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Kiandanda Dance Theater is project based company. Its work aesthetic ranges from traditional dances of Africa, contemporary dance, creative movement, acting and visual arts.


Over the past 11 years, the company as worked and collaborated with a great number of dance and music performers. Among them, we are honored to present to you some of them.

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is an award-winning spoken word artist, writer, proud wearer of crocs, and social justice activist born in Akron, Ohio. He received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from Eastern Michigan University. He uses poetry as a tool with which to heal, inform, and challenge his audience in their awareness of social, political, and economic oppression.

Darius is featured as a protagonist in the film Finding the Gold Within, a documentary by Karina Epperlein on what it means to be a young black male in America. He has appeared on a wide array of stages and including ABC News(WXYZ-TV), University of Akron's Black MaleSummit, TEDxDetroit, and Pacifica Graduate Institute


Chris Babingui was born in Enyelle, Congo Brazzaville. Babingui began his artistic career in hip-hop. He has toured extensively internationally in Africa and Europe from 2012-2014. In 2012, Chris participated in Gregory Makoma and Florent Mahoukou’s creation of a piece titled Wake Up. His other works include a solo performance of his Nibo Nabo choreography in Mbogui Square in San Francisco, CA (2015). An interpretative performance of Nkisi Nkondi by Kiandanda Dance Theater, Saint Mary’s College of California and Red Poppy Art House, San Francisco, CA; Ntela Traditional Congolese Interpretation by Loubayi, Louden Nelson Center, Santa Cruz, CA; Nibo Nabo, REVERBdance Festival, New York, NY (2016).


Alkebulan has been blessed with learning songs, dances and drum rhythms of West Africa as well as the learning of how to function in a child to the young adult educational environment. Initially, a businessman, his passion for culture and education is now defined. He is a dance instructor, choreographer, co-founder of Malaika Kidogo’s West African Drum and Dance Ensemble (Children Group). He had been an independent performer, consultant to African performing groups and artists while living in Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland, and Dallas. Founder of Motherland Drummer, Alkebulan is an active member of Diamano Coura West African Dance Ensemble based in Oakland since 1090.


is an Igbo woman, from Enugu, Nigeria, West Africa. She is a first-generation immigrant to the west and dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the Igbo culture. She is a performing artist, dance facilitator, choreographer, educator, researcher, community health registered nurse, and an advocate for the use of the healing arts as a right to individuals and communities. Uzo is connecting her passion of music and dance from all over the continent of Africa with its influence on global health and wellbeing.


Tomika is a Nigerian-American dancer based out of the Bay Area. Ms. Iyalla is versed in many forms and styles of dance, from hip hop to lyrical, she merges them all into one, forming her own dance style of an afro-house fusion. Being self-taught from a young age, Tomika has always felt a deep connection with dance and movement. Whether she is dancing hip hop socially, or using lyrical for her contemporary expression, Tomika dances with a vibrant energy. She paints colorful stories of healing, life cycles, and ancestral roots, using it as expression, and mindfulness not just for herself but for youth around Oakland in after school programs and workshops.

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Andrea is a student, teacher, choreographer, and performer of a variety of modern-based movement. Her 20-year background includes the study of modern dance, hip hop, west African, ballet, Haitian, Latin styles, worship dance, theatre, music theory, dance composition, dance history and production. She has studied under Dawn James, Dr. Linda Goodrich, Jacqueline Burgess, Dr. Zak Diouf and Carla Service. Her emerging company, A. Spearman & Co. have performed across the SF Bay Area for SOMArts, Malonga Casquelourd Center, St. Mary's College of California, D.A.M. Events, the National Council of Negro Women, Sun Gallery, Frick Impact Academy, SF City Hall, etc.

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Hailing from Maysville, Kentucky, Calvin Thomas received his foundational training at the Otto M. Budig Academy of Cincinnati Ballet.  He has supplemented his studies at Boston Ballet School, The School of American Ballet, Ballet Austin Academy, and The School of Oregon Ballet Theatre.  Performing with the Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet Austin, Company C Contemporary Ballet and NY Theatre Ballet are among some of the highlights of his career. 


