In 1996, James Robey inherited the faculty position in jazz dance at the University of Akron Dance Department from his mentor Priscilla Wagner. With the position came the challenge of creating his own syllabus. He found that most ballet and modern techniques were codified and well honed but most jazz dance techniques were not. So, he began developing and creating a technique and syllabus for jazz dance that would parallel other serious techniques.

Over the next fourteen years, James continued to develop the technique and syllabus while teaching professional and amateur dancers in New York City, with high school students at Long Island School of Performing Arts, as director of the jazz and modern programs at School of Eastern Connecticut Ballet, with BFA dance majors at the Hartt School/University of Hartford, and at the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance where he had the opportunity to develop the program across all ages and levels under one roof over a 10-year period. Working with his brother, Jason Robey MS, LAT, ATC (Director of Athletic Training Services for Appalachian State University), he designed a technique in line with the latest in sports training techniques.

While pursuing his MFA in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwuakee and with the guidance of professor Marcia Parsons and Annaliese Burns Wilson, James synthesized and formatted the information to create the Jazz Dance Technique & Curriculum™. To see samples and more click: Shop.


About James

With more than 25 years of teaching experience and 10 years of professional performance experience, James Robey holds an MFA in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a BFA in Dance from the University of Akron, and is a two-time finalist in the Leo's Choreography Competitive Event at the Jazz Dance World Congress.

James is Chair of the Department of Dance and Associate Professor of Dance at Radford University in Virginia;  a graduate of the Webster University Global Leadership Academy; recipient of the 2015 Messing Faculty Award from Webster University; a former board member for the American College Dance Association; a member of the National Dance Education Organization, National Association of Schools of Dance, and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society; and is author and creator of the Jazz Dance Technique and Curriculum™ and Beginning Jazz Dance. James was Founding Artistic Director of Bare Bones Dance Project in New York City and Artistic Director of James Robey Dance in Connecticut. He has been a faculty member in the dance programs at The Hartt School/University of Hartford and the University of Akron and was director of the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance in CT for 10 years.

James is a former professional dancer with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Connecticut Ballet, New York Dance Theater, Ground Works Dance Theater, Off Center Dance Theater, Ohio Dance Theatre, Covenant Dance Theater, Cleveland Opera, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Tokyo Disneyland, Disney World, and Busch Gardens. James currently lives in Blacksburg, VA with his wife Melissa.


"James Robey's new Jazz Dance Syllabus is clear in its content, focused in its approach, intelligent in its design, crafted with heart and is an absolute joy to teach!

The Syllabus not only supports technical growth logically and systematically, but inspires with its sharp historical dance references and, thus, is educational on a multitude of levels.

A school or individual can easily create a full Jazz Dance Program around this Syllabus with great results!"

Bill Hastings

"James Robey has an acute sense of how to relate Jazz Dance and its fullness to his students. His approach is one of the most detailed approaches I have seen in decades."

Jimmy Locust

“James Robey’s energy and commitment to each and every student is an inspiration to everyone in the class!  He has now put that same energy and commitment into a wonderful new jazz syllabus."  

Beverly F. Spell  

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