Dr. Kilbourne has devoted nearly all of his adult life to helping individuals know and understand play, dance, games, and sport. His Bachelor’s degree is in Creative Drama & Movement from California State University Long Beach. His Master’s degree is from the University of California at Los Angeles in Dance Education with an emphasis in Dance & Sport. While at UCLA he served as Graduate Assistant (Basketball Conditioning) to then head coach Larry Brown. His Ph.D. is from The Ohio State University where he continued his work exploring the relationships between sport and performance. In 1982 John became the first full-time conditioning coach in the National Basketball Association with the Philadelphia Seventy Sixers. He helped them in the pursuit of their 1983 World Championship. In addition to his work in basketball, John has extensive experience in figure skating both in the United States and Canada. Presently he serves as a professor in the Department of Movement Science at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan.
John is a former member of The Margalit Dance Theatre, The Detroit Dance Collective, and presently co-directs with his wife Elizabeth, The Blau Rhino Dance Ensemble.
Dr. Kilbourne has won numerous awards including, The 2009 GVSU Distinguished Professor of the Year Nomination, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Citation of Outstanding Performance, the 2004 Bridgewater State College Award for Academic Excellence, and the 2000 Massachusetts Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Honor Award.
Dr. Kilbourne is a productive scholar having written numerous articles. He is a frequent guest speaker throughout North America. One of his current research interests is on the games of Arctic people. During the fall of 2001 he and his family moved to the Canadian Arctic where they experienced the culture and games of Canada’s Inuit.