Latanya has performed professionally with Dimensions Dance Theater since 1986, and has studied and toured nationally and internationally, performing multidisciplinary works rooted African diasporic dance forms.  She has worked with numerous choreographers and dance companies, including KKDE, Art of Ballet, Robert Henry Johnson, Elwah Movement, Housin’ Authority, RaRa Toulimen, Fua Dia Congo, Urban Bush Women (SLI), Kiandanda Dance Theater, Soul Nubian’s Global Street Dance, and many more. Latanya has created commissioned works for Dimensions Dance Theater, Black Choreographers Festival, Robert Moses’ Kin, and has presented work in SF Ethnic Dance Festival, Cuba Caribe, and Mabina Dance Festival (Congo-Brazzaille).


an Oakland Native has danced her way through the Bayarea for over 6 years. Although she started dancing at late age (13 years of age), that didn’t stop her for taking on such a challenge. She began training under Sonja Travick at Oakland Tech High school. She also trained in technique at the Molonga Alice Art center, completing the Rites of Passage Program, and was presented with Best Stage Presents. As an young leader, Briana has become a known runway/Print Model as well as a professional dancer.  Briana plans to launch her first series of dance classes May 2018 emphasizing in hip-hop and moderne dance. Her goal is to heal women mentally, physically, and spiritually through the movement and expressions of dance.


Adriana holds a Bachelor of Music from Javeriana University in Bogota (Colombia). She holds a Master of Music in Flute Performance and a Post-Graduate Performance Certificate both from the University of Arkansas. Adriana is performer and educator based in the Bay Area. Native to Colombia, Adriana grew up surrounded by classical music, Colombian and Latin American folk music, and popular music, all of which encouraged her creative path.

Though classically trained, Adriana has performed with artists and music ensembles in different creative projects throughout Colombia, The United States, France, Uruguay and México. Additionally, she maintains an active interest in dance and performance art collaborating with artist such as Byb Bibene and Maria Fernanda Garzon.


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Riley Taylor attended Saint Mary’s College of California (SMC), Moraga as a Performing Arts Scholarship student all four years and graduated with a BA in Dance and Art Practice. Ms. Taylor has danced professionally for Elizebeth Randall Rains of Stranger Lover Dreamer, Byb Chanel Bibene of Kiandanda Dance Theater, Kevin Paul Hockenberry of Emote Dance Theater, and Katie-Jean (KJ) Dahlaw of Unruly Body Tanztheater. KJ and Riley perform in various spaces across the San Francisco Bay Area including Dance Mission Theater, SAFEhouse Arts, Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, and Joe Goode Annex; and were selected to perform their duet ‘Coming Out Coming Home: A Queer Mating Dance’, at American College Dance Academy’s 2018 Gala. Riley danced KJ’s choreography for West Edge Opera’s Orfeo this past August 2019.


Afia received her acclaim 20 years ago in West African dance. She has performed nationally and internationally in genres including jazz, hip-hop, lindy hop, freestyle, and modern dance. Her company Bahiya Movement has participated in SF Juneteenth, Black Choreographers, and Mbongui Square. Recently their piece iNdigo Skin: In Fear of Black Fruit, placed 2nd at Luna Dance Studio ChoreoFund 7 in Berkeley. She has graced the stages of The Palace of Fine Arts, Yerba Buena, and Oakland’s Art and Soul festivals. She continues to teach classes in the Oakland community to professional dancers and dance enthusiast of all ages.


Is a Performing Artist of 22 years with a specialization in Congolese (Central African) Dance, an Educator, a Community Arts Organizer and Arts Advocate. She's been an Artist in Residence, teaching dance in Oakland Unified School District high schools via Dimensions Dance Theater, and she's been one of the teachers for the Sunday Congolese dance class at Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts in downtown Oakland. Astonishingly, Ms. Golden had the opportunity of studying Congolese dance and culture internationally in Brazzaville, Congo and in Paris, France. Among training through Congolese dance, LaKiesha has had experience with other forms of dance including but not limited to: Haitian, West African, Lindy Hop/Swing, Hip-Hop, Motown Ballroom and other social dances. Ms. Golden is the Artistic Director of the Congolese performing dance company, Nlolo Kongo


Sriba was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and has studied Pan-African and modern dance with the Beatriz Ross Cultural Dance Ensemble and received her ballet training at the Oakland Ballet and Ballet Petit. She has worked with Bay Area based dance companies such as Robert Moses' Kin, Company Chaddick, ODC, Leyya Tawil's Dance ELIXIR and Epiphany Dance Theater. In 2015, she choreographed and performed a solo project for exhibition opening as part of the Havana Biennial in Guanabacoa,Cuba.  When she's not dancing, Sriba enjoys researching and engaging in the complexities of intellectual property law.


