• 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 two distinctive inter- and multidisciplinary projects: The Conversation Series and Ritual Gumbo: A Passage. He is also continuing in development of FRAMEWORK, a practice for both contemporary dance technique and choreographic process and presentation.


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 / Spring 2021
    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 / Fall 2020
    Designed for dance majors. Enrollment by audition only. May be repeated up to 16 total credit hours.
  • DNCE 4939 - Dance Internship
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2021
    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 / Fall 2020
    May be repeated up to 12 total credit hours.
  • DNCE 5909 - Special Topics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020
    Explores topics and research in relation to areas such as technology, environment, teaching methods, performance, world dance, arts in society, and/or criticism that the normal sequence of offerings may not allow. May be repeated up to 7 total credit hours.Same as DNCE 2909 and DNCE 4909.
  • DNCE 6073 - Choreography
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Spring 2021
    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.
  • DNCE 6969 - The Graduate Project
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020 / Spring 2021
    Provides the opportunity for synthesizing the graduate experience through the execution of a project related to the student's major area of interest. Project must be approved by the graduate faculty advisor.
  • THTR 3149 - Professional Orientation: Exploring Professional Potentials for THTR & DNCE Major
    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)