2020 virtual

Festival Highlights


The Continuum: Drum, Song, and the Dancing Body

16-18th, 2022

Cleveland, Ohio

the mojuba! festival of dance and culture

The Mojuba! Festival of Dance and Culture will study and explore sacred dance forms, wellness and healing practices, and the cultural and artistic contributions of the African Diaspora

the 2022 festival is scheduled TO be presented in a hybrid virtual and in person format. More details to come!

Playing a Drum

What does Africa and the Diaspora have to share about the healing and transformative power of dance and ritual?  What parallels can be found within the Black community with that of traditional cultures when it comes to sacred dance and the healing arts? What can be accomplished through aesthetic and expressive experience?

The Mojuba! Festival of Dance and Culture will study and explore sacred dance forms, wellness and healing practices, and the cultural and artistic contributions of the African Diaspora through an interdisciplinary lens from the community, artists, scholars, master instructors, and practitioners. Classes, presentations, performances, and discussions will center upon connection to cultural artistic identity, collective health and wellness, restoration of community, and embodied knowledge systems.


We are interested in submissions for presentations, classes, panels, and performances which consider the ways in which we experience dance and healing, sacred arts and performative activity, spiritual connectedness, cultural and folk arts, and beyond within the African Diaspora and the Black community. The dialogue and conversations envisioned are broad as we seek to engage diverse audiences, perspectives, and fields of study. 


We are accepting proposals for classes, performances, panels, and presentations 
Accepted proposals receive free registration and other potential benefits




Share scholarly discourse and research, or practice


Teach about practice, dance form, way of knowing, etc.


Collaborate on a discussion with other colleagues


Perform an original work for the evening professional showcase 

Request for Proposals:
Mojuba! Festival of Dance and Culture 

Thank you! We’ll be in touch soon!

2020 Festival Instructors 

Mfoniso Akpan


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!

Jakari Sherman


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



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 Cornish

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West African

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.

Aysha Upchurch


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.

Tamara Williams


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.

Kieron Sargeant


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.

Patriann Edwards 

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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. 

Monique Walker



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.

Errin Weaver


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.

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