PERFORMING ARTIST TEAM
THE DANCE GRENADA CORE OF ARTIST WILL BE DISTRIBUTED AMONGST SOME OF THE FINEST DANCERS IN THE CARIBBEAN AMERICAN CIRCUIT. AMONGST THIS TEAM ARE ALSO WORKING PROFESSIONALS WHO HAVE COME TOGETHER TO MAKE THIS FESTIVAL COME TO LIFE!
SHOLA K. ROBERTS
FOUNDER/ EXEC. DIRECTOR
Shola K. Roberts is an international performing professional dancer, dance educator, choreographer and fitness instructor based in Brooklyn, New York.
In 2019, Shola was selected as one of the eight candidates to pursue her Doctoral degree in Dance Education at Columbia University.
Shola attended Howard University and earned her BFA in Dance and Caribbean Studies. She was apart of the last graduating class that studied under the tutelage of the late Dr. Sherrill Berryman Johnson. She currently serves as the Dance Educator and Arts Liason for MS 354- School of Integrated Learning in the Crown Heights region of Brooklyn.
Shola, is a proud Grenadian American
OTIS DONOVAN HERRING
OTIS DONOVAN HERRING is a native of College Park,Georgia, USA. He received his training and BFA from Howard University in Washington, D.C. under the late Dr. Sherrill Berryman Johnson. While there, he had the privilege to perform with Kankouran West African Dance Company, and works by many other notable artists and choreographers. He later moved to Brooklyn, New York to dance with Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company, Camille A. Brown & Dancers, and other distinguished companies and choreographers from 2007-2013. Mr. Herring was the assistant to the choreographer on Broadway's "A Streetcar Named Desire," and has been a part of developmental workshops for original musicals.
Mechanikool has been a keen student of the art of popping for 20 years. He specialises in Popping (and associate styles), Boogaloo, Animation, Waving and gliding.
He is a two time UK Popping champion in 2006 & 2011. And has many competitions over his time. However Mechanikool is more passion in sharing and teaching the culture of Popping to anyone who is willing to learn. He has taught all over the UK and all over Europe including Switzerland, France, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Sicily, Poland, Lithuania and many other countries. He has judged many competitions both nationally and internationally included the much respected Hip Hop International World Finals held in USA.
Mechanikool has a dynamic and engaging way of teaching and is extremely excited to bring the knowledge of Popping to Grenada for the first time!
Akosua Akoto. Born and raised in Washington DC, Akosua is a product of Ghanaian culture, the lessons learned from an upbringing in a traditional Senegalese ballet, and a hint of life in the Caribbean. She made her first appearance on stage at age 3. Her early work in choreography and dance instruction began at age 13 for a collection of after school programs in the Washington DC Metropolitan area. She taught her first adult West African dance class at age 15, an achievement that would jump start her career in choreography.
Akosua’s undergraduate career at Howard University is a melting pot of exercise science and an introduction to the world of modern dance under the tutelage of Dr Sheryl B Johnson, the pioneer Akosua credits for her ability to excel in the business of dance without losing the integrity of the art. She founded ASA! Enterprises LLC in 2011- an umbrella company covering one of the first international African dance fitness programs, a line of sport and dance apparel, a group fitness certification, ASA! Kelenya performing company, the SBJ West African Dance and Mentorship program, and the ASA! Body Personal Training Studio.
Akosua is known for propelling the culture of Afrobeat dance through its origins. Her expertise in both traditional and contemporary West African dance styles has birthed a technique that combines the old with the new; a refreshing and unique style that has allowed her to travel the world offering a fresh yet familiar perspective on the culture of African dance. She has worked with major recording artists as a movement coach, performer, and choreographer. She continues to work toward her ultimate goal of creating a space where individuals can blossom both personally and professionally through authentic African culture.
FESTIVAL LEAD ARTIST
Qarrianne Blayr is from Fayetteville, North Carolina. She earned her BFA degree at Howard University, under the tutelage of Dr. Sherrill Berryman-Johnson, Pat Thomas, Sandra Fortune-Green, Katherine Smith, Akua Kouyate and Assane Konte, and studied traditional Jamaican dance at the University of West Indies - Mona.
