KJ would rather engage in a conversation that asks about you, gets a little context about you, what inspires you, your research, your hobbies, maybe your pet’s names and then this biography could unfold responsively in real time. KJ emphasizes reciprocity in her teaching and her work, so it makes sense that she would desire it with you, too over a two-dimensional list of achievements that tells you nothing about KJ: the person, teacher, performer, and maker. Whoever you are, you are welcome here. And in return, KJ asks that you welcome her here too. All of her. Even the bits that she is still unpacking and dismantling.
Before we begin.
Let’s take three collective breaths together.
Breathe into a point of connection and exhale
See if you can let gravity have a little bit more of you today
KJ Dye (she/they) mononymously known as KJ, is a queer educator, somatic practitioner, performer, collaborator, maker, community facilitator, activist, and truth seeker that lives by one life rule, momentum. KJ was born and raised in the Appalachia Mountains of Maryland on Massawomeck Territory, but calls the traditional land of the Duwamish People, Seattle, WA, her home. KJ’s earliest memories are filled with muddy toes, bike rides light by the glow of fireflies and the sound of crickets. Her grandfather’s stories and the cold touch of an ice tea in her hand on a humid summer night join her frequently. KJ continues to listen closely for the hidden and untold stories of this life, as it serves to remind her that without society’s taming and conditioning, she was born wild, with an innate desire for connection and belonging.
KJ earned an MFA in Dance and an Interdisciplinary Specialization in Teaching and Learning with an emphasis in Diversity, Social Justice, and Community-Engagement from The Ohio State University as a University Fellow and Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA). In Spring of 2021, she was honored with Ohio State’s prestigious Graduate Associate Teaching Award (GATA), being one of ten recipients of 2,000 applicants. KJ served as the MFA Graduate Student Representative for the Undergraduate School Committee and the curator, administrative lead, and facilitator of OSU’s premier Community Conversations series. KJ graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Dance from Slippery Rock University. She holds a certificate in Diversity, Intercultural, and Community Engagement from OSU and is working to obtain an Embodied Social Justice Certificate under the advisement of Rae Johnson, Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams, and Dr. Sara King, among others.
KJ has performed with Seattle based companies: Michele Miller and Catapult Dance, Marlo Martin’s BadmamarDANCE, and The Three Yells. She has performed through Velocity, Evoke Productions, Seattle International Dance Festival, On the Boards, Northwest New, Works, Northwest Film Forum, and The BOOST Dance Festival as a freelance performer with Maya Soto and Nico Tower, Paige Barnes, Ellie Sandstrom, and Anna Conner. As a student she performed the works of Doug Varone, Robert Battle, Eddie Taketa, Daniel Roberts, Jennifer Keller, Teena Custer, and Ursula Payne.
KJ’s work has been presented in San Francisco (CA), La Rouche College (PA), The BOOST Dance Festival (SEA), Bainbridge Performing Arts Center (SEA), The Ohio State University, and the National American College Dance Festival at the JFK Center for Performing Arts (D.C). Prior to COVID, KJ’s work was to tour domestically through schools in the Columbus area during OSU Dance’s School Tour Program.
KJ has taught Beginning to Professional Contemporary Practice in the Seattle dance community to youth and adults at Velocity Dance Center, Bainbridge Dancer Center, SH/FT and Halfmoon Healing ART, Cornish College of the Arts, and eXit SPACE School of Dance.
KJ’s embodied and text-based research pairs anti-oppressive learning theory with somatics to develop communal practices of art-making that interrogates the body’s process of socialization and embodied impacts of power, privilege, and oppression at the level of the nervous system through sensations, emotions, and nonverbal communication. Her work troubles present-day patterns of disembodiment. She is interested in cultivating practices and spaces for healing that counter the status-quo and regenerates safety and belonging within the body, specifically within the LGBTQIA+ communities. She is currently working on an auto-biographical solo titled, Not my Mother’s Soil that intersects somatic storytelling, Ahmed’s Queer Phenomenology, and Staci K Haines Politics of Trauma to research the rendering of the queer body through its social, familial, and cultural conditioning using Rae Johnson’s Embodied Social Justice approach. Not my Mother’s Soil is the sensorial reorganizing, remembering, and reckoning with all the lives I have lived.