Kaleena is a 2015 McKnight Dance Fellow and was named one of DANCE Magazine's "25 to Watch" in 2016. She has received funding from the Jerome Foundation and Minnesota State Arts Board, and has been commissioned to create work for the Walker Art Center, Southern Theater, Wayzata Symphony Orchestra, Hear Here! Festival, and SPCPA. Kaleena recently worked with Derick Grant on a solo, commissioned by the McKnight Fellowship. In 2016, she spent a month in solo residency at Air Le Parc in Pampelonne, France.
NEW WORK - DUETS
Duets is a new work from tap dancer Kaleena Miller with renowned Twin Cities musicians JT Bates (drums), Cody McKinney (bass), and Bryan Nichols (piano). Together these extraordinary collaborators explore a diverse range of sound and texture, sophisticated rhythms and counterpoint, and the influence of sound on movement and movement on sound. Duets is a remarkable work of musicality and virtuosity at its finest.
"MN's tap dancing rebel." - Minneapolis Star Tribune
"...Miller always maintained her cool, engaging crowds with sly wit, flowing limbs and mesmerizing footwork. Relaxed, with easy, impeccable technique... <she> is redefining how we consume Tap" - Dance Magazine
"… incredibly heartfelt and moving without being sappy. There's an interesting sonic and visual palate -- both from the footwork and the soundscape." - Philip Bither, Walker Arts Center, on Kaleena Miller’s Fleet
“Kaleena Miller, through her tapping, builds a perfect world, each beat falling when it should, when it needs to. I couldn’t tell whether to cry or laugh at the rightness of each of her successive steps.” - Lightsey Darst, mnartists.org
“I find myself resting on Kaleena’s deep seated stance of irony...she knows they are virtuosic to the point of magic and she knows virtuosity died with the World’s Fair. She tells us this with her eyebrows, with the tiny shakes of her head, with the way she pulls from holding steady into something completely else - something so damn virtuosic you want to pee. We see a duet of crazy-ass-good tap dancing with charisma pouring out every pore, but she also makes them lovable. She makes me believe they could fly right off the stage; she makes me love their particular virtuosity.” - Emily Johnson, Walker Arts Center Blog
“Demure yet dynamic, Miller is a real show-woman.” - Camille Lefevre, Star Tribune
“Her musicality and stylistic verve have quickly made her a local favorite, a sort of tapper’s tapper...one of the area’s savviest and sassiest tappers.” - Linda Shapiro, City Pages
Kaleena is a sought-after educator who founded the Twin Cities Tap Festival and has worked with the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, Penn State University, Rhythm Weekend (Omaha, NE), Velocity Dance, OMEGA Dance Workshop, and numerous studios in Minnesota and Wisconsin to offer masterclasses and residency activities.
She is not only a passionate advocate of tap dance in Minnesota, but of music and tap dance collaborations in Minnesota. She sees dance as a means to create sound, and sound as a way to inspire movement. As such, she has collaborated with a diverse range of acclaimed musicians and ensembles including Reid Anderson (The Bad Plus), JT Bates (Andrew Bird, John Medeski, Fat Kid Wednesdays), and the Wayzata Symphony Orchestra.
She also developed Music/Motion, a unique week-long residency in which high school jazz musicians explore the creative and cultural intersection of two distinctly American art forms, tap dance & jazz music to further connect dancers and musicians.