Shakia Barron

Assistant Professor of Dance

Shakia Barron is a choreographer, performer and dance educator whose work is rooted in the African Diaspora, focusing on hip-hop, modern and traditional African dance forms. She is an MFA candidate in choreography at Wilson College. 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 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 halftime show. Barron has toured nationally and internationally, dancing with Face Da Phlave Entertainment and Illstyle & Peace Productions. Recently, she made a guest appearance with Rennie Harris PureMovement.

As a dance educator, Barron spent four years teaching at the Bates Dance Festival and more recently teaching community classes at Jacob’s Pillow. Her recent work, titled “Our House,” was selected to be performed for Community Day at Jacob’s Pillow. Prior to joining the Five Colleges program as a full-time faculty member, she served as an adjunct at Mount Holyoke, Smith and Connecticut colleges. Barron was also the 2019 Arthur Levitt Jr. ’52 Artist-in-Residence at Williams College.

Recent Campus News

This is a photograph of dancers performing an African diasporic dance.

Barron brings African diasporic dance home

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


This is a Zoom meeting of dance students smiling and talking.

Going the distance for dance

Faced with adapting a dance classroom to online learning, Shakia Johnson created Black Beauty Dance, a remote program for all.

Five dancers on a stage in red tops holding roses in each hand and in their mouths.

From practice to performance in 23 hours

When Mount Holyoke announced the move to distance learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, senior class dancers decided the show must go on.

Mount Holyoke College's Field Gates. Photo by Michael Malyszko

Meet Mount Holyoke’s newest faculty 2019

Mount Holyoke’s newest faculty bring innovative, interdisciplinary scholarship to the College’s thriving intellectual community.

Recent Grants

Fellowship from the New England Foundation for the Arts for their New Work New England project: Concourse. The fellowship is for one year.

Recent Honors

Were artists-in-residence at the renowned Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. At the culmination of their residency, they shared an excerpt of their shared research, "Concourse" at the annual Jacob's Pillow College Partners Convening. Their next choreographic residency will be at High Street Studios in Ipswich, MA in December 2021.