Karlies Kelley started teaching in 2008 as a way to stay connected to her roots, to build a community around music and dance, and to create safe, healing spaces for women and young people. Born and raised in Panama, and currently living in Milwaukee, WI, she has over 15 years of experience performing, teaching and producing events. She is currently pursuing an MFA in dance at UWM as an AOP Fellowship and Chancellor’s Award recipient (she also received her BFA in African Diaspora Dance from UWM). Her constant research and passion for dance have molded her into a versatile dancer and choreographer, ranging from Salsa to West African, Brazilian, Caribbean, Modern, and Jazz. Karlies has traveled and taught across the Americas, Europe, and Asia, and is actively involved in the Milwaukee community, engaging youth and adults to move in positive and unifying ways. She believes dance belongs to all, in all spaces, dance is key to living a more happy, colorful and meaningful life.