Shakia Johnson, born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, is a graduate of Pioneer Valley’s Performing Arts Charter High School in South Hadley, MA and Dean College in Franklin, MA. Johnson received her teaching artist certificate from the National Dance Institute in New York City in 2009. She has choreographed and directed more than 50 hip-hop, modern, African, and lyrical works that have been performed at Trenton Educational Dance Institute, Rider University, the Princeton School of Ballet, and the Bates Dance Festival. She has performed for numerous hip -hop events and has opened for concerts by Fat Joe, Jadakiss, 112, Charlie Baltimore, Kima from “Total” and Omarion. In 2005, she choreographed a hip-hop number for the Celtics/NBA half-time show. She has toured the U.S. and abroad dancing with Face Da Phlave Entertainment and Illstyle and Peace Productions. Johnson is an alumnus of The School at Jacob’s Pillow and Bates Dance Festival’s Young Dancers Workshop and was selected for BDF’s Emerging Choreographer program in 2006. Johnson has been teaching at the Bates Dance Festival for 4 years and spent her last summer teaching the Bates Professional Training Program and created her repertory work called, Circle of Love. Johnson currently teaches hip hop culture and dance technique at Mount Holyoke College, Smith College and Williams College.