What I've Been Up To
After graduating from the UofA, I joined Philadanco’s second company D2 where I had the opportunity to take class everyday with the main company with teachers like Pat Thomas and Milton Myers. I experienced a traumatic break in Philadelphia and decided to move somewhere new to regroup. I ended up moving to Denver where I danced with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble performing works of Katherine Dunham, Alvin Ailey, Donald McKayle, Talley Beatty, and Milton Myers. Dancing and touring with Cleo took me to ADF, Jacobs Pillow and many other amazing festivals and venues. I really got an understanding of who I was and how important it is to preserve ancestral roots, culture and the history often times erased from text books. Cleo made me connect to my Afro-Brazilian roots in such a way that I moved to Brazil, specifically Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. There I lived and danced for 7 years. Some professional highlights include dancing with Mario Nascimento Dance Company, having a leading role in the Beatles musical Because, and presenting solos with Rede Sola de Dança. I had the incredible honor of teaching at the world renowned Grupo Corpo, and the dance conservatory, Palácio das Artes. My time in Brazil lead me all over the country touring and connecting with a different contemporary dance perspective. I got the chance to study under some phenomenal master teachers and share the stage with incredible dance artists. My dance journey has always been a balancing act of my personal life and job fulfillment. Becoming a mother made me rethink where to raise my family and lead me back to the United States. Since moving to Phoenix I have continued my artistic endeavors performing with the Black Theatre Troupe and presented work at the BlakTinx Dance Festival, Breaking Ground, and at Beta Dance festival. My favorite part of dance currently though is helping shape future dance artists. I absolutely love teaching and challenging the way we currently think about dance and remembering to make these spaces as inclusive as possible. I am currently teaching at Arizona State University, Grand Canyon University and Glendale Community College.
How UA Dance inspired and/or impacted me as an individual.
University of Arizona gave me the technical skills needed as a professional dancer along with being able to balance a heavy work load. I went out into the dance world knowing that dance is not only physically challenging but mentally challenging as well. Touring and 8 hour days was possible because I was physically and mentally prepared. During my undergrad we had to write a grant or project for Careers in Dance. I actually submitted my project and was awarded money through the Medici scholarship which I used to take the Philadanco Summer Intensive. This really is where my professional career began. From that scholarship I had the opportunity to experience company life and became a D2 member which really set me on my path as a professional. I am so thankful for the outstanding program and professors at UofA. There is a reason it’s always at the top. The training and preparation is built for students success. I am forever grateful for my time at UofA.