University of South Florida

School of Theatre & Dance

College of the Arts

John Parks

Instructor of Dance
Modern and Jazz
Phone: (813) 974-3867

JOHN PARKS Teacher/Choreographer/Producer/Director

John Parks, a native of New York City, began his dance studies at age five. His formal dance studies were at the Mary Bruce Dance School, Syvilla Fort Dance Studio, High School of Performing Arts, Juilliard School of Music, Jacob’s Pillow Teachers Workshop, New Dance Group, Clark Center, Martha Garham School and others.

He trained and performed in the companies of Alvin Ailey, Talley Beatty, David Wood, Norman Walker, Joan Peters, Jose Limon, Donald McKayle, Anna Sokolow, Pearl Primus, Percival Borde, Mary Anthony, Eleo Pomare, Ruth Currier, Rod Rodgers, Sun Ock Lee, Louis Johnson, Martha Clarke, Baralunda Olatunji, Nina Popova, Joan Miller, June Dunbar, Chuck Davis, Lucas Hoving, Alfredo Corvino, Billie Kirpitch, Norman Walker & others.

He also has performed,directed, choreographed, taught or produced in the following places in the opening of the Kennedy Center with the “Leonard Bernstein Mass”, The American Dance Festival, “Florida Dance Festive”,“Lincoln Center”, “Harvard Summer Dance”, “Spoleto Piccilo Festival, City Center.

His film/television and broadway credits include (film) “Rage in Harlem”, “Rosewood”, “Malcolm X" and the “The Wiz”. On Broadway he also served as assistant to the choreographer, dance captain for the seven Tony Awards-winning play, “The Wiz” for five years. Television credits: “Bill Cosby Christmas Special” featuring members and former member of The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, The Strolling Twenties” with Langston Hughes, Hughes, Sidney Portier, Harry Belafonte, and Duke Ellington.

Before joining the Ailey Co. John Parks formed his own company entitled “Movements Black Dance Repertory Theatre” who’s works focused mainly on the systemic and endemic racism of Black people that was and is so prevalent throughout the world.

Mister Parks has performed, taught and lectured throughout these United States as well as Europe Africa and China.

Before relocating to Tampa, Florida to take a teaching position at the University of South Florida, John’s endeavors led him to directing, choreographing and producing works for the theater and community organizations. Through the Affiliate-Artists Program, John designed his own one-man show that toured the United States and Africa.

He has been teaching at the University South Florida for the past 30 years. In addition to working with a number of community arts organizations, such as University Community Center, Ybor City Chamber of Commerce, Taproot Community Cultural Center, Ink Well Center, and the Arts Legacy program at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts just to name a few.

Recently he has established The Parks Institute dedicated to promoting dance as a healing modality. The Institute is now working with “The Peabody Institute”, “Valencia College”, “The Arts Legacy”, TapRoot Cultural Center (a place where healing begins) and “Johns Hopkins University School of Medicines, International Arts + Mind Lab of the Brain Science Institute”.