Valerie Ifill

Valerie Ifill

Title: Assistant Professor of Dance
Dept/Program: 398C Guzzetta Hall
Phone: 330-972-6713
Fax: 330-972-7892


Valerie Ifill is a dance educator, researcher and performer focused on the intersections of dance and the community and making dance more accessible. She is invested in this work through directing several of the university-community initiatives as using the Africanist perspective to support university dance curriculum. Her written research is centered on university-community partnerships; race and power in education; and making dance and movement accessible to everyone. Valerie’s research and/or workshops have been presented at the South Carolina Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance conference, the American College Dance Association festivals, International Conference on Urban Education, National Arts Education Association conferences, Blumenthal Performing Arts Educational Lunch & Learn series, the Journal of Dance Education, and National Dance Education Organization conferences. Invested in making dance more accessible to communities of color, Valerie has founded and directed university-community dance programs at Drexel University through Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships in Philadelphia, PA, and at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC. Certified to teach Inside-Out Prison Exchange courses, Valerie also teaches classes for groups of university students and incarcerated citizens. Black Girls STEAMing through Dance is a collaborative project is a making Dance, Code, and Making with electronic textiles accessible to 7-12 year old African American girls. This research has been presented nationally and internationally, as well as being mentioned in TED-X Philadelphia (2019) as innovative work making STEAM accessible to people of color. Valerie physicalizes her research through her choreography; leading process-based self-reflective movement workshops on identity; performing with M.B. Dance choreographed by Maria Baumann (NYC); bringing interactive dance experiences into urban elementary and middle schools; and creating interdisciplinary site-specific performances for non-traditional dance audiences. Valerie earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the University of Oregon, completed the Independent Study Program at The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a Dance minor from Kent State University.


Co-Founder and collaborator of Black Girls STEAMing Through Dance since 2017;

Artistic Director, IfillDance Co.|Lab since 2009; Co-Founder of TRANSForm Dance Collective since 2010;

Performer, MB Dance 2017, 2018.


  • B.B.A. in Business Management (Human Resources sub major and Dance minor). Kent State University (2003)
  • Independent Study Program; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (2005)
  • M.F.A. in Dance; University of Oregon (2009)



Dance Pedagogy

Hip Hop Dance


Jazz Dance Learning

Theory Modern

Dance Touring


West African Dance