James W. Robey

James Robey headshot

Professor & Chair
B123 Peters Hall
(540) 831-5186

James W. Robey is professor and chair in the department of dance at Radford University, where he served as interim dean of the College of Visual & Performing Arts, as executive director for the Summer Residential Governor's School for the Visual & Performing Arts and Humanities, and received the Outstanding Mentor Award in 2023. James currently serves as a visiting evaluator for the National Association of Schools of Dance and on the Cultivating Leadership Committee for the National Dance Education Organization.

Prior to joining Radford University, James served as chair of the department of dance at Webster University, where he received the Messing Faculty Award, wrote the textbook Beginning Jazz Dance, received a certificate of graduation from the Global Leadership Academy, served as Founding Team Member for the Webster Center for Creativity and Innovation, and created an 8-week study abroad program in Geneva, Switzerland. 

As a professional performing artist, he danced for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, GroundWorks Dance Theater, Connecticut Ballet, New York Dance Theater, Ohio Dance Theater, Off Center Dance Theater, Cleveland Opera, Covenant Ballet Theater of Brooklyn, CelloPointe, Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Busch Gardens. He founded the Bare Bones Dance Project (NYC), later James Robey Dance (CT), receiving grants and commissions from the Connecticut Dance Alliance, the Connecticut Choreographers Forum, the Regional Arts Commission in St. Louis, and a Webster University Faculty Research grant. In addition to his own company, James created original works for  Connecticut Ballet, Modern American Dance Company, Missouri Ballet Theatre, Full Force Dance Theatre, Ohio Dance Theatre, CelloPointe, Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound, Tennessee Williams Play Festival, Jazz Dance World Congress, Consuming Kinetics Dance Company, and SKIP Entertainment Company in Guam.

Other past appointments include the national board of directors for the American College Dance Association, executive director of the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance, board of directors and the advisory committee of the Connecticut Dance Alliance, Connecticut Ballet's Danbury Dance Initiative Task Force, director of the Modern and Jazz programs at Eastern Connecticut Ballet, director of the dance program at Western Reserve Academy, and the founding creative team behind the Young Choreographer's Festival in Stamford, CT. 

His presentations include the keynote speech, Leadership and Innovation in Arts Education, for the Webster Center for Creativity and Innovation in Switzerland; presentations on Leadership Jazz in collaboration with Oxford University's Dr. David Pendleton at both the Henley Business School at Reading University and the Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival in the UK; and a guest lecture, The Creative Process, at Webster University's President’s Faculty Dinner. His research, Dance Paradigms: From Traditional to Postmodern and Beyond, has been presented at the Arts in Society Conference at San Jorge University in Zaragoza, Spain; Performing Arts Between Tradition and Contemporaneity in Ragnitz, Austria; the National Dance Education Organization National Conference (NDEO); Hawaii University International Conferences on Art and Humanities; American College Dance Association conference (ACDA), International Dance Entrepreneurs Association, Fontbonne University, and for the symposium Transmodern: Integrating the Art and Science of Movement at the University of Milwaukee, WI. 

James received an MFA in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a BFA in Dance from the University of Akron.