Born and raised in Oakland, CA, the Town’s social and political make up made him. Rashidi Omari, Shidi O, The Bandit King. He has learned the art of alchemy, mixing the elements around him to create something different. Every action made has multiple levels of communication and interpretation.

Rashidi Omari has been rocking the mic since 1993 performing both nationally and internationally. He honed his skills performing with Bay Area based groups Loco Bloco, Unsmokables, Bodirock Emcees, and the trailblazing trio Company of Prophets, which Jeff Chang called, “One of the hottest, most versatile crews in the Bay—bold hip-hop that sets your soul afire.” 

​As a dancer and choreographer, Rashidi Omari is known for his magnetic mashups of traditional dance styles. Hip Hop, B-Boying, Popping, Locking, Dancehall, Lindy, House, modern, and jazz are integral parts of his extensive repertoire.


Nafi is the Artistic Director of Bahiya Movement dance company which she founded with her mother Afia Thompson in 2011. She started dancing at the tender age of three, at Spelman College’s youth dance program in Atlanta, GA. She studied Traditional West African dance with Diamano Coura West African Dance Company, and Hip-Hop, Modern Jazz, and Ballet with Dimensions Dance Theater’s “Rites of Passage Program”. Nafi performed professionally with Dimension Extension Performance Ensemble for several years under the direction of Latonya Tigner. Nafi has worked as an Artistic mentor with Skyline High School’s Dance Production with Director Dawn James.


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A D.C. Chocolate City native, “Daktari” Shari R. Hicks, Psy.D. is an Oakland-based dancer, psychologist, healer, and sakhu djaerist. Daktari Shari has a rich background in Afrikan diasporic dance and spirituality and is the founder of the Daktari Dance Medicine Collective, a community of divinely-inspired healers who tap into the mediums of Afrikan-centered ritual, drum, dance, breathplay, cleansing, and ubuntu practices to evoke spiritual liberation and spiritual illumination. In 2017, the Daktari Dance Medicine Collective hosted dance and drum healing workshops at the 1st Annual Pan Afrikan Psychology Congress in Durban, South Afrika, the 49th Annual Association of Black Psychology Conference in Houston, Texas, Saybrook University's Residential Conference in Monterey, CA, and San Francisco State University's Black Unity Center in SF. 


My name is Jameelah Rose Lane and I am 24 years old. I was born and raised in Oakland, California. I graduated from California State University Eastbay June 10, 2017, with a B.A. in Sociology! My passions are writing poetry, acting, cooking, and of course dancing. I have been dancing since I was 4 years of age. I have gained dance experience in the styles of African, Haitian Folkloric, Hip Hop, and Afro Brazilian throughout the years. Currently, I work as an after-school program dance teacher. Also, I dance with a group called Daktari Dance Medicine Collective which is a group of dancers who firmly believes that dance is a form of healing and can be used for therapy. Aside from dancing, I am an entrepreneur, working on an all organic mobile juice bar selling vegan desserts and alkaline juices called MelanAid.


Lila Ann Dodge is currently a second-year PhD student in sociocultural anthropology. Researching culture industries spanning West Africa and Western Europe, Lila attends to the production and negotiation of value through practices of embodiment and representation, with specific regard to women professionalizing in contemporary dance in Burkina Faso. She is pursuing specialization in Linguistic Anthropology, the Graduate Minor in Gender and Women’s Studies, and is thrilled to begin her third year studying Arabic under a Center for Global Studies FLAS Fellowship.

dance, performance & practices of embodiment; racial capitalism, political economy & politics of cultural production in "postcolonial" West Africa; value; development; work; gender, race, class, and transnational networking in cultural industries; style, expression, genre and affect; "listening," improvisation and rhythm. Locations: Burkina Faso, France.


