dance scene in the early aughts, Yvonne Montoya knew that there was a big problem with representation. The community of Tucson was not reflected in contemporary and concert dance stages. Being a first-generation college student, she was encouraged by her professors to raise her voice and use the platforms she was given to speak up and fight for what she believed. With the support of Michele Orduña, Safos was created.


Dance in the Community


Between 2009-2015, Safos self-produced multiple dance perforamnces in the Tucson community, provided artist in residencies in the City of South Tucson, served the City of South Tucson community for three years as artists in residencies at the House of Neighborly Service, and toured the Southwest and Texas.

Since 2015, Safos shifted focus to work on collaborative projects Dance in the Desert and Las Fronterizas. These projects allow Safos to have a larger reach and serve a more dancers. Both projects serve the communities of Tucson, Phoenix, Douglas, AZ and Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. In 2018, Safos became the umbrella organization for Stories from Home, new choreography by Yvonne Montoya.