OF VISION AND VOICE
"Preserving our Culture, Challenging our Society and Validating our Experience"
The dance festival is designed to bring together lovers and "livers" of Black Dance in scholarly discussion and artistic exploration of the culture and history of the Black and African Diaspora
This incredible weekend will feature:
Virtual dance party with DJ KenStarr
"IN VISION" Professional Artist Showcase
13 classes with master level instructors
"NEW VOICES" Emerging Black Choreographers Showcase
Dynamic panel discussion
"IN VOICE" artist talks
The Mojuba! Black Dance Fest will
offer a platform where the sharing and preservation of unique expressions, stories, experiences, and culture may continue
serve as a gathering place and a safe space for artists of color in Cleveland and beyond
provide Ohio residents and visitors, namely the underrepresented and underserved, with increased access and opportunity to view and experience art that reflects a culture and identity that is their own
use area artists groups, teachers and companies to demonstrate the depth of the talent that is within our own neighborhoods
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2020 festival
2020 Festival Instructors
South African Zulu
Mfoniso Akpan has trained extensively in tap, ballet, jazz, modern, African dance and step. While attending the State University of New York at Stony Brook, she majored in biochemistry and cultivated her stepping skills as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Mfon began her training at the Bernice Johnson Cultural Arts Center and has performed at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Apollo Theater, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Lincoln Center. Mfon toured with the off-Broadway show “Hoofin’ 2 Hittin,” where she was a featured stepper and dancer. She is the current Artistic Director of Step Afrika!
Step /Body Percussion | South African Gumboot
Jakari Sherman is a passionate choreographer, ethnochoreologist, and performer who experience extends over 20 years. Rooted in the African American tradition of stepping, his work has sought to push the boundaries of percussive dance as a communicative medium by challenging conventional paradigms and exploring the use of technology, storytelling, and diverse musical scores. Serving as the Artistic Director of Step Afrika!, he has brought new life to the folkloric tradition of stepping locally and across the globe. Under his creative guide, the company has won awards for Excellence in an Artistic Discipline, Innovation in the Arts, and Outstanding New Work.
Saroya Corbett is a certified Dunham Technique instructor and the chair of History and Theory for the Institute for Dunham Technique Certification. In 2014, her chapter, “Katherine Dunham’s Mark on Jazz” was published in Jazz Dance: A History of the Roots and Branches, which focuses on Katherine Dunham’s contribution to the evolution of jazz dance. The dance companies in which she has performed for are the Katherine Dunham Museum Workshop, the Spelman College Dance Theatre, Kariamu and Company, and Flyground. She has also served as an instructor for the Spelman College Children's Drama and Dance Program, the Katherine Dunham Museum Children's Workshop, Studio Dionne, Drexel University and Temple University. Her choreography has been featured on Spelman Dance Theatre, CityDance Ensemble, and dance artists of Philadelphia. Saroya has a Masters in Fine Arts degree in Dance from Temple University and received her B.A. from Spelman College in economics. Also, she is on the steering committee for the Coalition of Diasporan Scholars Moving (CDSM). Currently, Saroya is a Ph.D. candidate at UCLA in the World Arts Cultures/Dance department.
Zakiya L. Cornish, a New Orleans native received her B.A. from Dillard University in Business Management. Classically trained West African dancer, Zakiya was a New Orleans-based independent artist for several years performing with many of the noted companies. Zakiya served as a teaching artist for 5 years with Young Audiences of Louisiana, culminating in an invitation for her students to perform in Los Angeles for Adam Shankman (executive producer of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE). Zakiya earned an MFA degree in Dance at Temple University. Her graduate research entailed an exploration of the intersections of African American identity and West African Dance. During her stay in Philadelphia, Zakiya performed with Kulu Mele African Drum and Dance Company and Lela Aisha Jones |FLyGround. Through her connection with these companies she had the opportunity to work with Tony-award nominee Jeffrey Page, and Ron Brown of Evidence Dance Company. Zakiya has taught traditional and contemporary African dance classes across the country over the past 10 years.
Hip Hop | Dance as Activism
Aysha Upchurch is an entrepreneur, artist, educator, and consultant who creates, facilitates, and designs for radical change. She is a seed planter and soil agitator who weaves her passion into her commitment to critical arts pedagogy, youth advocacy, social justice, and transformative education. Radical change means shaking up the old, expanding the boundaries of what's possible, and centering joy in the process. Whether on the stage or in the classroom or boardroom, Aysha is quite literally on the move to show what it means to be D.Ø.P.E. - dismantling oppression, pushing education.
African Brazilian | Ring Shout
Tamara Williams is an Assistant Professor of Dance at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte (UNCC). She earned her BFA in Dance from Florida State University and received her MFA in Dance from Hollins University in collaboration with Frankfurt University. Her choreography has been performed nationally, and internationally including Serbia, Switzerland, Mexico, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, and in Brazil. In 2011 she created, Moving Spirits, Inc., a contemporary arts organization dedicated to performing, researching, documenting, cultivating and producing arts of the African Diaspora.
