Department of Dance Office: DC-S131     Phone: 562-985-4747     Fax: 562-985-7896




Faculty Bio Page


Keith JohnsoniPod Project

Keith Johnson, Professor

Office Phone: 562.985.4270
Office: DC-F205


Keith Johnson is originally from Tempe, Arizona. He was a competitive gymnast and team captain at Brigham Young University before he became interested in dance. He received his MFA in dance with an emphasis in choreography from the University of Utah in 1991 where he received the Dee R. Winterton Award for Excellence in Dance. While in Salt Lake City, Keith danced in the Ririe/Woodbury Dance Company working with such choreographers as Alwin Nikolais, Murray Louis, Shapiro and Smith, Kei Takei, and Loa Clawson. In New York City he joined the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, touring the widely acclaimed work Still/Here both nationally and internationally. He also danced in the companies of Creach/Koester and Doug Varone and Dancers. He has also done pick-up work dancing in the companies of Spencer/Colton in Boston and Janis Brenner in California. As part of Doug Varone and Dancers, Keith performed with The Denver Opera and in a site-specific work Neither, which took place in The Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City. As a performer he has performed in major festivals and concert halls worldwide including the Joyce Theatre, Jacob’s Pillow, the Redcat Theatre, Tokyo International Festival, The Melbourne Festival, and Queen Elizabeth Hall in England.

In 1998, Keith formed Keith Johnson/Dancers. The company received favorable reviews from the Los Angeles Times. Since 1998, the company has performed in California, North Carolina, Utah, Minnesota, New York City and Arizona. He is the recipient of two Lester Horton Awards (2007 and 2008). Keith continues to perform, most recently with Colleen Thomas Dance , Bill Young/Colleen Thomas and Dancers , and Victoria Marks. Keith also performed in The Pod Project by choreographer/director Nancy Bannon. Keith is currently on the faculty at California State University in Long Beach. He is a Full Professor who teaches both composition and contemporary dance techniques. He is an advisor to the MFA candidates and the BFA students. In addition, Keith has been a guest teacher at the following institutions: NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Summer Program, The Julliard School, Dartmouth College, LaSalle College of the Arts in Singapore, The Ririe/Woodbury Summer Dance Intensive, Doug Varone and Dancers Summer Workshop, University of California at Santa Barbara, Scottsdale Community College in Arizona, Brigham Young University, Cal Poly, Virginia Commonwealth University, St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, University of South Florida, Ballet Pacifica Summer Intensive, Southern Methodist University in Texas, Velocity Dance Center, Strictly Seattle Festival, The Beijing International Dance Festival, Malashock Summer Intensive, 5 x5 Summer Intensive, and the University of Utah. In 2005, the Outstanding Graduate Student Recipient, Rogelio Lopez Garcia at CSULB, named Keith Most Valuable Professor. Keith received the Choo San Goh Award in 2002 for emerging choreographers and has had support from the Dance/USA Foundation. His work has been shown in various venues including the University of Utah (with Stephen Koester), The LIT Series, Joyce Soho (with Colleen Thomas), The Rose Wagner Theater in Salt Lake City, The Center Stage Theatre (with Stephanie Nugent), Commuter Festival (CalArts), Breaking Ground Festival and The Diavolo Space. His work has been commissioned by the Ririe/Woodbury Dance Company, d9 Collective, CONDER/dance, Contemporary Danceworks, various solo artists, and universities. In 2012, Keith has two works represented at the National ACDFA conference at the Kennedy Center In Washington DC. The performers from Loyola Marymount University were chosen as the Outstanding Student Performer Award for their work in Unscripted/Riptide Into Me. Keith also makes dance films with collaborator Gregory R.R. Crosby and together they have formed Fistbomb Films. Their film, Life In Security, has been screened at the Breaking Ground Festival and Film Bar (both in Arizona), Westfest (New York), Dance For The Camera Festival (California), Conversations at the Flea (New York), and American Dance Festival’s International Screendance Festival. Keith was awarded the 2012/13 Distinguished Alumni Award from The Department of Modern Dance at the University of Utah. In addition, Keith has explored visual arts in areas of printmaking, art installations, sculpture, and costuming and hopes to further his studies in the visual arts.