Keval K. Khalsa

Associate Professor of the Practice

1215 Carroll St., Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
(919) 660-3354, (919) 225-3192
(919) 668-7858

My spiritual path is that of a Sikh, which translates as “student”. As a life-long learner, my research focus is embodied, experiential education, particularly that which promotes social change. I am interested in ways that dance, theater and yoga can be used as tools for personal and social transformation, particularly with communities often identified as “at risk”. Current research projects include:
• a BASS Connections-supported study of the effects of a regular yoga practice on middle school students in Orange County, NC,
• the use of interactive theater to address issues of domestic violence, sexual assault, and sexual health.

Education & Training

Formal Education

  • Certified Professional Teacher Trainer  in the Kundalini Research Institute Aquarian Academy (2011).
  • Level II Kundalini Yoga Teacher Certification (2010).
  • Y.O.G.A. for Youth Teacher Certification (2007).
  • Level I Kundalini Yoga Teacher Certification (2003).  
  • M.A. in Dance (1981), The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.  Graduate Teaching Assistant and  Assistant to the Director, University Dance Company.
  • B.Ph. with Specialization in Dance (1979), Grand Valley University, Allendale, Michigan

Additional Training

  • Modern Dance Technique:  Clay Taliaferro, Ruth Currier, Betty Jones, Gerri Houlihan, Jeff Slayton, Carla Maxwell, Risa Steinberg, Lucas Hoving, Walter Nicks, Barbara Dickinson, Jean Cebron, Donald McKayle, Gus Solomons, Jr.
  • Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan:  Yogi Bhajan, Krishna Kaur Khalsa, Har Darshan Kaur Khalsa, Pritpal Kaur Khalsa, Gurmukh
  • Jazz Dance Technique:  Walter Nicks, Billy Siegenfeld, Danny Buraczeski, Fred Benjamin, Cornelius Carter, The Lynn Simonson Studio
  • Ballet Technique:  Cindy Green
  • African Dance Styles:  Chuck Davis, Sherone Price
  • Composition:  Donald McKayle
  • Conditioning:  Eric Franklin
  • Acting and Voice:  Jeff Storer, Rafael Barrantes-Lopez, Helen Hemphill
  • Oral History Techniques:  Jeff Friedman, San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum
  • Sikh Mysticism:  Prof. Arvind Mandair, Univ. of Michigan.

Academic & Professional Positions

Professional Dance Performance Experience

  • 1992-2010 2 NEAR THE EDGE.  Duet dance company.  Co-Founder & Co-Artistic Director, Choreographer, Dancer, Manager.  Season concerts at Duke University's Reynolds Theatre, Manbites Dog Theater, and the Durham Arts Council.  Residencies and performances throughout North Carolina, in New York, Chicago, California, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia.  As members of the Raleigh/Wake County Artists in the Schools Roster for 15 years, performances and master classes in schools throughout Wake County and other counties in the state.  1994-96 North Carolina Touring Artists Roster members.  Recipients of grants from the North Carolina Arts Council, Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, Durham Arts Council, Duke University Institute of the Arts, and Alternate Roots.
  • 2004 Guest dancer in Jose Limon's Choreographic Offering, Duke Dance Program's Choreolab, Reynolds Theatre, Duke University.  This masterwork was restaged by Prof. Clay Taliaferro.
  • 2004 Improvisational performance with dancers Glenna Batson, Rebecca Hutchins, and Keval Kaur Khalsa and musicians John Hanks, Jr. and Ken Ray Wilemon.  Music'n Motion Performance Series, Wellness Partners in the Arts Studio, Durham, NC.
  • 1981-2003 Dances by Clay Taliaferro.  Featured soloist.  Performances in New York City, Duke University, American Dance Festival, Rhode Island College, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Case Western Reserve University and Swarthmore College.
  • 1992-93 Dancer with Ways & Means Dance Company, Barbara Dickinson, Artistic Director.
  • 1990 Feature film Billy Bathgate, based on the novel by E.L. Doctorow.  Dancer in night club scenes.
  • 1986-88  Carol Childs & Dancers.  Artistic Director, choreographer, dancer.  The Company was produced by the José Limón Dance Foundation, New York CityDanse Mirage Theater, New York City, Nassau Community College, and appeared in various choreographic showcases in New York City.
  • 1984-85 Linda Kohl & Dancers.  Performances in New York City and London.
  • 1985  Eric Franklin.  Performances in Switzerland.
  • 1984 José Limón Dance Company.  Apprentice Company member.  Performances with the Company at Saratoga Springs, New York.
  • 1983-84 Migrant Works:  Solo and Duet Repertory by Carol Childs and Charles Abraham. Co-Artistic Director, dancer.  Performance and teaching residencies at Grand Valley State College, Wayne State University, and James Madison University.  Produced by the Westchester Council for the Arts, New York, and The Living Room, New York City.
  • 1982-88  Dancer with various independent choreographers in New York City.