Williams’ article, "Reviving Culture Through Ring Shout", was published in the Dancer-Citizen in 2018. Her research focuses on spiritual dances of the African Diaspora. She is currently investigating Ring Shout dance traditions created by enslaved African Americans in the United States and has a forthcoming book about Silvestre Dance Technique, and forthcoming chapter in Fire Under My Feet regarding Ring Shout traditions.
Dancing African Diaspora | African/Carribean Contemporary
Kieron Sargeant is a Trinidadian born choreographer, dancer, researcher, and percussionist. He has a Masters In Fine Arts focused on Dance, Performance and Choreography from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a focus on Dance and Cultural Studies from the University of the West Indies. Kieron’s artistic interests, practice and research focus on dance practices of the African Diaspora, Circum-Caribbean and Western Africa. Kieron delves into the processes of deconstruction and reconstruction of African-Caribbean Dance practices. Particularly African-Trinidadian dance adaptations which span the fields of concert dance, modern Caribbean dance, contemporary Caribbean dance as well as their social and commercial applications. Kieron is a highly sought-after movement lecturer and instructor. His classes are engaging, highly rhythmical and steeped in traditions and context with a contemporary twist.
Afrotraditional Dances of Trinidad and Tobago
Patriann Edwards is a multidisciplinary performing artist, dance educator & independent cultural researcher from Trinidad and Tobago. Extensively trained in Afro-Traditional/Folk Dance Forms of Trinidad & Tobago, West African Dance and the fire arts, Patriann holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performing Arts - Dance, from the University of Trinidad & Tobago. A "Jane of many trades", Patriann's wealth of experience extends to over 20 years of performance, training & mentorship within the artistic & entertainment industry in the Caribbean and the United States. In 2017, she received the Movement Research Institute of New York’s, MELT Summer Intensive International Scholarship and was also bestowed one of the awards, as one of their “GPS Artists of 2017”. Her ongoing artistic development, research and process centers around the promotion of the fastidious dissemination and presentation of the Afro-Trinidadian traditional dance forms. Known in her country for her high energy sessions & workshops, Patriann aims to bring the Trinbagonian fire across the waters. She is the current recipient of the Founder Scholarship from the Kieron Dwayne Sargeant Dance and Education Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago and is also currently pursuing the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts & Cultural Enterprise Management at the University of the West Indies.
Originally from Chester, Pennsylvania, Monique Newton Walker has traveled the world as a performer, educator, and choreographer. She specializes in neo-traditional and contemporary African dance; and has studied from many dance masters and institutions including Chuck Davis, Walter Nicks, Philadanco!, The School at Jacob’s Pillow, and Dr. Kariamu Welsh. Based in southern-Maryland, Monique holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Administration, is the Administrative Director for the Charles County Arts Alliance, a 2018-2019 NextLOOK Residency Artist, and a certified Master Teacher of the Umfundalai contemporary African dance technique. She teaches Umfundalai at CityDance’s School & Conservatory and DREAM School of Dance, has taught as a guest lecturer at the University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign campus and Drexel University, and on teaching faculties at North Carolina State University and The School at Jacob’s Pillow. Monique is the former dance captain and Assistant to the Artistic Director of Chuck Davis' African American Dance Ensemble and former principal dancer with Kariamu & Company: Traditions. She is Director of Administration for the National Association of American African Dance Teachers and a choreographer with her project-based performance company, MoDance Works.
Raise Your Praise
Errin Weaver is a teaching artist, wellness advocate, and community activator. She began her dance training in African dance as a company member of Dance Afrika Dance of Cleveland, OH. Errin attended Tennessee State University on a university performing arts scholarship, and then relocated to Chicago where she performed with the renowned Muntu Dance Theatre, under the direction of Amaniyea Payne. She is certified at the M'Singha Wuti level for the Umfundalai Contemporary African Dance technique and has taught spiritual and African based dance forms extensively. She has worked with such notable choreographers as Abdel Salaam, Jeffrey Page, Monique Haley, Ronald K. Brown, Babacar N’Diaye, and the late Baba Chuck Davis. Errin is a sought after choreographer and instructor of sacred dance rooted in the Gospel tradition. Her organization Errin Ministries, and the recently formed Raise Your Praise Ministry Institute, trains and equips dancers and leaders toward excellence in dance ministry. In 2019, she formed Mojuba! Dance Collective, an African contemporary dance company dedicated to exploring spiritual and cultural dance traditions of the African Diaspora to restore community wellness, share and validate the Black narrative experience, and reestablish cultural connection.
Learn history, culture, and movement from the festival's master instructors whose expertise spans across the African Diaspora
Witness the final works of our first cohort from the Emerging Black Choreographers Incubator and works from our instructors during two virtual evening performances
Join us for a virtual dance party with DJ Kenstarr where there will also be an opportunity to buy "merch" and support our work!
Hear from and chat with festival instructors regarding their work, research, inspirations and passions