Keena Dawn Smith

Keena Dawn Smith, M.F.A.

Part-Time Instructor



Keena Smith was raised in Las Vegas, Nevada with movement training beginning at the early age of five, with studies in dance and gymnastics. She was a competitive gymnast from age nine to age 17. Smith earned a B.A. in dance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has performed works by Walter Nicks, Donald McKayle, Alvin Ailey and Ulysses Dove and worked with world-renowned choreographers Winifred Haun, Rudy Perez, Gus Solomons Jr., Daniel Nagrin, David Dorfman and Billy Siegenfeld. She has danced with the Cleo Parker Robinson and Loretta Livingston contemporary modern ensembles and was a cast member of the famed show EFX starring Michael Crawford in Las Vegas.

She completed her MFA in dance from the University of California, Irvine, under the thesis direction of Donald McKayle, where she was awarded a full fellowship and teaching apprenticeship. Smith is especially thrilled to have performed for eight years with Walt Disney’s production of The Lion King as a cast member in the Los Angeles, Broadway, and Cheetah National Touring Companies.

Returning home to Las Vegas, Nevada, Smith continues to teach and choreograph dance working with the Clark County Parks & Recreation Cultural Arts Program, the City of Las Vegas and the Clark County School District. Currently, she is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Department of Dance teaching lecture, ballet and jazz dance technique courses.