City Cast

A Day in Denver History: Cleo Parker Robinson

Bree Davies
Bree Davies
Posted on July 24
Schyleen Qualls and Cleo Parker Robinson in 1977 display some of the crafts they brought back from Nigeria.

Schyleen Qualls (left) and Cleo Parker Robinson (right) in 1977 display some of the crafts they brought back from Nigeria. (Donated to the Denver Public Library by the Rocky Mountain News / WH2129-2021-612)

This 1977 photograph of the Mile High’s queen of dance, Cleo Parker Robinson, and her dance ensemble artistic co-director at the time, Schyleen Qualls, shows the two born-and-raised Denverites (and longtime friends) with a bounty of artwork they brought back from a festival in Nigeria. Cleo continues to bring the world to Denver — and bring Denver to the world — through her artistic vision as a dancer, choreographer, educator, storyteller, and fearless collaborator. Recently, her dance school in Five Points broke ground on a $20 million expansion, which will expand its current home in the historic Shorter AME Church into a beautiful campus with a new, accessible performance venue, dance studios, and more space for youth and community movement education.

This segment was written by City Cast Denver host (and Old Denver expert) Bree Davies.

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