SevanKelee Boult (bka Lucky 7) is a well known Bay Area poet. She has been seen on HBO Real Sex since 2000. She has represented several Bay Area slam teams over the past 10 years. In 2014, she became the only person in the Bay to win the honored title Grand Slam Champion of 4 different Bay teams (SF, Berkeley,Oakland and Palo Alto). She has performed all across the country. Gracing such places as The De Young Museum in San Francisco as well as Yerba Buena, and the Marsh Theater. A UC Berkeley graduate with a minor in Theatre Arts, SevanKelee has been crafting her spoken word performance.

Sevan Kelee has been writing since childhood. Her most recent artistic venture involves the ukulele and spoken word. She effortlessly blends music and poetry to engage the audience with her soft, raspy voice and mesmerizing stage presence.

SevanKelee is currently fiscally sponsored by Independent Arts and Media. Check out her page on their site.


Alvedo Hobson

Alvedo has become known as, some have said, a "chameleon" dancer, throughout the bay area and beyond.  His professional dance journey began in Los Angeles, circa 2007.  World renowned Hip-Hop chreographer, Fatima Robinson was one of the first to recognize Alvedo's gift of dance. Alvedo has had the honor of sharing the stage and television screen with artists such as Usher, John Legend and Lady gaga, to name a few. Knowing that African dance has always been at the core of Hip-Hop, Alvedo has since expanded his craft here in the bay area, training and performing with companies such as Fua Dia Congo and RaRa Toulimen.  With such training and experience, he has become a sesoned dancer. Alvedo's movement is often described as crisp, with an engaging flow and a joyful effortlessness. Stay tuned, as Alvedo will be choreographing his next move.

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Chris Evans is an Oakland-based interdisciplinary artist trained inmusic and dance. Her practice focuses on how we might cultivate listening, listening to the invisible, listening for the forgotten, listening to what silence holds, listening with our eyes, ears and bodies. Her work asks us to listen to the unknown, to let the unknown seep into our ears, every pore before we colonize it with our minds and our words.

 She is the co-founder of Idora Park Project Space with Ernest Jolly, directs Reconstruction Study Project, and is a member of the House Full of Black Women collective directed by Ellen Sebastian Chang and Amara Tabor-Smith, and A Simple Collective founded by Rhiannon MacFadyen Evans. She was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music/Sound/Text in 2016 for work onReconstruction Study 1A and received an Isadora Duncan Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music/Sound/Text in 2013.


Kiazi Malonga from Oakland, CA, has been learning and performing Congolese drumming and dance as the son and child protégé of his late father, the world-renowned master artist Malonga Casquelourd.  Kiazi has performed with his father’s Fuia Dia Congo Performing Arts Company since the age of 6.  He has a lifetime of experience performing and teaching Congolese drum and dance, and is the current Musical Director of Fua Dia Congo. Through his experiences in learning under various talented mentors, Kiazi was able to master playing the Congolese Ngoma. Ngoma is derived from the Kongo word for “drum” and refers to musical instruments used by certain Bantu populations of West-Central and Southern Africa. They are used to assist in healing during rituals and to build community in a wide variety of settings from birth ceremonies, to weddings, and funerals. 

“The ngoma grounded me, gave me a sense of my heritage, gave me a strong base from which to appreciate other people, cultures, and traditions.” — Kiazi Malonga


Angelina is a choreographer, dancer, performer, teaching artist, documentarian and the Founding Director of Snowflake Productions which “celebrates our dance communities and their stories through choreography, videography and photography.” Ms. Angelina teaches, choreographs, performs and films throughout the Bay Area and beyond. She sees herself as a student and teacher for life. 


Adisa Akil

Adisa is an Afro-Trinidadian dancer, somatics practitioner & therapist. He is a trained embodied educator & facilitator. Specialized in

Somatic Psychotherapy Clinical, he's done work with at the Pacific Center, Youth Program Facilitator and Outreach Coordinator at Pacific Center and Student Groups Coordinator at CIIS Office of Student Affairs.

Adisa-Akil is currently a MA Somatic Counseling Psychology at Body-Oriented Psychotherapy graduate student at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA. 


Clementine Bata-Marin

Clementine has been a movement artist for over a decade. She is a guitare player, vocalist and community organizer. Clementine has a close relationship with spirituality and her African roots of Cameroon. 

She has performed with multiple other dance directors, included Byb Chanel Bibene and Kiandanda Dance Theater.


