JCWK Dance Lab 

Creating Joy, Connection, & Wellness through Kinesthetic stories


JCWK Dance Lab is an ongoing research project combining education, physical dance practice, and performance. Using dance as its medium, JCWK Dance Lab investigates the ways that dance can be a vehicle for non-violent, positive social change by creating Joy, Connection, and Wellness through Kinesthetic stories.


Jessica C. Warchal-King, described as a “post mod(ern) ballerina” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, is a performer, choreographer, educator, and arts advocate. She is the director and founder of JCWK Dance Lab and the blog “Fieldnotes”.

In addition to her own work, Jessica has performed for and collaborated with many independent choreographers nationally and internationally. Jessica was a senior dance artist with the internationally recognized modern dance company, Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers (KYL/D), from 2010-2017. She also was a founding member of the regionally recognized contemporary ballet company, Nora Gibson Contemporary Ballet, from 2009-2016. With both companies, Jessica has toured nationally and internationally and has performed at some of the premier dance venues in the US.  Her choreography has been presented in venues throughout Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, the Washington DC area, and Virginia. She has set over 60 works on college and university students and professional and pre-professional dancers.

As an educator, Jessica was a Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor of Dance at Drexel University (2019-2020). She led the dance program at Widener University (2013-2019). Jessica is a Lecturer and Artist in Residence in Dance at Alvernia University. She also developed Dance for Wellness for the Tower Health System/Reading Hospital.

She was the Managing Director for the Arts Series at Alvernia University. Jessica co-founded and curated of the KYL/D’s InHale Performance Series (2008-2019), one of Philadelphia’s longest running performance opportunities for emerging and established artists. She also held various administrative positions at KYL/D from 2009-2017, including: Assistant to the Directors, CHI MAC Operations Coordinator and Community Liaison.

Jessica’s writing has also be published by the Journal of Dance Education, DanceAdvantage.net, and PhiladelphiaDance.org.

Jessica received the Part Time Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence from Widener, a Rocky Award from the Philadelphia Dance Community, residencies from PhiladelphiaDance.org, Lafayette College, and Widener University, and grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Fund and Berks Arts.

She earned her MFA in Performance and Choreography from Temple University, where she was awarded a Teaching/ Research Assistantship, a Dance Scholarship, and the Temple University Rose Vernick Award for Artistic Transformation. Jessica earned her BA in Dance and Anthropology from Muhlenberg College where she received the Dance Leadership Award and was the Assistant to the Director of the Muhlenberg Community Dance Center. Jessica is also a trained instructor in Dance for PD – a program developed by the Mark Morris Dance Group to bring dance to people with Parkinson’s Disease, a Power Pilates Mat Certified Instructor, and a Reiki practitioner.

Additionally, Jessica enjoys delighting in the discoveries of her son, the shifting temper of the ocean, and tiny-camping adventures. She digs into the (sometimes surprising) talents and gifts of her community and creates safe spaces from which these can be shared.

Photo by Brian Mengini