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Dr. grace shinhae jun

Continuing Lecturer in Dance


Dr. grace shinhae jun is a mother, wife, artist, scholar, organizer, and mover who creates and educates on the traditional and unceded territory of the Kumeyaay Nation. A child of a South Korean immigrant, a North Korean refugee, and Hip Hop culture, she values a movement practice that is infused with historical and contextual education to enrich the corporeal experience in her classes. Her work as an educator and artist is influenced by choreographers Rennie Harris, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence and Doug Elkins, and critical scholars Dr. Nadine George-Graves, Dr. Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Dr. Imani Kai Johnson, Dr. George Lipsitz, and her husband Dr. Jesse Mills. 


grace also directs bkSOUL, an award-winning performance company that merges together movement, poetry, and live music. As a collective, they create and conspire as educators, artists, storytellers, and organizers who directly challenge the systems of violence and oppression steeped in anti-Blackness and anti-Indigeneity. She has presented her work in Trolley Dances, WOW Festival, Live Arts Festival, Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Dumbo Arts Festival, San Diego International Fringe Festival, and at Link’s Hall. grace has also choreographed for numerous staged plays, most notably for Will Power's "The Seven" at Occidental College. She is a founding core member of Asian Solidarity Collective, a grassroots organization committed to expanding Asian American social justice consciousness, condemning anti-Blackness, and building solidarity for collective liberation and co-conspires with the artists and healers of Street Dance Activism.

grace received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and her PhD in Drama and Theatre through the joint doctoral program at UCSD/UCI. Her scholarship includes publications in the Oxford Handbook of Hip Hop Dance Studies, the International Association for the Study of Popular Music Journal, and she is the co-editor for Dance Studies Association’s 2022 ​​Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies “Cyber-Rock: A Virtual Hip Hop Listening Cypher.” She teaches at San Diego City College where she also serves on the Sankofa Social Justice & Education Conference committee and is an educator with transcenDANCE Youth Arts. grace has been teaching at UCSD for over twenty years and is the recipient of the 2022/2023 Barbara and Paul Saltman Distinguished Teaching Award.


Recent Publications:

"Asian American Liminality: Racial Triangulation in Hip Hop Dance" in The Oxford Handbook of Hip Hop Dance Studies


"Illegible Representations, Collaborative Protests" co-authored with Anthony Blacksher in the International Association for the Study of Popular Music Journal Vol. 13 No. 2 (2023): Dance & Protest


The Cyber-Rock Mixtape: A virtual hip hop dance listening cypher. Co-edited with MiRi Park for Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies. Volume 41 (2022).


“Asian American Activation Through Hip Hop Dance” co-authored with MiRi Park. Dancing in the Aftermath of Anti-Asian Violence. Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies. Volume 42 (2023).


Ph.D. Theatre & Drama, UC San Diego, UC Irvine
MFA Dance, Sarah Lawrence
B.A. History/Choreography & Dance, UC San Diego


Research Areas

Hip Hop, Dance, Performance, Asian American Studies


Wagner Dance Building