Faculty Name

Kathleen Wessel, M.A.


Senior Lecturer


Dance Performance & Choreography


M.A., Florida State University
B.A., Emory University


Kathleen Wessel is a movement artist, choreographer, writer, and educator from Orlando, Florida. She holds an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Florida State University and a BA in Psychology from Emory University where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a Goodrich C. White Scholar.

In 2007, she co-founded Staibdance and danced with the company for a decade. In addition, she co-created the Staibdance Summer Intensive in Sorrento, Italy and served on the faculty for eight years. She has performed and taught throughout the American Southeast, Las Vegas, New York, Italy, and Sweden, and her movement studies have taken her to The Place in London, the Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theater in Tel Aviv, and the B12 festival in Berlin most recently.

Wessel is a senior lecturer in the Department of Dance Performance and Choreography at Spelman where she teaches dance writing, theory, composition, and technique courses; she also directs the Spelman Dance Theater and curates the department’s master class series Studio Sessions.  

With Brooklyn-based director and choreographer Kelly Bartnik, Wessel is co-director of HERE: Atlanta, a long-running, commercial scale immersive theater production. HERE recently received generous funding from Mailchimp and a lease on a 10,000 square foot in South Downtown Atlanta from Newport Realty. The production is set to open early 2020.

Wessel is also an accomplished choreographer for musical theater. Her favorite credits include "Metamorphoses," "The Crucible," "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," "A Chorus Line," and "The Apple," an original production she created with director Donald Rupe for the Orlando Fringe Festival. This summer, Wessel received the “Outstanding Choreography” award at the New York Musical Festival for her work on the original production "Flying Lessons," written and directed by Rupe.

Before landing at Spelman, Wessel taught at Emory University and Oxford College of Emory, where she was director of the Oxford Dance Company for three years. Her choreography has been twice selected for American College Dance Association Gala concerts.

Courses Taught

Dance writing, theory, composition, and technique courses


ArtsATL: “Meet Me on the Porch” shows off Spelman’s new dance department and West End studio

“Outstanding Choreography” award at the New York Musical Festival for work on the original production "Flying Lessons," written and directed by Rupe