Dancing in the Classroom


  • When I was a very young student at Newtown Girls R.C. School in Port of Spain, Trinidad, I had the great fortune to study with Mrs. Walker, Mrs. Shephard, and Miss O’Brien. These women featured in my seventh book, In the Public Eye (2009) and continue to be the beacons of light on my educational path. I was a Professor of Adolescent/Adult Literacy at Kent State University in the School of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum Studies. My major research interests included women and literacy, drama in education, and video technology in qualitative research instruction. My published research includes documentation of the experiences of Black women involved in education from adult basic literacy to higher education. The American Educational Research Association Narrative and Research SIG awarded the book, Ph.D. Stories: Conversations with My Sisters, the Outstanding Book Award for 2009. My formal performance career did not stop when I left The Juilliard School in 1987. Rather, I took a long time to formulate a one woman show called Between Me and the Lord, which I performed in Atlanta, Trinidad, and Cambridge, USA in 2000. The second installation of the play was presented at Kent State University in March, 2009. Between Me and The Lord 2 was an expanded document that represents five chapters of my life. In April 2010, I was invited by Georgia State University to present at the Research Wednesday Speaker Series. The Speaker Series is designed to give participants an opportunity to hear innovative and thought provoking speakers who represent cutting edge research at the state and national levels. My first children’s book is about Olympic athlete Lennox Kilgour, my father. It has been translated into another language.







Joanne Kilgor Dowdy writes about her father who won the Bronze Medal in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland By Essiba Small essiba.small@trinidadexpress.com
Story Created: Aug 20, 2013 at 10:49 PM ECT / Story Updated: Aug 20, 2013 at 10:49 PM ECT

KSU professor donates childrena€?s book to Kent State collection, Joanne Dowdy, a professor of adolescent and adult literacy, said that she donated her work, "Olympic Hero: Lennox Kilgour's Story," within the past few months because she wanted it in a safe location where others can enjoy it. via KentWired.com



When Joanne Kilgour Dowdy set out to write a childrena€?s book last year she didna€?t think she would be writing about her father, deceased Olympian Lennox Kilgour. She had already gathered information from writers and illustrators with experience in writing childrena€?s books and was ready to start when she got a strong feeling that the booka€?s focus should be on her famous father.


Fathered by his grateful daughter; a professor gives lessons on Olympics and weightlifting

In the Trinidad and Tobago of the 21st Century, parents burying children seems to be the new normal. The reality was different on Wednesday afternoon at Olympic House in Port-of-Spain. There, for almost three interesting but not enthralling hours, a child, Joanne Kilgour-Dowdy, disinterred her late athletic father and presented the Olympic bronze medallist to her audience as a multi-faceted hero worthy of emulation and adulation.


An Evening with Storytelling with a Conscience featuring Joanne Kilgour Dowdy

Celebrated Trinidad-born arts practitioner and educator Dr Joanne Kilgour Dowdy has written nine books, all of which helped raise the consciousness of her people. Dowdya€?s books often explore womena€?s issues, empowerment, and issues concerning Caribbean and pan-African people. Her newesta€”Artful Stories: The Teacher, the Student and the Musea€”however, tells the story of four arts practitioners from Trinidad and Tobagoa€”a lighting designer, a dancer, a jazz musician and a choreographera€”who have made a name for themselves internationally. The book is an exploration of the role of the artist as teacher and relationship that evolves between the teacher and the student in the creation of new work, whether it is lighting design, drama, dance, or music. Kilgour-Dowdy left Trinidad in the 80s to study drama at the Boston Conservatory of Music, Dance, and Drama with the support of Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott and then moved on to the Julliard School in New York. She continued her formal performance career which is carefully and poignantly documented in her photo autobiography In the Public Eye, which she also launched in Trinidad in 2010.



Her life in the public eye

Do you remember the time when there were two channels to choose from on local television? One station affectionately called TTT provided two channels, 2 for the east and 13 for the west and Tobago. You either watched what was on it or found something else to do because there was no cable and only a handful of people owned satellite dishes.

In the TV mix that offered much more foreign material than local there were some homegrown productions that secured airplay and enjoyed popularity. One of these was a 13-part series entitled Who the C.A.P. Fits featuring a young woman named Joanne Kilgour.











In the Public Eye

Joanne Kilgour Dowdy's photo autobiography takes us through a rich and moving forty year personal life journey. We are made privy to her inner most thoughts growing up as a privileged child in Trinidad, her then meteoric rise to fame as a young thespian in her homeland, and her later struggle with her identity as a black immigrant in the United States.


In each photograph of Joanne from childhood through adulthood we see the challenging eyes of an individual who is wise beyond her years, determined and frankly rebellious.


This book affords the reader an opportunity to look through the lens that reveals the soul of a teacher, and whose seemingly disparate experiences, form the foundation for everything she does. [It is] an insightful portrait of what it means to be a woman of colour in today's society.


Professor D. Prioleau

SUNY: Brockport




Home | Pictures | Resume | Links

Usage Rights

This website is the property of Dr. Joanne Kilgour Dowdy. All rights reserved. No reproduction in whole or in part without the express permission of Dr. Joanne Kilgour Dowdy.

Copyright © 2010 Commess University