Cherie is a bay area based dancer, teacher, scholar and artistic director of Cherie Hill IrieDance. She has choreographed and performed works for the Live Oak Theatre, Shotwell Studios, the African American Cultural Center, the Black Choreographer’s Festival, Anschultz Theatre, Bao Bao Festival, P.L.A.C.E Performance, the San Francisco Cathedral, Omni Oakland Commons, SF Moving Arts Festival, Kinetech Arts, Alena Museum, SAFEhouse Arts, and the Dance A World of Hope Festival in Holland, MI. 

Cherie holds a BA in Dance and Performance Studies from UC Berkeley, a MFA in Dance from the University of CO Boulder, and graduate certificates in Somatics and Women and Gender Studies. She is currently on faculty at Luna Dance Institute.

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Twila is a curious creator originally from Portland, Oregon. She relocated to the Bay Area about a year ago after completing her degree in dance from Chapman University to pursue dance, writing, and healing arts. Since living in the Bay, Twyla has worked with Michael D. Lee and Caroline Liviakis, as well as continually investigating her practice in solo work.


Dance has always been present in Fatimata's life, as a child in West Africa and later in Europe where she trained for 10 years and performed in classical ballet and modern jazz. She took her first Senegalese dance class on arrival in Santa Cruz California 15 years ago. "Dance and movement have always been essential in my life: to feel, to give, to express, to surrender, to forget, to share, to create, and feel alive. If I did not dance in public for many years, I've always danced for myself."

In 2017, Byb Chanel Bibene invited Fatimata to perform for a Nkisi Nkondi dance performance. What truly inspired Fatimata to be a part of Nkisi Nkondi was Byb's creativity and his selfless contribution in retracing a forgotten history with a rich narrative rooted in the culture and tradition of the Congo.

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Erika Oba is a composer, pianist/flutist, and educator based in the SF Bay Area. As a composer she has written works for big band, small jazz ensembles, chamber groups, dance and theater. She is active as a performer on both piano and flute, and is a member of the Montclair Women’s Big Band, Ends Meat’ Catastrophe Jazz Ensemble, electro-jazz duo Rice Kings, and The Sl(e)ight Ensemble. She has worked as a dance accompanist for Mills College and Berkeley Ballet Theater, and is currently a resident music director with Berkeley Playhouse’s Youth Conservatory Program. In addition to her own private teaching studio, she is a private jazz piano instructor for UC Berkeley’s Music Department. 


Marvin K. White

Kemi Colloraffi aka “Nkan Eledua” In the Yoruba dialect means “Something from GoD”. Singer, songwriter, and percussionist, my genre of music is Afrocentric with an infusion of jazz and highlife. I started making art in order to share my gift of music with the world and to make a positive impact through my lyrics and art.  I am from the Yoruba speaking part of Nigeria, West African.

 My recent events around the Bay Area; Performed at the US Black Heritage celebration by Suya X Afro Urban Society 2020, Sacramento Veterans day memorial event 2020, Zulu Spare band at San Francisco Art Museum 2019. Rock Café in Antioch 2019, Richmond height festival 2019, Performed my solo song with Piwai at Umoja Festival 2019, Oduduwa Heritage Award 2019, Performed alongside Gbadun Band opening for Seun Kuti 2019, Performed at culinary school at Napa alongside Zulu Spare band 2018, Performed at Teen Festival 2018


Kemi Colloraffi aka “Nkan Eledua” In the Yoruba dialect means “Something from GoD”. Singer, songwriter, and percussionist, my genre of music is Afrocentric with an infusion of jazz and highlife. I started making art in order to share my gift of music with the world and to make a positive impact through my lyrics and art.  I am from the Yoruba speaking part of Nigeria, West African.

 My recent events around the Bay Area; Performed at the US Black Heritage celebration by Suya X Afro Urban Society 2020, Sacramento Veterans day memorial event 2020, Zulu Spare band at San Francisco Art Museum 2019. Rock Café in Antioch 2019, Richmond height festival 2019, Performed my solo song with Piwai at Umoja Festival 2019, Oduduwa Heritage Award 2019, Performed alongside Gbadun Band opening for Seun Kuti 2019, Performed at culinary school at Napa alongside Zulu Spare band 2018, Performed at Teen Festival 2018


David Boyce has been experimenting, innovating and improvising with the Broun Fellinis, an avant jazz group he co-founded for 20 years. He is a long time Bay Area musician who has explored a range of different musical genres – jazz, post rock, hip hop, world music, electronic music, and Afro funk. His music has taken him to  Europe, Japan and Canada as well as around the US. Currently, he performs with Broun Fellinis, Katdelic, The Afro Funk Experience, Black Quarterback, David Mihaly’s Shimmering Leaves Ensemble, The Supplicants, and Black Edgar’s Musik Box. David has a profound reverence for Music and a belief that we have a responsibility to honor both its tradition and its innovation.