Teaching Experience

  • 1989-present Duke University Dance Program, Durham, NC.  Director and Associate Professor of the Practice of Dance.  Assistant Professor of the Practice of Dance, appointed August 1993.  Artist in Residence, 1989-1993. Teaching all levels of Modern and Jazz techniques, Repertory, Composition, Kundalini Yoga & Sikh Dharma, The Arts of Transformation (Freshman Focus Program), Performance & Social Change.  Major advisor and faculty advisor to the student dance club Momentum.
  • 2011-present Professional Teacher Trainer in the Kundalini Research Institute Aquarian Academy.  Part of training teams for 200-hour Level I Teacher Trainings in Accra, Ghana, and the following in the US:  Asheville, NC, Nashville, TN, San Diego, CA, Los Angeles, CA.
  • 2010-present Assistant Trainer for Y.O.G.A. for Youth 40-hour Teacher Training  programs in Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY and Durham, NC, USA.
  • 2008-11 Associate Teacher  Trainer in the Kundalini Research Institute Aquarian Academy.  Administrator of the first Level I Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training course conducted in North Carolina, Associate for Level I Training courses in Detroit, MI and Asheville, NC, USA.
  • 2007-present Lead Teacher for Y.O.G.A. for Youth – NC, a non-profit organization that brings the tools of yoga and meditation to underserved youth.  Class series and workshops with the Durham Crisis Response Center, Orange County Middle Schools, John Avery Boys & Girls Club, SEEDS, Carter Community School, Rogers-Herr Middle School, Durham School of the Arts, NC, USA.
  • 2003-present Freelance Kundalini Yoga & Meditation Teacher.  Class series and workshops at:  Hearts Journey Wellness Center, Allendale, MI; The Community & Family Life Center at Lyon Park, Durham, NC; Trinity Wellness Center, Graham, NC; Wellness Partners in the Arts, Durham, NC; Station 9, Durham, NC; Yoga Practice Center, Durham, NC, USA.
  • 1992-2010 Dance and movement master classes and workshops during residencies of 2 NEAR THE EDGE at elementary-high schools, colleges, universities and community centers in the USA.  Longer-term residencies have included Durham Public Schools Community-in-Schools; The Wright School for Emotionally Disturbed Children; the West End Community Center in Durham, NC; Housing Projects in Fayetteville, NC; public elementary schools in Tarboro, NC and Chapel Hill High School, Chapel Hill, NC.
  • 1995 Workshop in Dance and Theatre, Power in Motion:  Communicating Through Image, Performance & Gesture at Duke University, Durham, NC.  Team-taught with Gary Wood of Peace Troupe.
  • 1983-2008 Guest Artist, James Madison University Department of Theater & Dance, Harrisonburg, Virginia.  Teaching Limón technique, jazz, improvisation, and repertory.
  • 1990 Faculty Assistant to Clay Taliaferro, American Dance Festival, Durham, NC.
  • 1985-89 Substitute teacher, Ruth Currier Dance Studio, New York City.
  • 1985-86 Adjunct Faculty, Department of Theater & Dance, Nassau Community College, Garden City, NY.  Teaching all levels of modern technique.
  •   Master classes in Humphrey/Limón technique, yoga, jazz technique, improvisation, repertory and composition at various colleges, universities, private studios and dance festivals throughout the country.

