Kathleen Helm, originally from Southern California, received her M.F.A. in Dance from CSU Long Beach, where she was awarded the Joan Schlaich Scholarship and the College of the Arts Award for Creative Achievement, and earned her M.A. in Dance Education and New York State Teaching Certification in the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program at Hunter College. Kathleen trained with Keith Johnson, Gerald Casel, Michael Leon Thomas, Pedro Ruiz, Rebecca Bryant, Rebecca Lemme, Lorin Johnson, Sophie Monat, Lisa Johnson, Michelle Walter, and Diana Stanton. She performed with Chicago's Deeply Rooted Dance Theater II, the Nouveau Chamber Ballet, Cal Poly Orchesis Dance Company, Watson Dance, and Variable Velocity. Her performance credits include the works of Kevin Iega Jeff, Gary Abbott, Rebecca Bryant, Mike Esperanza, Robert Moses, Helen Pickett, Andrew Vaca, Jessica Kondrath, Paul Taylor (restaged by Richard Chen See), and Ohad Naharin (restaged by Ya'ara Moses). She has attended intensives with Doug Varone, Gallim Dance, Robert Moses’ Kin, BODYTRAFFIC, Deeply Rooted, Bobbi Jene Smith, Holly Johnston, and has been on scholarship at the American Dance Festival.
Kathleen creates work with her project-based company, Kathleen Helm & Dancers. Her work has been presented at DUMBO Dance Festival (Gelsey Kirkland Center for the Arts), Doug Varone’s CHIN Project (92Y), Breaking Glass (Ailey Citigroup Theatre), Split Bill (Triskelion Arts), Comedy in Dance Festival (Triskelion Arts), WAXworks (Triskelion Arts), 8-in-Show (Dixon Place), Wave Rising Series (92Y), Under Exposed (Dixon Place), Chicago Freelance Dance (Hubbard Street Dance Chicago), CSU Long Beach, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, SoCal Dance Invitational (Goldenwest College), Dance 4 the Camera Film Festival, and American College Dance Festival Gala (U. of Montana). Kathleen was chosen as the guest alumni choreographer for Cal Poly Orchesis Dance Company's 50th anniversary concert, and she was named a 2015 Breaking Glass artist, a platform that recognizes young and emerging female choreographers. Kathleen has also been a guest choreographer for youth projects, including Dancewave's Young Movers Ensemble and for the Bank Street Summer Camp productions of Beauty and the Beast and The Sound of Music.
Kathleen is currently a professor in the Theatre and Dance Department at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, teaching courses in Ballet and Jazz. She has also been on faculty at the Bank Street School for Children, Blue School, and CSU Long Beach. She teaches in both academic and studio settings, and her expertise spans from early childhood to professional adult classes. At CSU Long Beach, she was a Graduate Teaching Associate for courses in Beginning Ballet and Intro to Modern Dance for non-dance majors and a Teaching Assistant to Rebecca Bryant in Improvisation for first-year dance majors. Kathleen taught classes to children across New York City, for Dancewave, Mark Morris Dance Group, YMCA, Harbor Heights Middle School, and Imagine Early Learning Centers, and she was a dance instructor for studios throughout Southern California. As a master class instructor, Kathleen has taught Modern/Contemporary Dance at the American College Dance Festival, in the Northwest and Baja Regions, and she had the privilege of leading the festival's first-ever Informal Concert Student Caucus.