Krystal Bates is an innovative, multifaceted artist striving to make a difference in her communities through the vessel of performance art. Bates' work is sure to reflect the times and include present day social issues and current events such as gang violence, AIDS, the economic crisis, PTSD and much more. This California native has shared her talents her various dance companies in the Bay Area where she started her performance career. You'll spot her work in commercials, live recordings, and on many stages. Her styles feature and fuse Modern, Jazz, Ballet, West African, and Commercial dance which join forces with her background in gymnastics and Acro yoga. Over the past few years Bates took her talents across the country to New York City where she teaches dance full-time and works as a freelance artist. She truly believes that art speaks and has the desire for others to value art as vital to our society.


Hope McManus

Hope is dancer and architect. She has over 10 years of combined experience in architectural design, landscape architecture and fine arts practice. She worked with The City Repair Project in Portland, OR for two years as aworkshops and design/build projects facilitator. She has worked as a designer at several internationally-recognized landscape architecture firms, including PWP Landscape Architecture in
Berkeley, CA and Lutsko Associates Landscape in San Francisco, CA. She received a Masters of Landscape Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design. She held an adjunct teaching position in the Landscape Architecture department at RISD and taught dance at the Performance Studies department at Brown University.


Olivia Eng

Photographer originally from Mali, Ivory Coast, Gabon and France. I have been living in the Bay Area for the last fifteen years. I studied documentary and studio photography in London, where I focused on portraiture and abstract realism to accompany the sensitive narratives of the human condition. I look for evocative presences as a motif to epitomize the infinite alternatives of what I call in short ExileDiem: "what it means to be here, being there, to be elsewhere, now, and then; for the past is in the present and in the future lies this very moment".  

I have created and produced Exilediem events in California and in the U.K. 


Rocssy Mahania

Photographer originally from Mali, Ivory Coast, Gabon and France. I have been living in the Bay Area for the last fifteen years. I studied documentary and studio photography in London, where I focused on portraiture and abstract realism to accompany the sensitive narratives of the human condition. I look for evocative presences as a motif to epitomize the infinite alternatives of what I call in short ExileDiem: "what it means to be here, being there, to be elsewhere, now, and then; for the past is in the present and in the future lies this very moment".  

I have created and produced Exilediem events in California and in the U.K. 


Luc Ibata Okalobe

Okalobe is a dancer, technologist and social entrepreneur. 

He is an advocate of the use of "hackathons" as a tool for social and environmental impact. 

He performed with Kiandanda Dance Theater in Taboo & Heroes project and Nkisi Nkondi-Sacred Kongo Sculpture project. 

Luc is an occasional dance teacher, he teaches Afrobeats, and ndombolo dances in the Bay Area.  


Claudette De Carbonel

Currently saving the world one psyche at a time as a psychotherapist in private practice 10 years. Previous Performance 2000 to Current Multiple Dance Performances at ODC and Dance Mission, Afro Brazilian and Samba. Previously co-wrote and performed a play based on Angels in America around reactions to the new millinium using the style of Anna Devere Smith

Traveled to Bali for a graduate Consciousness/Dreamwork seminar and created and performed a dance piece based on a character I brought to life (as part of the seminar) 


ChE (pronoun- they/ them/ their) is a Queer GNC Afro-Indigenous artivist working at the intersections of youth leadership development, cultural equity consulting, and socially engaged artmaking.  A reflection of their expansive identity, ChE crosses genre as a multidisciplinary artist, utilizing mediums that include installation, choreography, sound, procession, participatory ritual, storytelling, mixed-media painting, food, and altar-building. ChE is an honored Fellow for the 2017/2018 Intercultural Leadership Institute, celebrating their unique intersectional justice framework, Afro-Indigenous Liberatory Praxis, rooted in multigenerational wisdom sharing, cross-sector arts-organizing, race and gender justice. 