Administrative Experience

  • 2007-present Director of the Duke University Dance Program.  Acting Co-Director and Acting Director, 2005-06, 1994-95.   
  • 2007-present Y.O.G.A. for Youth – NC.  Founder and Regional Coordinator of the North Carolina satellite program.  Overseeing all aspects of programming, development, marketing and teacher training for North Carolina.  Administrator for Y.O.G.A. for Youth Teacher Training courses in NC in 2007 and 2011.
  • 2007-present Coordinator, Y.O.G.A. for Youth outreach at Summer Solstice Sadhana international events, Espanola, NM.
  • 2007-present Co-creator, Across The Threshold: Creativity, Being & Healing initiative at Duke University.  General Coordinator for day-long Symposiums (February, 2008, March 2010),  national/international Conferences (March, 2009, Feb/March 2013) at Duke University in Durham, NC, USA.  Consultant for Conference in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil (October, 2011).
  • 2008-2010 Administrator, Kundalini Yoga Level I Teacher Training courses in Chapel Hill, NC and Detroit, MI, USA.
  • 1992-2010 Company Manager, 2 Near The Edge Dance Company.  Overseeing programming, marketing, production.

Areas of Specialization

  • Modern Dance Technique
  • Performance & Social Change
  • Kundalini Yoga
  • Dance Composition
  • Modern Dance Repertory



  • 2013 Presenter and workshop leader, Across The Threshold: Creativity, Being & Healing Conference, Duke University, Durham, NC.
  • 2013, 11 10, 09, Guest teacher, American College Dance Festival Association Regional Festivals in
  • 2008, 06, 03, 97, FL, NC, VA, WV, and MD.  Intermediate-Advanced Modern Dance Technique,  
  • 1995, 92, 90 Kundalini Yoga & Meditation.
  • 2012 Invited Presenter, International Congress of Social Pedagogy, University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil.  Paper:  Embodied Awareness and Action -- Kundalini Yoga & Meditation as a Foundation for Social Education.
  • 2011 Workshop leader and respondent, Across The Threshold: Creativity, Being & Healing Conference, The Graduate Program of Performing Arts at Federal University of Bahia, Brazil.
  • 2008-present Coordinator for Across The Threshold: Creativity, Being & Healing day-long Symposium (February 08, March 10); Coordinator and presenter for national/international Conferences (March 09, Feb/March 13 at Duke University in Durham, NC.  
  • 2008 Presenter, National Communications Association Conference, San Diego, CA.
  • 2007 Speculative Art Conference.  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Keynote performance of Night of Renewal.
  • 2005-09, 13 Presenter, workshop leader.  Summer & Winter Solstice Sadhana international retreats in New Mexico and Florida.  “Kundalini Yoga & Meditation,” “What is Sikh Dharma, Anyway?” “Recognizing the Other Through Seva – The Path of Selfless Service.”
  • 2006 Workshop leader and Director of a Forum theatre performance.  Pedagogy & Theatre of the Oppressed International Conference, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill.
  • 2005 The Power of the Arts in Education Conference at Hayti Heritage Center, Durham, NC. Sponsored by Alternate ROOTS, The Mekye Center and St. Joseph’s Foundation at Hayti Heritage Center.  Dance workshop leader.
  • 2000 Solo performance of Vi.   Mothers 2000, A Two Day Celebration of Motherhood, sponsored by St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation, Durham, NC.      
  • 1996 Performance of Escape from the Garden, discussant  for Plenary Session.  Congress on Research in Dance Annual Conference, Univ. of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC.


  • Pending Interviewer and Editor, Yoga Kids – Y.O.G.A. for Youth Empowers the Next Generation. As told by Y.O.G.A. for Youth Instructors.  Self-publishing on
  • 2012 Kundalini Yoga & Meditation – Technology for the Times.  Publication of the Across The Threshold: Creativity, Being & Healing October, 2011 Conference proceedings, The Graduate Program of Performing Arts at Federal University of Bahia, Brazil.
  • June, 2010 Featured in article “Feeding Body, Mind & Spirit” in The Independent Weekly, Durham, NC.    
  • 2004-present Co-coordinator and interviewer for Duke University Dance Program’s Oral History Project.  To date, I have conducted interviews with  Rennie Harris, Krishna Kaur Khalsa, Carlota Santana, Vincent Mantsoe, Chuck Davis, and Alonzo King.

