Wesleyan portrait of Katja P. Kolcio

Katja P. Kolcio

Associate Professor of Dance

159 Cross Street, 009

Chair, Dance

159 Cross Street,

Associate Professor, Environmental Studies

284 High Street, 202

Associate Professor, Education Studies


Associate Professor, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies



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MA University of Georgia Athens
MA Ohio State University
PHD Ohio State University

Katja P. Kolcio

Katja Kolcio is Associate Professor of Dance specializing in Somatics, and on the faculty of the College of the Environment, Environmental Studies and Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, and College of Education Studies at Wesleyan University. 
Kolcio's research focuses attention on the role of the body in social change, resilience, social connectedness, and psycho-social wellness, with a regional focus on Ukraine. Her current research, Vitality Project Donbas in collaboration with Ukrainian NGOs Development Foundation/Community Self Help, was funded by the United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme to develop and assess impact of somatic methods for generating resilience and agency during crisis and social change.

Working since 2015 in collaboration with the Ukrainian NGO Development Foundation/Community Self Help Kolcio has lead workshops in somatic resilience for war relief workers in Ukraine. They were commissioned in 2018 to develop a program in somatic resiliency for soldiers, working closely with the National Guard, Ukrainian Armed Forces, and veterans. This program has been further developed into a field manual and  a book, The Force of Breath: skills for psychological recovery, was published  in Ukrainian language by Volyn National University, Rivne, Ukraine (Fall 2022).

Select Research Presentations:

Dance Studies Association, 15 October 2022, Vancouver, Plenary Workshop: The Force of Breath: Resilience and Action in Ukraine.

14th Annual International Conference, ‘Psychological foundations: health, education, scholarship, and self-realization.’ 7-8 April 2022, Lesya Ukrainka Volyn National University, Lutsk, Ukraine.

“Dancing Under All Conditions” Panel and masterclass for CT Dance Alliance, CT Dance Now Series, October 4, 2021.

“Bridging individual and social health: Mental health, body-mind practice and art”,  Mayo Clinic Symposium in Medical Humanities, co-presenters Jennifer Rose, Marta Pyvovarenko, Saturday, September 18, 2021.

Implementing a Somatic Methodology in the Ukrainian Rehabilitation System: Developing Stress Resistance in Ex-combatants, IDPs, and Residents of Eastern Ukraine hosted by the United Nations, Peace and Reconciliation Programme, in-person in Kyiv, Ukraine, with on-line participation, April 28, 2021; 

Panel discussion «Reintegration of Veterans ATO/OOC in Ukraine»; Online Event by UNDP Ukraine / ПРООН в Україні, March 16, 2021

Panel titled “Heroes of Liberty: Enhancing Well-Being, Resilience, and Civic Engagement of Ukrainian Veterans,” hosted by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, and the Senate Ukraine Caucus, at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in Washington D.C., March 11, 2020.

Press Conference: New Research Project on Somatic Methods for Military, with Development Foundation and NATO at America House, Kyiv, Ukraine, August 2019.

Lecture, ‘Somatics and Environmental Awareness’. Hosted by Dnipro Development Agency, Dnipro, Ukraine, June 21, 2018.

Press Conference, Kyiv, Ukraine, December 7, 2018, Ukrainian Crisis Media Center, announcing program ‘Mental Health Without Borders’ research program on effectiveness of somatic methods on soldiers and their families.

‘Decompression: The Art of Returning from War’. Conference on somatic methods as component of decompression in military, Kyiv, Ukraine, March 9, 2019. Hosted by American Embassy and NATO.

Invited Speaker and Workshop.“Working with physical manifestations of experience through body-mind approaches/Робота за допомогою тілесно-мисленнєвого підходу із фізичними проявами, що виникли унаслідок негативного досвіду” Kostiuk Institute for Advanced Study in Psychology, Kyiv, Ukraine, March 18, 2017.


СИЛА ДИХАННЯ: психологічні засоби відновлення (The Force of Breath: Methods for Psychological Resilience) co-authored with Liudmyla Magdysiuk, Antonij Melnyk, Marta Pyvovarenko, Marta Kovalova, Volyn University, Lesia Ukrainka, 2022. (Ukrainian language)

СИЛА ДИХАННЯ: психологічні засоби відновлення (The Force of Breath: Methods For Psychological Recovery Manual). Katja Kolcio, Marta Pyvovarenko, Marta Kovalova. Development Foundation/United Nations, November 2021. (Ukrainian language); 

Somatic Components of Decompression: Program for Armed Forces and National Guard of Ukraine. Development Foundation, Lviv, Ukraine, August 2019. (in Ukrainian); 

Invited Paper. “The Force of Breath: Somatic mind-body methods for alleviating the effects of trauma on victims of war in Ukraine, International Scientific and Practical Conference on Psychology of Trauma, Zaporizhya National University, Zaporizhya, Ukraine, April 21, 2017.

“Somatics and Political Change: Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity,” Contact Quarterly CQ Vol. 41 no. 2 Summer/Fall 2016 http://contactquarterly.com/cq/article-gallery/index.php

News Media: The Conversation Podcast, 'History and Evolution of Ukrainian Identity'; The World 'Rare Collection Returned to Ukraine now in Danger'; NPR, 'Archive that Preserved Language and History, Returned to Ukraine'; Mission to Restore Donbas, Novynarnia News, May 2021; The Art of Returning from War, in LB, Olena Maksymenko, March 2019; Voice of America (video), August 2019; Simple Things that Save Lives, in Tyzhden, Olena Maksymenko, August 2019.

MOVABLE PILLARS (2010 Wesleyan University Press), which traces the path by which dance entered the university context, radically bringing the body/mind into scholarly inquiry beginning in the 1920’s. Movable Pillars demonstrates that dance is an intellectually vital methodological paradigm that engenders critical analysis and action through creative physical practice.

Kolcio's publications also include Moving Self, Moving Earth: Studying the Environment and Ecology Through Movement and Dance (2010, Accelerated Motion, electronic edition, Wesleyan University Press); Faking It: The Necessary Blind Spots of Understanding (2009, Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies), A Somatic Engagement of Technology (2005, International Journal for Performance Art and Digital Media); Branching Out: Oral Histories of the Founding of Six National Dance Organizations (2000, American Dance Guild, nominated for the De La Torre Bueno Prize); and book reviews in e-misferica, Dance Research Journal and the New England Theater Journal.

Kolcio creates choreographic events to engender social and political impact. Katja has received choreographic fellowships from the New England Dance Fund, New York State Council of the Arts, and Meet the Composer. Choreography has been presented at Judson Church, The Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center - Artists for World Peace Festival, New York University Black Box Theater, St. Marks Church, The Ukrainian Museum of New York, The Bridge for Dance, La Mama Experimental Theatre, the Ukrainian Institute of America, various community gardens throughout NYC, the Honchar Museum (Kyiv, Ukraine), Kyiv Mohyla Academy (Kyiv, Ukraine), Wesleyan, Duke, Antioch, Ohio State, Wittenberg, SUNY Brockport and other colleges around the United States.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Fall-Spring 2022 ON SABBATICAL

To make an appointment, email kkolcio@wesleyan.edu for an in-person meeting, or toschedule a zoom drop in: 

During my sabbatical I will be travelling, but I am available for meeting with students and advisees. My office hours are by appointment.




Fall 2024
DANC 341 - 01
Dance Teaching Workshop