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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 and focuses on community, compassion, and empowerment to encourage rhythm and expression. 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 is also a choreographer who directs bkSOUL, an award-winning performance company that merges together movement, poetry, and live music. Her work centers issues of social justice and communities of color through a Hip Hop framework. She collaborates with some of San Diego's dopest poets Ant Black, Kendrick Dial, Miesha Rice-Wilson, and Rudy Francisco and has worked with choreographers Rebecca Bryant, Monica Bill Barnes, Tammy L. Wong, Wendy Rogers, Victoria Marks, Gabe Masson, Allyson Green, Lionel Popkin, and Jean Isaacs. She has presented her work in Trolley Dances, Live Arts Festival, Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Dumbo Arts Festival, San Diego International Fringe Festival, and at Link’s Hall. grace has 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. Most recently grace has been working with artists and healers to launch the Street Dance Activism Global Dance Meditation for Black Liberation Street Dance Activism 28-day mediation series. grace graduated with honors from UCSD with a BA in History and a BA in Choreography & Dance and received an MFA in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College. With her dissertation "Moving Hip Hop: Corporeal Performance and the Struggle Over Black Masculinity", grace received her PhD in Drama and Theatre through the joint doctoral program at UCSD/UCI. She continues to research and present her scholarly work on Hip Hop Dance and Culture and teaches at UCSD, San Diego City College, SDSU, and with transcenDANCE Youth Arts Project. 


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