Grants and Awards

  • 2013 Trillium Fellow, Duke University.
  • 2012 Visiting Artist Grant from Duke University Council for the Arts for a residency with photographer and cultural activist Chris Jordan.
  • 2011 Service Learning Grant from the Program in Education, Duke University, Durham, NC.
  • 2010 Arts and Engagement Service Learning Faculty Fellow, Duke University, Durham, NC.
  • 2010 Secured funding for Across The Threshold: Creativity, Being & Healing Symposium from the
  • UNC Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC and the  following Duke University sources:  Office of the Vice Provost for Arts, Franklin Humanities Institute, Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, and the Departments of Theater Studies, Religion, and Music.
  • 2008-09 Visiting Artist Grant from Duke University  Council for the Arts for a residency with South African dancer/choreographer Vincent Mantsoe.
  • 2007-08 Conference Grant from the Duke University Arts & Sciences Council for Across The Threshold Symposium presented at Duke University February 23, 2008.  Co-investigator with Ava Vinesett.
  • 2007 Visiting Artist Grant from Duke Council for the Arts for a residency by Keith Thompson and his company  DanceTactics in the Duke Dance Program.  Co-investigator with Barbara Dickinson and Tyler Walters.
  • 2006 Mary Duke Biddle Foundation Grant for a performance of Night of Renewal and subsequent discussion led by students from the Center for Race Relations at Duke University.
  • 2006 Duke University Arts & Sciences Committee on Faculty Research grant for the development of Night of Renewal.
  • 2006 Facilities grant from the Durham Arts Council, Inc. for rehearsals for Night of Renewal.
  • 2006 Recipient of the Southwest Central Durham Quality of Life Project Proud Shoes Award for community service.
  • 2004-05, 05-06 Dancing the Legacy -- An Initiative to Promote Interdisciplinary Discussion on Three Themes,
  • Provost's Common Fund, Office of the Provost, Duke University.  
  • 2005 Co-Principal Investigator with Prof.Tyler Walters,
  • 2004 Co-Investigator with Profs. Walters, Dickinson, Taliaferro.
  • 2003 Project Grant from the Duke University Institute of the Arts.
  • 2002 Co-Sponsorship of Bring Me Your Breasts Performance Project, Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture at Duke University, St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation, Durham Parks & Recreation, and Duke Women's Center.
  • 1994-2003 Season Grants, Durham Arts Council, for TWO NEAR THE EDGE.
  • 2002, 1995-98, 1990-93 Professional Development Grants, Institute of the Arts, Duke University.
  • 1997 Duke University Institute of the Arts Co-sponsorship of Swing into Spring, a joint performance of TWO NEAR THE EDGE and SWING FEATS.
  • 1994-96 Member of the North Carolina Arts Council Touring Artists Roster (TWO NEAR THE EDGE.)
  • 1995 Duke University Institute of the Arts Co-Sponsorship of TWO NEAR THE EDGE Fall '95 home season performances.
  • 1994 Choreographers Fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council.
  • 1994 Scholarship Grant for TWO NEAR THE EDGE from the North Carolina Arts Council.  
  • 1994 Touring/Presenting Initiative for TWO NEAR THE EDGE from the Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • 1994 ARTS North Carolina Award to TWO NEAR THE EDGE for “Outstanding Achievement in the Arts – Creative/Innovative Programming.”
  • 1993-94 Dance Artist Project Grant, North Carolina Arts Council. Community Artists Partnership Project Grant, Alternate Roots.
  • 1991 Common Law, performed by Carol Childs and L. D. Burris, was selected for a showcase of national faculty work presented at Columbia College in Chicago by the American College Dance Festival Association.


