hero image
Adam W. McKinney - Texas Christian University. Fort Worth, TX, US

Adam W. McKinney Adam W. McKinney

Associate Professor of Dance | Texas Christian University


Adam McKinney is an expert in dance and trauma studies, as well as artistic practice dealing with issues of race, identity and history.





loading image loading image loading image loading image


Never Too Late to Say His Name Brick by Brick Remembrance and Reconciliation: The Story of Fred Rouse




Adam W. McKinney is a former member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Béjart Ballet Lausanne, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, and Milwaukee Ballet Company. He has led dance work with diverse populations across the U.S. and in Canada, England, Ghana, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Palestine, Poland, Serbia, Spain, and South Africa. He served as a U.S. Embassy Culture Connect Envoy to South Africa through the U.S. State Department. Other awards of note include the NYU President’s Service Award for dance work with populations who struggle with heroin addiction, grants from the U.S. Embassy in Budapest and The Trust for Mutual Understanding to work with Roma youth in Hungary, a Jerome Foundation grant for Emerging Choreographers and a U.S. Embassy in Accra grant to lead a video oral history project with a Jewish community in Sefwi Wiawso, Ghana. He was a School of American Ballet’s National Visiting Teaching Fellow, an opportunity to engage in important conversations around diversity and inclusion in classical ballet. Named one of the most influential African Americans in Milwaukee, WI by St. Vincent DePaul, McKinney is the Co-Director of DNAWORKS (www.dnaworks.org), an arts and service organization committed to healing through the arts and dialogue. He holds a BFA in Dance Performance with high honors from Butler University and an MA in Dance Studies with concentrations in Race and Trauma theories from NYU-Gallatin.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Artistic Practice and Identity

Dance and Trauma Studies

Dance and Cultural Studies

Dance in Community Settings

Artistic Practice and Race

Accomplishments (3)

TCU Dean’s Research and Creativity Award (professional)


TCU Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies Activism in Action Awardee (professional)


Asylum Arts Small Grant Awardee (professional)


Education (2)

Butler University: B.F.A., Dance Performance

New York University: M.A., Dance Studies, Race and Trauma Theories

Affiliations (6)

  • DNAWORKS : Co-founder & Co-director
  • Tarrant County Coalition for Peace and Justice : President
  • International Association of Blacks in Dance : Member
  • Texas Center for Arts + Academics : Advisory Council
  • Lake Arts Project : Board Member
  • Transform 1012 N. Main Street : Co-Secretary

Media Appearances (5)

Newsletter: Essential Arts: Where have all the playgoers gone?

Los Angeles Times  online


Surprising news from my hometown: A former KKK headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, that was set to be demolished was picked up by Adam W. McKinney, a dance professor at TCU College of Fine Arts, and his partner, Daniel Banks, to be transformed into the Fred Rouse Center for Arts and Community Healing.

view more

How a Former KKK Headquarters in Texas Is Being Transformed into a Center for Arts and Healing

ARTnews  online


In June 2019, Adam W. McKinney, a trained ballet dancer and a professor at TCU College of Fine Arts, and his partner, Daniel Banks, learned that the building’s then owners had filed an application with the city to have it demolished. McKinney and Banks had already imagined its second life as a hub for art and healing that would serve the city where Rouse’s descendants still live.

view more

Can theater & dance bridge divides over race, culture? Fort Worth group shows the way Read more at: https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/crossroads-lab/article254581277.html#storylink=cpy

Fort Worth Star-Telegram  online


Watching choreographer Adam W. McKinney dance through some of Fort Worth’s landmarks pushes viewers to think about Fort Worth’s cultural district differently, said Jonathan Morris, co-owner of the Hotel Dryce.

view more

Nominations Open March 1 for Annual DEI Award

TCU News  online


Adam W. McKinney, assistant professor of dance in the College of Fine Arts, was honored with the 2019 DEI Award for leading campuswide conversations on healing and community and for his involvement in the Fort Worth arts community on issues of race, justice, equality and healing.

view more

McKinney Honored with DEI Award for Efforts to Heal, Communicate

TCU News  online


Adam W. McKinney has a passion for healing. “The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award is an annual award created to honor the challenging task of further transforming our community into one that not only celebrates our mission and also creates a world-class university building on a heritage of inclusion,” said Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. when announcing DEI Award finalists during the Sept. 14 virtual Convocation. “These individuals will be recognized for providing TCU with the critical voices necessary for change and for their sustained actions to transform TCU by making it an even more diverse, equitable and inclusive institution.”

view more

Event Appearances (1)

Dance as Metaphor: Healing from Racism

International Association of Blacks in Dance Annual Conference  Dallas, TX

Articles (1)

SCAB: Honoring the Memory of Mr. Fred Rouse

Art Journal

Adam W. McKinney is a dancer, choreographer, activist, educator, and installation artist. He has danced professionally with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and Milwaukee Ballet Company, among others. His research interests include dance and performance studies, trauma studies, community, trauma, healing, and technology. He is the coartistic director of DNAWORKS, an arts and service organization committed to healing through the arts and dialogue.

view more