Denver native Cleo Parker Robinson is a renowned choreographer and the executive artistic director of the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble. Overcoming nephritis, kidney failure, a heart attack, and ulcers during her childhood, she made dance her refuge. She received formal dance training at Colorado Women’s College under Rita Barger, a former dancer with George Balanchine. Later she studied at the Alvin Ailey Dance Center and with Arthur Mitchell’s Dance Theatre of Harlem. Influenced by Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham, Katherine Dunham, and Eleo Pomare, she established the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble in 1970. This group has performed throughout the United States and many other countries, earning global recognition in the dance arena. Robinson has received several awards and honors as she teaches, choreographs, and works to connect the world of dance with Denver’s minority communities.