Rahquelah Conyers (dancer) is a is a North Carolina-based performer who explores movement through the lenses of psychology and sociology. Her interest and collegiate studies in mental health, sexuality, and spirituality filter over into her studies of dance, inspiring her to engage in stylistic genres and create pieces that embody these themes. She has performed in numerous productions both in dance and theatre as a student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and is a member of the professional dance company, Moving Spirits Inc., created and helmed by Tamara Williams. Rahquelah is motivated to continue pursuing a career in dance while partaking in therapeutic practices in order to make a difference in and out of art.
Jazelynn Goudy (dancer) born in Milwaukee, WI, is a dancer, educator, veteran and homie. She attended Roosevelt Middle School of the Arts where she was formally introduced to Hip Hop and African dance, as well as guest artists from within Milwaukee’s community. In 2003, Jazelynn auditioned and join Ton-Ko-Thi West African Dance Ensemble. Under the direction of Melissa Ford and Fern Caulker, Jazelynn took the knowledge and experience of the African Diaspora of dance and expanded. In 2008 she graduated from Milwaukee High School of the Arts where she had the pleasure of training under many choreographers and educators nation and worldwide.
Tambra “Omiyale” Harris (dancer) is the Artistic Director of Giwayen Mata, the all sistah, dance, percussion, and vocal ensemble. With 23 years of company experience as choreographer, teacher, and performer, Tambra leads the company in performance work highlighting the African Diaspora. She successfully developed the K-12 dance program at Charles R. Drew Charter School employing her own curriculum specializing in STEAM and arts integration, thus unifying the school through African culture and core values of Project Based Learning. Currently building a new dance program at Price Middle School in Atlanta, she works collaboratively to shift the trajectory of her school community.
Dr. Theresa Howard (dancer) is a native of New York and holds a Bachelor degree in Dance Theatre, a Masters degree in Dance-Movement Therapy, and a Doctorate in Education. She is an assistant professor of dance on the dance faculty at Kennesaw State and Emory Universities. Dr. Howard is a dance instructor at Ballethnic Academy of Dance, ArtsXChange, Aviation Community Cultural Center, and conducts workshops and classes throughout the United States. She has committed over 40 years in a career of combining Health and Human Services and the Arts.
Dr. Howard has performed with many prominent Dance Companies including Chuck Davis African-American Dance Ensemble, Manga, Giwayen Mata African Dance Ensembles, and has been a guest artist with Eleo Pomare, Joan Miller Chamber Arts, and Ballethnic Dance Company (28th season) to name a few. She choreographed several plays and the short film: “ I Snuck off the Slave Ship,” that was premiered in the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. She performed in the 1996 Summer Olympics and Para Olympics, and is the recipient of numerous awards including The Joan P. Garner 2019 Community Service Award in the Arts.
Lela Aisha Jones (dancer) is a movement performance artist, an interdisciplinary collaborator, a community-grounded organizer/curator, and the Founding Director of Lela Aisha Jones | FlyGround. A proud Tallahassee, Florida native, her work intimately and artistically archives the lived experiences of diasporic blackness by intertwining and reflecting upon personal histories, cultural memories, oppression, privilege, reciprocity, and spirituality. Her accolades include a 2015 Leeway Transformation Award and a 2016 Pew Fellowship in the Arts. Lela earned a B.S. at University of Florida, an M.F.A. at Florida State University, a Ph.D. at Texas Woman’s University, and has recently joined the Bryn Mawr College Dance Program faculty.
Nneka Kelly (dancer) began her dance training in the Folade Na Weusi African Dance Ensemble under the direction of Akilah Issa. She later trained at Ballethnic Academy of Dance and the Fa Nyere Fa African Dance Conference and served as an apprentice under master Congolese dancer Mabiba Baegna. Nneka earned a BA degree in Theatre with a concentration in Dance from Spelman College, where she was a member of Spelman Dance Theatre. She has performed works choreographed by T. Lang, Juel Lane, Kathleen Wessel, Daryl Foster, and Omelika Kuumba. Nneka served as a dancer and master class instructor with Chuck Davis’ African American Dance Ensemble. Nneka joined Giwayen Mata in 2009.
Santiago Pàramo (composer) is a multidisciplinary artist who incorporates music composition, performance art, interactive public art installations, and other forms of art. Santiago is a professional Disc Jockey with over two decades of experience playing in a wide variety of venues for audiences across the U.S and South America. Since 2012, and started contributing to the Atlanta contemporary dance scene as a composer. Santiago devotes time and energy to nurturing creative enthusiasm, while using the transformative power of art as an agent for social change.
Kaylah Smith (dancer) hails from Baltimore, MD, and is a senior dance major attending Spelman College. She is passionate about dance, and serving her community. She is committed to making dance training accessible to young children that love to move. Kaylah enjoys teaching liturgical dance to spiritual movers of all ages at a local church in Baltimore. After graduating she plans to join a professional dance company while continuing to teach dance locally.
Tamara Williams (dancer/choreographic consultant) is an Assistant Professor of Dance at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. 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’ research focuses on spiritual dances of the African diaspora. In 2018, her article, “Reviving Culture Through Ring Shout”, was published in the Dancer-Citizen. She has a forthcoming book about Silvestre Dance Technique, and forthcoming chapter in Fire Under My Feet regarding Ring Shout traditions.