Ms. Blayr joined the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company’s professional group in 2012 after having performed for two seasons in DCDC2, the company’s pre-professional ensemble.
She is most inspired by the study of spirituality, human nature, and Traditional/ social dances of people of African lineage, and uses these ideas to guide her creative process. She has choreographed works for DCDC, DCDC2, musical productions at The University of Dayton and Central State University, and the traditional Kazakh dance ensemble Kazyna Dance Company. She has also performed around the world including Kazakhstan, Russia and China.
Ms. Blayr remains a performing artist with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and was named Associate Artistic Director in 2019.
FESTIVAL LEAD ARTIST
Her love for dance began dance at age six, when she enrolled with the Grenada School of Dance where her skills in modern dance and Grenadian folk dance were developed under Mrs. Cheryl Barnabe- Bishop. At the Grenada School of Dance, Cecilia toured regionally and internationally including CARIFESTA 1992 in Trinidad and Tobago and, as part of a small cast that toured the east coast of the U.S. along with the National Folk Group in 1998.
She later joined the Choremi School of Dance where she spent two years developing new skills in Ballet and Jazz.
In 2004, she attended the UWI, Mona where she pursued a B.A in Humanities and Education with a dance major, a joint program with the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA) and Graduated with first class honours.
Nadia Dieudonné has a lifetime of experience in traditional Haitian dance. By the age of 12 she was performing with the well known Haitian folk singer and activist Myriam Dorismé.
Today, after more than two decades of dancing, Nadia is regarded as one of the best Banda
dancer outside of Haiti. She regularly returns to the island where she attends various Lakous
(rural communities that preserve and practice Vodou), and with esteemed instructors in Port-au-Prince deepening her skills and understanding of the traditional practices.
In 1994, Nadia founded Feet of Rhythm Haitian Dance Company, which was created to preserve and promote the rich cultural traditions of Haiti. Feet of Rhythm have been featured at several venues within the US and abroad. Since 1995, through her creation of the Feet of Rhythm Kids Cultural Program & Dance Company, Nadia has taught Haitian music and dance at several prestigious institutions, including New York University, Lincoln Center, BAM-Dance Africa and the Katherine Dunham Dance Institute and Jacobs Pillow (assistant to Jean-León Destiné),. Classes focus on the folkloric repertoire of Haitian dance, and choreographed elements and movements of traditional dances, with live drumming.
Presently, Nadia Dieudonné is a certified teacher for the New York City Department of Education and has a graduate degree in Dance Education from New York University.
CHANEL DaSILVA, a native of Brooklyn, NY, is a multifaceted artist whose work reflects her deep connection to the transformative power of the arts. She began her training at Bernice Johnson Cultural Arts Center and Creative Outlet Dance Theater of Brooklyn, followed by LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts and The Juilliard School, under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes. Her additional training includes The Ailey School and Springboard Danse Montreal. Chanel was a member of the highly celebrated Trey McIntyre Project based in Boise, Idaho where she was a muse for the creation of many of Mr. McIntyre’s works. In 2011 Chanel graced the cover of Dance Magazine and as a part of Brooklyn Academy of Music's "Dance Motion USA," Chanel toured throughout Asia with TMP as a cultural ambassador to the United States of America.
As a choreographer Chanel has been commissioned to create works for Gibney Dance Company, Joffrey Ballet, American Repertory Theater, Harvard Dance Project, The Juilliard School, Ariel Rivka Dance, and LaGuardia High School among others. She is also a notable repetiteur of the works of Trey McIntyre and has re-staged his ballets on companies and institutions across the nation.
Chanel believes deeply in creating more pathways for access and opportunities for artists who have been historically underrepresented and overlooked, primarily women of color. In 2015, alongside her long-time friend and business partner, Nigel Campbell, Chanel co-founded MOVE|NYC|, a multi-pillared arts and social justice organization with the mission of creating greater equity and diversity in the dance field and beyond