Just dance – in class


Photo Submitted to The Simpsonian

Kelli Forman brings her extensive professional dance background to Simpson College

by Kendra Campbell, Staff Reporter

THTR-190: Street Dance is a new class Simpson is offering this upcoming spring semester, taught by new professor, Kelli Forman.

Forman brings an extensive past of being a dancer, teaching artist, choreographer, certified massage therapist and world traveler. She began dancing at the young age of four and went on to the University of Kansas with a full dance scholarship.

After finishing her undergrad at the University of California Santa Barbara with a top award for a culturally diverse dance curriculum in K-12 and collegiate dance programs, she went dancing professionally in New York and Los Angeles. 

She has been on popular television shows such as Glee, X Factor, Dancing with the Stars, and America’s Got Talent. She has also been in many films, commercials, live performances, videos and modeling shoots.

Forman has taught or choreographed at seven different places and has been involved in four other nonprofit works. Internationally, she has taught in Canada, Brazil, Japan and India.

Currently, Forman is a member of Creation Global, an International Chicago Footwork crew.

Kelli Forman’s goal for the class is to teach students to become well-rounded street and hip-hop dancers. “I want to teach the foundations of these different styles. Once I get a feel for what the students are attracted to, I can go from there,” Forman explained.

Theater major Carson Clark heard about this program through Jennifer Nostrala. Having grown up dancing, as soon as the class was available, he was in.

“When you dance with other people, it creates an atmosphere where everyone can let loose and have fun,” Clark said.

Forman heard about this opportunity through her husband, Jed Forman, the new Buddhist Professor on campus. 

“Both my husband and I have been intensively studying the dances directly from the community, not from Tik Tok stars or commercial industry heads,” Kelli Forman said.

“I am hoping to connect with them and will have a lot of transformative moments through movement and cross-cultural dialog,” she said. “I am also excited to learn from the students and give them what I offer.”