Shakia 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 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 degree 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 and Illstyle and Peace Productions. And recently, she made a guest appearance with Rennie Harris PureMovement. In 2022, Barron began her own project-based dance company, Kia the Key & Company.
As a dance educator, Barron spent four years teaching at the Bates Dance Festival and taught community classes at Jacob’s Pillow. Barron is a DEL faculty member who has facilitated multiple professional Development workshops around the integration of Hip-Hip dance and history in the curriculum. Her work titled “Our House'' was selected to be performed for Community Day at Jacob’s Pillow in 2019. Prior to joining the Five Colleges program as a full-time faculty joint lecturer, 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 and recently recognized for her Excellence in Teaching with an award from Bates Dance Festival. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Mount Holyoke College.