MFA, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
BFA, University of Southern Mississippi
Kellis McSparrin Oldenburg is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher originally from Clinton, Mississippi. She got her start in the performing arts as a three-year singer/dancer in Clinton High School’s nationally renowned Attache show choir. She continued her study of dance at the University of Southern Mississippi and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography.
Following her undergraduate studies, she earned an MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2012. Oldenburg is a former adjunct instructor of dance at Belhaven University (2013-2015) where she taught modern, jazz and performance techniques, graduate pedagogy, and served as a faculty choreographer, rehearsal director and senior thesis advisor. She also served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Southern Mississippi, teaching modern and ballet techniques, dance appreciation as well as fulfilling the roles of the Repertory Dance Company Director and Production Director (2014-2016).
Most recently, Oldenburg has broadened her virtual pedagogy by designing and instructing Online Dance Appreciation at USM (2016-2021). She is also a certified yoga instructor and has orchestrated her own freelance choreography and teaching business for the past twelve years, specializing in contemporary, ballet, jazz, hip hop, musical theatre and show choir.
In 2015, Oldenburg relocated to New Orleans, Louisiana, where she was selected as a company member of the Marigny Opera Ballet, a contemporary ballet company based out of the Marigny Opera House. During her 5 years with the company, she served as Rehearsal Director, resident choreographer and principal dancer. She originated several roles in the company’s repertory, including Proserpina in Orfeo(2015) and Giselle in Giselle Deslondes (2016).
Three of the works that she created for MOB received awards for choreography from the New Orleans Gambit Tribute to the Classical Arts (outstanding short choreography- Tells, premiered in January 2018, outstanding full-length choreography- Follies of 1915, premiered November 2018, outstanding short choreography nominee- Sacred Harp, premiered December 2019).
Most recently, Oldenburg accepted an Assistant Professorship in the Belhaven University Dance Department in Jackson, MS. Her life has come full circle, bringing her back to her home state to pursue her love of teaching in higher education. Oldenburg lives in Clinton with her husband, Kirk, and their son, Ryder.