24th Duke Ellington Study Conference

Kelsey and Abdiel were invited to be a part of a conference with featured music lovers, acclaimed musicians, dancers, actors and leading scholars from around the world for a series of panels and musical events designed to celebrate, preserve and expand the legacy of Duke Ellington, who is widely recognized as America’s most prolific American composer of the 20th century. Watch below their full performance of their choreography demonstration of the Mambo dance genre to Ellington's "Caravan" accompanied by members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. To read more on the event go to this link to read review and watch recap: 


Performing Grotesque

Articulating the Female Body in American Ballroom

Kelsey graduated this May from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU, where a good portion of her studies centered on the articulation of the body. Through a grant provided by the Dean's Office of Gallatin, Kelsey was able to research the ways the female body, in particular, is represented in the American Rhythm Ballroom world. Her experience competing in the New York City and wider East Coast ballroom community allowed her to see how gender expectations in the dance world affect society's standards for men and women. 

Check out the link below to hear Kelsey talk more about her experience at the Gallatin Dean's Award for Summer Research Conference, followed by presentations from her fellow classmates!


"Elevated" is a short dance film conceived and choreographed by Abdiel and Kelsey that gives a new perspective to latin/rhythm ballroom dance. Both the male and female dance in high heels and both have legs exposed and legs covered together at the same time, yet all while keeping the traditional gender roles as male-leader and female-follower. It's a concept that celebrates the latin/rhythm ballroom expression while challenging its current state and traditional aesthetic; a suggestion to diversify our relationship, expression and connection through dance as persons rather than just male/female. 

Directed by: Knox White

Filmed and Edited by: Jeff Clanet

Music by: Prince- "Black Sweat" Maxwell- "Gravity" Mix by: Edward EGO Martin

Costumes by: Kelsey Burns & Abdiel Jacobsen

Location: Shen Tao Studio New York, NY 

Dance On Film

Kelsey and former partner Abdiel Jacobsen in collaboration with choreographer Cecilia Marta for short creative film project, "Kuna Dreams" in collaboration with Spinkick Productions. Directed by Brian Thomas, styled by Wes Veldink.

**To see full version of "Kuna Dreams", you can watch it under Kelsey's page.