Shakia Barron


  • Assistant Professor of Dance
Shakia Barron

Shakia “The Key” Barron is a choreographer, performer, and dance educator whose work is rooted in the African Diaspora, focusing on Hip-Hop, House and other African diasporic dance forms. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Mount Holyoke College and Artistic Director of her own project-based dance company, Kia the Key & Company. She graduated with her MFA in Choreography at Wilson College, she holds an Associate’s degree in dance and psychology from Dean College, a Bachelor’s in liberal arts from Westfield State University, and she received the National Dance Institute’s teaching artist certificate in 2009. Her other dance training includes the Bates Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, and Pioneer Valley’s Performing Arts Charter School.

Barron 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, Bates Dance Festival and Jacob’s Pillow. She has performed for numerous Hip-Hop events and has opened for concerts by Fat Joe, Jadakiss, 112, Charlie Baltimore, and Kima from “Total” and Omarion. In 2005, she choreographed a Hip-Hop number for the Celtics/NBA half-time show. Barron has toured nationally and internationally, dancing with Face Da Phlave Entertainment, Illstyle and Peace Productions, and as a guest artist with Rennie Harris PureMovement. Her recent work titled “Concourse” was performed at Jacob’s Pillow in October 2021 and at Bates Dance Festival in July 2022.

As a dance educator, Barron spent many years teaching at the Bates Dance Festival and taught community classes at Jacob’s Pillow. Barron is a DEL(Dance Education Laboratory) faculty member who has facilitated multiple professional development workshops around the integration of Hip-Hip dance and history in the curriculum. Barron was the 2019 Arthur Levitt Jr. ’52 Artist-in-Residence at Williams College. She is also a recent recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award from Bates Dance Festival. Prior to joining Mount Holyoke College Dance Department as a full-time tenure track faculty, she served as an adjunct at UMASS Amherst, Smith, Amherst and Connecticut colleges.


  • M.F.A., Wilson College

Happening at Mount Holyoke

Recent Campus News

Caleaf Sellers sees dance as a form of cultural storytelling, and his work preserves the movements of dance as living, evolving expressions of history, culture and joy.

Shakia Barron brings Black dance techniques and style to Mount Holyoke’s dance department and puts them center stage.

An interdisciplinary project encompassing film and dance.

Recent Honors

Assistant Professors of Dance Barbie Diewald and Shakia Barron were artists in residence at the internationally-renowned Bates Dance Festival to develop their collaborative dance project, "Concourse." The work will premiere at Mount Holyoke College September 16 and 17, 2022.

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