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Julio MedinaAssistant Professor


MFA, world arts and cultures/dance, UCLA


Julio MedinaJulio Medina is a dance artist and educator from Los Angeles. His first experiences with dance began late in high school where he was part of a small breaking/hip-hop crew. Originally setting out to study physical therapy or business, Medina changed his career interests when he started training in modern dance and ballet.

An alumnus of Emory University, Medina completed his BA in dance and movement studies as a Quest Bridge Scholar. While there, he danced with StaibDance led by choreographer George Staib, and also worked with Kyle Abraham and Tara Lee of the Atlanta Ballet. In 2009, Medina founded TrickaNomeTry (TNT) Dance Crew, an all-male hip-hop crew that performs in the Atlanta community to this day.

As a Mellon Mays Fellow, Medina studied hip-hop on the concert stage and earned his MFA at UCLA's Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance in 2016. Medina's graduate research investigates hyper masculinity, sexuality, and power culminating in a solo titled I Gotta, which has been performed at the CONDERDance Festival 2018, American Dance Festival Alumni Weekend Concert 2018, and the Dance Studies Association 2018 Conference at the University of Malta in Valletta, Malta.

Medina is a company member of David Rousseve|REALITY, a dance company from Los Angeles directed by choreographer David Rousseve. He has been a member since 2016, touring the company's latest work Halfway to Dawn at venues such as Roy & Edna Disney Cal Arts Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Jacob's Pillow.

Medina's academic career began in 2017 at California State University, Long Beach where he taught modern dance and hip-hop in the Department of Dance. Medina is delighted to return to Emory University as Assistant Professor of Dance in Fall 2019.

Teaching Statement

My pedagogy is guided by two main philosophies: Knowledge of Self (K.O.S) and Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Knowledge of Self (K.O.S.) is rooted in virtues of connectivity, patience, physicality, truth, and acceptance. I learned the principle of K.O.S. in hip-hop cyphers. Cyphers are a complex improvisational dance structure often in the form of a circle; symbolizing community and ultimately serving as a platform for individuals to embody their state of being through street dance styles such as popping, breaking, and locking.

Meanwhile, I adapted Pedagogy of the Oppressed from studying the work of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire. For me, and for Freire, students are not merely containers for knowledge into which a teacher deposits information, but rather I, as an educator, learn from the students as they learn from me, defying traditional hierarchical relationships between student, teacher, and society. I use K.O.S and Pedagogy of the Oppressed to create a safe and positive learning environment where students feel they can trust themselves and each other to reach new depths in their artistic and intellectual journies.


Julio's choreographic work is identity-based and interdisciplinary in nature, drawing from various movement styles such as breaking, modern dance, as well as engaging artistic mediums such as film and text. His research interests include hip-hop on the concert stage, hyper masculinity, gender and sexuality studies, fusion forms, floor-based movement forms, and energetics.

I Gotta, a solo choreographed and performed by Julio Medina at the American Dance Festival Alumni Weekend Concert in 2018.