Marshall Trammell is an experimental archivist, percussionist, conductor, and composer. His aesthetics and activism are centered in social change interventions and generate new local and global ecologies that embrace improvisation as a collective, movement-building tool in the creation of post-capitalist imaginaries. Trammell’s work also uses political aesthetic theory, data creation, mapping, and collective music-and-artmaking in order to step out of the domain of traditional cultural institutions, relocating the act of co-production back in the community.

Trammell’s Music Research Strategies is a performing-political education platform for embodied social justice vernacular, organizational strategy, and alternative infrastructure development. Under the auspices of Music Research Strategies, Trammell received a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant in 2019 to present the work Towards A Solidarity Economics Conduction System for Improvisers (2019) at Hopscotch Reading Room, Berlin Art University, Berliner Gazette Redaktion, and Dekalb Gallery at Pratt Institute.

California, first discovered his passion for dance as a freshman in college at California State University, East Bay.  It was there that he honed his unique choreographic skills to fuse hip-hop and modern dance styles.  His pieces have ranged from a variety of topics such as social and political issues. Shawn is currently sharing his talents with several dance companies around the bay area including: Dimensions Dance Theater, Visceral Roots Dance Company, and Bahiya Movement.   Launching his own company, Dark Faith Dance Company has been a life long dream that finally came to fruition in 2020.  Throughout his dance career in college and post-graduation, he decided teaching youth was his passion. He believes in inspiring youth and developing an atmosphere for every child to thrive, no matter their environment.
Shawn is a firm believer that art is a necessity and no child should be left without the amenities of life.
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Following a 20-year desk-bound corporate career featuring relocations through four countries, I moved from living in my mind to reside in my body, focusing on discovering and sharing the practices of somatic awareness and expressive improvised movement.
In addition to completing a Dance and Aerobic Fitness Certificate and learning from movement artists (Anna Halprin, Joy Cosculluela, Christy Funsch, Jess Curtis, Shinichi Iova-Koga, Ruth Zaporah), I am nearing completion to be certified as a movement-based expressive arts therapist and Registered Somatic Movement Educator/Therapist at the Tamalpa Institute.

I facilitate movement classes and workshops designed exclusively to aid men to get in touch with their bodies through a unique blend of high intensity exercise and non-choreographed dance (APE . Men Social Motion).

I dance with abandon.


Karma Smart

Karma Smart is a Bay Area based dancer, choreographer and educator.

Most recently, Karma performed in the Yemanja Festival with the Damasceno Dance Collective at BrasArte in February 2022.  She is also a member of the Omi Tutu Dance Collective. Since moving to the Bay Area is 2002, Karma has danced with many other ensembles and companies including Maracatu Pacifico and Fua Dia Congo. She was also instrumental in the founding of a Congolese dance company with the visionary young choreographer, Vivien Bassoumina and was a co-founder of the Sankofa company.


In 2019 Karma developed choreography for Kola: An Afro-Diasporic Remix of the Nutcracker, which was a production of The People’s Conservatory.
Karma is a graduate of the California Institute of Integral Studies. Currently, and for the last fourteen years, she has consistently focused on studying Afro-Brazilian dance.  Karma first began studying dance and performing in Hawai’i in 1996 while completing a degree in Cultural Anthropology. Styles included: West African, Afro-Brazilian, Congolese, jazz, Haitian and hip-hop. 

Currently, Karma teaches dance classes for adults called World Dance Workout at Cedar Rose Park 

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Manolo Davila

Mission District native, Manolo Davila, is an arts educator, performer and organizer who has been working on his craft and career for over 16 years.  He has trained and worked with Bay Area Music and Dance groups such as Soltron, Loco Bloco, Sambaxe, Rara Tou Limen, Tradicion Peruana and continues to teach and spread his talent and love for art throughout San Francisco and the Bay Area with organizations such as Leap Arts in Education, Young Audiences of California, The SF Symphony’s Sound Minds Program and SF Ballet’s DISC Program.  A multi-instrumentalist by nature he plays a wealth of styles and instruments and seeks to synthesize his influences into a unique and fresh sound.  Manolo believes in the power of music, dance, and art to aid people in living harmoniously with themselves, their community, and their environment.

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