• Contact Info

Wilkins, Helanius J. Assistant Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Mr. Wilkins’s research is rooted in the interconnections of American contemporary performance, cultural history, and identities of Black men. His projects examine the raced dancing body and the ways that ritual can access forms of knowledge. Intrigued by ideas about indeterminacy in creative process and performance, he approaches performance and pedagogy as means of re-framing perspectives, creative practices, and technical training. In his intermedia collaborations he works with artists from a wide range of disciplines, including film, video, and design. Currently, his research is unfolding as a trilogy of works that expands from investigation of self to investigations of place and cultural identity. This trilogy began in 2012 with “/CLOSE/R,” an evening-length solo, and includes “A Bon Coeur,” a new evening-length solo project. The final installment will be an ensemble work rooted in Wilkins’s Haitian connection. He is also developing FRAMEWORK, a technique practice.


courses taught

  • DNCE 1013 - Dance Improvisation
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    An opportunity for students to develop skills of dance improvisation through the exploration of structured movement problems. Students study selected contemporary dance artists whose work stresses improvisation in performance and/or as a training vehicle. Department consent required for dance minors.
  • DNCE 4037 - Contemporary Concert Dance: Shifting Perspectives in Performance
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019
    Focuses on the development of perceptual, descriptive, and analytical skills as well as the ability to apply cultural and critical theory to 20th and 21st century concert dance. Specific pieces of choreography are looked at from a broad range of perspectives. Recommended prerequisite or corequisite: a Human Diversity core requirement course.
  • DNCE 4038 - Dance Repertory
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Learning and performing dances from the repertory of current faculty members, artists-in-residence and upon occasion from the repertory of historic modern dancers. Dance majors may repeat up to 9 total credit hours with different instructors. Enrollment by audition only. Same as DNCE 5038.
  • DNCE 4061 - Major Technique
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Designed for dance majors. Enrollment by audition only. May be repeated up to 16 total credit hours.
  • DNCE 4919 - Dance Practicum
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019
    Project in dance under supervision of senior faculty. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours. Same as DNCE 5919.
  • DNCE 4939 - Dance Internship
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Fall 2018 / Spring 2019 / Fall 2019
    Provides an opportunity for upper-division dance majors to serve apprenticeships in the community in work areas related to their major interests and career goals. Internships are available in areas such as arts administration, dance therapy, and technical production. May be repeated up to 3 total credit hours. Instructor consent rquired.
  • DNCE 5001 - Graduate Technique
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    May be repeated up to 12 total credit hours.
  • DNCE 5919 - Dance Practicum
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019
    Project in dance under supervision of senior faculty. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours. Same as DNCE 4919.
  • DNCE 6073 - Choreography
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Covers in-depth practical and theoretical approaches to dance composition for graduate students; solo and group forms; and analysis of historical and contemporary dance works. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours with different instructors.
  • THTR 3149 - Professional Orientation: Exploring Professional Potentials for THTR & DNCE Majors
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Explores and identifies a wide range of professional opportunities connected to personal strengths and interests in theatre and dance by studying current professional practices, trends and cross-disciplinary connections. Instructor will: provide information/learning needed from representative professionals; open avenues to find/create employment opportunities towards internship consideration/post-graduation; and mentor structured self-assessment/professional development.


International Activities

global connections related to teaching and scholarly work (in recent years)