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ERICA WILSON-PERKINS

11 Totman Building; Dance Department

Jazz Dance & Choreography; Lecturer


Erica Wilson-Perkins received a BFA in Dance from Columbia College, Columbia, SC and a MFA in Dance from Florida State University. Erica has served as full time faculty at top ranked universities and colleges including the University of Illinois, Wayne State University and Columbia College-Chicago.

Erica Wilson-Perkins
Her most recent position was as the unit head for the Palo Alto College Dance Department in San Antonio, TX.    At each institution Erica played a vital role in program development, including community outreach, establishment of jazz and Pilates coursework and new performance concepts.

Erica founded and directed the Detroit based CounterGroove Dance Company which spawned notable choreographers/dancers, Sonya Teyah (So You Think You Can Dance) and William B. McClellan (Dayton Contemporary Dance Co).  CounterGroove featured Erica’s HouseJazz technique, a blend of house footwork with classical jazz forms.  The Real Detroiter declared CounterGroove as “Detroit’s most impressive dance machine.”  Erica’s interest in all artistic disciplines lead her to create the innovative performance collective, FightWaterPros (FWPros).  The FWPros continue state-to-state collaborative projects, presenting projects throughout the U.S.

Wilson-Perkins’ choreography has won numerous merits including, Sand People of The, which was recognition by the American Dance Festival (ACDFA) Midwest regional and the National  Conference.  The Chicago Bank & Trust in association with the Museum of Contemporary Arts (MCA) selected Erica to received the prestigious Chicago DanceMaker Award for her work, FightWater: Past, Future-Never Present (A Dancumentary).   Most recently, Erica won a commission from the National  Association of Latinos and Cultural Arts (NALAC) to create "Revolucion into the Third Century," celebrating the bicentennial of the Mexican revolution of 1810/1910.   She has been commissioned to new create work for notable professional dance companies and universities throughout the nation including Chicago, Colorado, Michigan, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Her remarkable work in the Southcentral region of the nation has made impacted many of the area’s arts organizations and dance companies including the Office of Cultural Affairs, Erison Dancers, Luminaria Arts Festival, Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, Contemporary Arts Month (CAM), Jumpstart Theater’s WIP performance series, Alamo Colleges and City of San Antonio’s Parks and Recreation Special Programs.   Erica also served on the San Antonio Dance Umbrella executive and creative advisory board.

As a visual artist, Erica’s has exhibited her artwork in solo and group shows.  Venues include the Bolivar Museum Hall, Radius Art gallery and the Alba Deleon Studio 106B in the Blue Star Complex. 

Erica continues to offer HouseJazz master classes and produce work throughout the US. She is currently conducting research on creative community initiatives, economy and development.  Erica is thrilled to now join the fine University of Massachusetts Music and Dance Department and looks forward to engaging with faculty, students and staff.

Appointed 2013

Dance Department