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Columbia College Chicago
Kelsa Robinson

Kelsa Robinson

Kelsa Robinson

Visiting Lecturer

Email: krobinson@colum.edu
Phone: (312) 369-8333

Kelsa Robinson is a freestyle dancer who honed her skills within Chicago’s house music scene and the underground street-dance community. Her original style blends intricate footwork and the hard, raw aesthetics of Chicago jackin’ with the sensual and undulating qualities of Latin and Afrodiasporan dance forms. In 2006, Kelsa became a member of Venus Fly Trap (VFT), the first female all-styles crew in the U.S.A. Though, VFT’s six members stretch from Pennsylvania to California, they unite frequently to train, battle, perform, and educate others about original street dance forms, including: popping, locking, breaking, and house.

Kelsa has been teaching house, street dance styles, hip hop and Brazilian samba classes since 2003. She imparts on her students a rich sense of the historical and cultural contexts of these dance styles, while guiding them to find their individual voices within the movement.

Kelsa is also on faculty at Christine Belpedio School of Dance, and serves as a teaching artist for Changing Worlds. Kelsa served as adjunct faculty member in the Antioch College Dance Department in Yellow Springs, OH from 2005-2008; and was on faculty at Dayton Dance Conservatory (formerly Jeanette Popp School of Dance) in Huber Heights, OH for six years.

Over the last five years, Kelsa has performed and taught master classes at events and venues including: Estudio de Danzas y Arte Reina Reech (Buenos Aires, Argentina), B.Supreme/Queen Elizabeth Hall (London, England), Columbus Salsa Festival (Columbus, OH), B-girl Be/Intermedia Arts (Minneapolis, MN), Slippery Rock University (Slippery Rock, PA), Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (Dayton, OH), Stivers School for the Arts (Dayton, OH), Community School of the Arts (Marion, IN), Bashville Stampede/Rocketown (Nashville, TN), and J.U.I.C.E. Hip Hop Dance Festival/Ford Amphitheatre (Hollywood, CA). In 2005, Kelsa opened for Renowned rapper, Common, with L.I.F.E. dance company, and in 2006 she won First Place in the Upstyles Battle at City vs. City/International Breakdance Event in Chicago, IL.

Kelsa is also a community cultural development specialist; over the last ten years she has been dedicated to developing, managing, and assessing programs that utilize the arts and culture to build healthy, vibrant communities. Through this work she has exposed tens of thousands to the authentic histories, aesthetics, and meanings of urban vernacular dance styles and other misunderstood or misrepresented art forms and the communities and cultures from which they derive. Kelsa holds a bachelor degree in sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master of urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.