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. She earned her BA from Westfield State University and a teaching artist certificate from the National Dance Institute in New York in 2009. Johnson 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 Jacob’s Pillow and Bates Dance Festival. She was selected for BDF’s Emerging Choreographer program in 2006 and currently teaches the Young Dancers Workshop and Professional Training Program during the summer. She currently teaches Hip Hop Dance and Culture at Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School and serves on the dance faculty at Smith, Mount Holyoke and Amherst Colleges.