  • Molly Daughter (2012) Choreographer for production by the Justice Theater Project, Raleigh, NC.  Carneesa Ottelin, Director.   
  • The Miser (2010) Choreographer for production by Duke University Department of Theater Studies, Joseph Megel, Director.
  • The Black Saint & The Sinner Lady (2007)  Duet collaboration with L.D. Burris, commissioned by the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra.  Premiered at Memorial Hall, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.
  •  Night of Renewal (2006) Evening-length dance theatre work in collaboration with L.D. Burris, Michael Newton (Scottish Highland dancer, scholar, and vocalist) and Ed Butler (musician) exploring historical intersections between African-American and Scottish Highland communities in North Carolina via a re-visioning of two important holiday traditions.  Cast of 11, live music including vocals, banjo, fiddle, guitar and percussion.  Premiered on the Kwanzaa Celebration at the Hayti Heritage Center, Durham, NC.  Subsequently performed on First Night Raleigh, in local schools, at Duke University, and Speculating on the South, a conference at UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.
  • Aad Nuacht (2006) Ensemble with musical collaboration between Dr. Michael Newton, Lois Deloatch, Dr. Timothy Holley, and Lucas Campbell.  Premiered on Choreolab, Duke University.
  • Oblivion (2006) Duet collaboration with L.D. Burris, commissioned by Prof. Hsiao-Mei Ku.  Performances at Duke University and St. Mary’s College in Raleigh, NC.
  • Bring Me Your Breasts (2002) Evening-length ensemble work celebrating all those whose lives have been affected by breast cancer.  Collaboration with L.D. Burris and poet Jaki Shelton Green, with original sound score by John Hanks, Jr.  Premiered at Doris Duke Gardens, Duke University, Durham, NC.  Additional performances at Hayti Heritage Center and the Community and Family Life Center at Lyon Park, Durham, NC.
  • WomanTree (2001) Ensemble with original music by John Hanks, Jr.  Premiered on December Dances, Duke University.
  • Thoughtstream (2000) Duet collaboration with L.D. Burris and composer Randall Love.  Premiered on Two Near The Edge Home Season 2000 performances, Chapel Hill, NC.
  • Vi (1999) Solo work based on the life of Viola Liuzzo.  Premiered at ManBites Dog Theatre, Durham, NC.
  • Zoots (1997) Collaboration with L.D. Burris and Swing Feats (Richard Badu & Carmen Cinniger).  Commissioned score by Gregg Gelb.  Premiered at Reynolds Theatre.
  • Gatewaves (1996) Collaboration with L.D. Burris and percussionist Beverly Botsford.  Premiered at Reynolds Theatre, TWO NEAR THE EDGE Fall '96 home season performances.
  • Hip Heart Blues (1995) Collaboration with L.D. Burris and blues musician Scott Ainslie. Premiered at Reynolds Theatre, TWO NEAR THE EDGE Fall '95 home season performances.
  • Odylic Source (1994) Collaboration with L.D. Burris and composer Peter Kater.  Premiered at Reynolds Theatre, TWO NEAR THE EDGE Fall '94 home season performances.
  • Morning Glory (1994) Ensemble modern/jazz work commissioned by the James Department of Dance. Music by Russell Malone.  Restaged at Elon College and Duke University.
  • Escape from the Garden (1993) Duet for TWO NEAR THE EDGE.  Text from the Bible.  Music by Tracy Chapman.
  • Dream Variations (1993) Collaboration with composer Dan Locklair, commissioned by Mallarmé Chamber Players.  Premiered at the City Gallery of Contemporary Art, Raleigh, NC.
  • Freedom Seekers (1993) Collaboration with L.D. Burris.  Lecture-demonstration highlighting people and events of the Civil Rights Movement for performances at schools and community centers.
  • Inwardly Mobile (1992) Duet collaboration with L. D. Burris.  Commissioned score by Penka Kouneva.
  • Sweet Suite (1991) Duet with L. D. Burris.  Music by Sweet Honey in the Rock.
  • En La Noche (1991) Trio based on selected Lorca poems.
  • Earth Spirit (1990) Ensemble work for members of the Duke Dance Ensemble. Commissioned by the Duke Chapel.  Music by R. Carlos Nakai.
  • New Skin (1987) Duet for Carol Childs & Dancers, commissioned by Danse Mirage Theater, New York City.  Music by Mark Heinemann.
  • Three Easy Pieces (1986)  Trio premiered on the José Limón Dance Foundation's New Dance Series, Limón Dance Center, New York City.
  • Looking Up (Things Could Be Worse) (1986)  Trio commissioned by Cynthia Thompson & Kate Trammell for faculty concert at James Madison University.  Collaboration with guitarist Bobby Driver and fiddler Ed Michael.  Restaged for performances in New York City by Carol Childs & Dancers.  Additional performances restaged at Duke University.
  • Wind Fall (1985) Ensemble work commissioned by the Repertory Touring Company of the James Madison University Dance Theater.  Collaboration with pianist/composer Bradley Sowash.  Restaged for performances in New York City by Carol Childs & Dancers.
  • Billy Sunday:  A Plain Talk to Women (1984) Dancer theater work choreographed in collaboration with Charles Abraham for the Repertory Touring Company of the James Madison University Dance Theater.