Suki John

Classical & Contemporary Dance
Erma Lowe Hall 218 | 817-257-7615

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Ph.D., Cultural Studies, University of Connecticut (2007)
MA, Dance History and Choreography, Gallatin School New York University (1991)
BFA, Theatre Arts, University of New Mexico (1980)

Courses Taught

Dance History I and II
Dance in World Cultures, Honors
Modern Dance Technique and Artistry I, II and III
Career Preparation II
Choreography IV
Honors Nature of Values: Art & Activism
Honors Language, Communication & Culutral Identity - Writing The Arts 
Launchpad: Entrepreneurship and the Arts
International Dance Forms

Areas of Focus

Dance scholarship, choreography, classical modern dance techniques; Holocaust and Human Rights Art and Education; Cuban dance and culture; art and activism; diversity, social justice, feminism and the arts; climate justice. Director of the film, Sh'ma, and Founder of The Sh'ma Project: Move Against Hate.

Dr. John has been joined by creative collaborators and extraordinary performers with global professional credits. Their combined talents create the timeless and powerful impact of The Sh’ma Project: Move Against Hate.

The Sh’ma Project uses the following tools to build understanding across diverse learning styles:


The new dance film, Sh’ma follows a close-knit community through struggle and survival during the Holocaust. Sh’ma focuses on director Suki John’s mother as she journeys from school days to the Jewish ghetto, deportation to concentration camp, refugee to American citizen. Originally a live choreodrama performed in the former Yugoslavia and New York City, Sh’ma has been recreated as a powerful dance film. Produced with 4 cameras, 15 extraordinary performers, original music and design, Sh’ma highlights resilience, connection, and hope.

The film is currently in previews, and will be available in full length and abbreviated formats appropriate to high school and college classes.


Through movement, writing, and dialogue, Upstander Workshops give young people thoughtful, safe, and collaborative methods to contextualize history and create personal responses in empowering ways. Students are invited to participate in these workshops before and after viewing the Sh’ma film.


To deepen the meaning, breadth, and impact of The Sh’ma Project, students and educators are invited to access the free educational resource, The Holocaust: Remembrance, Respect, Resilience. This digital anthology was written by a team of international scholars, co-edited by Dr. John and fellow 2nd generation survivor, Dr. Michael Polgar (Penn State University Sociology Professor).

SH’MA (sh-mah) means “listen” in Hebrew, and comes from the central prayer of the Jewish liturgy.

The Holocaust: Remembrance, Respect, Resilience;  Editor  of Arts Content (Pending; Rebus Online Educational Resource)

Contemporary Dance in Cuba: Técnica Cubana as Revolutionary Movement. McFarland Press, 2012.

Christina Bernal, 1945-2016.” Dance Magazine, June 7, 2017.

The Dancer’s Guide to Cuba” Dance Magazine, May 31, 2016.

“Narciso Medina,” Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography. Oxford University Press, 2016.

“Ramiro Guerra, the father of Cuban Modern Dance,” Routledge

Online Encyclopedia of Modernism. New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis, 2016.

Founder/Choreographer: The Sh’ma Project for Holocaust and Human Rights Art and Education

Dance2Degrees: Dancing for a Cooler World

Signature dance works with original musical scores include L’Dor V’Dor, Wall of Babel, BarrigaBestia, and the evening-length Sh’Ma. These dances have been produced in the U.S., Europe and Latin America.

I was interviewed about Native American dance, and appear briefly in the film Veiled Lightning, produced by Jaima Chevalier. The film premiered January 12, 2017 at the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

My original choreodrama, Havana Love Letters (Cartas de Amor), was performed in Havana at the Bertolt Brecht Theater on June 3 and 4, 2016. Excerpts were performed in New York City at CAP 21 and by Dance TCU students. This work was the result of a collaboration between myself, composer Joel Diamond, TCU designers Murell Horton, Roma Flowers, and Brian Clinnin, and Cuba’s renown National School of Art (ENA) and Institute of the Arts (ISA).


Deans’ Award for Research and Creativity Finalist, The Sh’ma Project: Move Against Hate, 2023

New York Havana Film Festival: Moderator for Carlos Acosta’s premiere of Yuli, 2019

Coleman Fellow

TCU Honors Faculty Fellow

First international adjudicator for Danzandos Festival, Matanzas, Cuba, 2016.

Director: Dance Division, Texas Jewish Art Association

Dance Studies Association

Founder, Cuban Arts Match

Altruvistas Journeys, associate and consultant on dance Advisory Board of US-Cuba Cultural Exchange

Adjudicator for Danzandos Festival, Matanzas, Cuba

Council on Research on Dance

Corps de Ballet International

Centre Internacional de la Danse – UNESCO

Peer Reviewer for Oxford University Press, Routledge, The Getty Foundation, and Dance Research Journal

The Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County Music Center proposal that I reviewed was titled, Cuba then/and now.

Founder, Cuban Arts Match: matchmakers for the arts

Board Member: US – Cuba Cultural Exchange