Kelsa Robinson - Columbia College Chicago

Kelsa Robinson

Assistant Professor of Instruction

krobinson@colum.edu

Biography

Kelsa “K-Soul” Robinson, Co-Founder/Co-Artistic Director of BraveSoul Movement, and member of the internationally known street-dance crew, Venus Fly, is a dance artist, choreographer, educator and community development specialist with strong grounding in the underground house, Hip-Hop and street-dance communities. Kelsa has performed and shown work at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, IL), B.Supreme (London, UK), B-girl Be (Minneapolis, MN) J.U.I.C.E. Hip-Hop Dance Festival (Hollywood, CA), DanceGATHERING (Lagos, Nigeria), and Pritzker Pavilion (Chicago, IL). Kelsa has dedicated much of her career to working at the intersection of activism, community building and the arts. In recent years this has centered around building diversity, equity and inclusion through developing culturally sustainable pedagogy, and reciprocal relationships between Hip-Hop and the academy. Kelsa is currently Assistant Professor of Instruction at The Dance Center of Columbia where she where she was instrumental in co-developing the innovative new minor degree program in Hip-Hop Studies at Columbia College Chicago (launched 2017), of which she is currently the coordinator. Kelsa is also Lead Curator of The B-SERIES, a biannual festival and co-curricular program celebrating Hip-Hop & street dance culture at the College since 2013. From 2005-2011, Kelsa developed and managed Culture Builds Community, an initiative that won Cityfolk the Governor's Award for the Arts in Ohio (2009) in Community Development & Participation. As a consultant for the Center for Arts Policy at Columbia College Chicago, Kelsa developed and managed the evaluation project for LISC/Chicago’s 3-year/3-community pilot program, Building Community Through the Arts (BCA). Kelsa also draws on best practices in community development and organizing through her teaching and dancemaking. Most recently Kelsa became a co-founder and co-artistic director of BraveSoul Movement along with partner, Daniel “BRAVEMONK” Haywood. Her work with the company has been featured at Links Hall, the Summer Dance-Off festival at Pritzker Pavilion (Chicago 2017), the 2017 and 2018 Elevate Chicago Dance festival, and the 2018 and 2019 Pivot Arts Festival. K-Soul 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.

Instructional Areas

Dance technique in Hip-Hop and related Afro-diasporic dance forms (house, popping, locking, breaking), the histories, and sociocultural context of these forms, dance studies, hip-hop studies, dance pedagogy, culturally sustaining pedagogy, community cultural development, social practice dance, dance improvisation and composition

Creative Practice and Research Interests

Afro-diasporic dance and movement practices, chicago house dance history, vernacular dance, Hip-Hop studies, cultural resistance and hegemony, community cultural development and social practice dance, critical race theory, improvisation and performance as liberation, compositional improvisation, cross-cultural, collaborative and dialogical art-making practice, participatory action research, and arts and creative practice as spiritual development

Degrees

B.A., Sociology University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 1999
M.U.P.P - Master of Urban Planning and Policy, Urban Planning and Policy University of Illinois at Chicago 2003