Maguette Camara – Musical Director – is a recognized West African choreographer, musician and teacher based in New York City.

Mr. Camara began his career with the Ballet Bougarabou Dance Company, and his extensive experience with this company allowed him to perform and present workshops in Morocco, Canada, Senegal and the United States.

He has performed in diverse and impressive venues including The Lincoln Center Outdoor Concert Series, The Guggenheim Museum, The Rolling Stones World Tour, Epcot Center Disney World and The World Trade Center Jazz festival.  As a faculty member at The Ailey School, Barnard College, Cathedral High School and Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, Maguette teaches both African dance and drum to all levels and all ages.

Mr. Camara is also the artistic director and founder of the group Mane Kadang, which is guaranteed to set any stage on fire.

Maguette Camara Jump!

Maguette Camara Jump!

West African Family Dance presented by Maguette Camara

West African Family Dance presented by Maguette Camara

Lamine Thiam

Lamine is a world-renowned dancer, choreographer, drummer, actor and instructor. Lamine specializes in West African Dance from his native Senegal and neighboring countries, including rhythms such as Sabar, Djembe and Bougarrabou. He has graced the stage at venues worldwide including Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, The United Nations and Lincoln Center (NY), as well as theaters in Japan, Germany, London, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Lamine grew up in Dakar, where he studied traditional dance and percussion at the Conservatoire National du Sénégal and performed with the Songomar African Dance Company and Ballet Jo-kolly throughout the region. Lamine emigrated to New York City in 1993, where he taught at the Fareta School of Dance and Drum, the Djoniba Dance and Drum Centre and Jacob’s Pillow Dance School. In 1996, he formed his own Bousso Dance Company, which focused on preserving the dances of Senegal, Guinea, Mali and The Gambia, in the traditions of the Wolof, Bambara, Jola, Mandinke and Serer ethnic groups.

As a teacher, Lamine has challenged professional dancers and first-time students in classes and workshops across the United States and Mexico.

 

Kevin Mbira

A pioneer on the world music scene, Kevin Nathaniel was one of the early musicians to introduce New York audiences to the magical sound of the mbira. He is an internationally celebrated musical inspiration for the new age, meditation, percussion, and yoga world, with several recordings available on iTunes and CDbaby. He has composed and performed music for the film Beloved, the audio book of Alice Walker’s Possessing the Secret of Joy, Ali MacGraw’s Yoga Mind and Body (Dvd), and countless other productions. He produces live music events weekly in NYC that encourage peace and global harmony through music (see “Afro Roots Tuesdays” on face book).

 

Kevin Mbira

Kevin Mbira

Kevin Mbira

Kevin Mbira

N’tifafa Akoko

Born in Togo, West Africa, and transplanted to the United States, N’tifafa Akoko began her formal dance training in Flint, Michigan through a youth inner-city ballet company.  She continued her training with the Young People’s Ballet Theater, and also at the Flint School of Performing arts leading to an opportunity to tour Europe twice with the Blue Lake Fine Arts Dance Ensemble.

Ntifafa attended Grand Valley State University in Michigan where she majored in Dance and Pre-Physical Therapy; followed by an independent study graduate program at the Alvin Ailey School of dance. she studied dance with Milton Myers, Ann Marie Forsythe, and Maguette Camara along with various other instructors. She now performs with Fusha Dance Company, and others in the US and internationally.

N’tifafa Akoko

N’tifafa Akoko

Shanika Johnson was born and raised in New York City. As a young girl, she studied dance at the Dance Theater of Harlem and with The Arts Connection Inc. In Middle School, she studied modern dance under the instruction of Alvin Ailey dancer Arthur Sabb.

While in college, she began to take HIp-Hop, Street Jazz and African dance classes with various teachers around New York City: In her studies, she met Funmilayo Chesney, and became a member of her Congolese dance company, FUSHA Dance Company, and performed with the company throughout the tri-state area.

Aside from performing with FUSHA dance company, Shanika has taught Street Jazz, and African dance at Movement of the Children Dancenter in Queens; and has taught Burlesque with AllureDanceNYC.

Shanika Johnson

Shanika Johnson

Dakota Holmes-Dodge has been dancing since the young age of 3 and has trained at Alvin Ailey School of Dance, Djoniba Dance Center, Batoto Yetu Dance Company and the Professional Performing Arts High School.
His acting training began age 7 with Biz Kidz where, at age 18, he is currently the assistant acting coach.
Dakota is currently a member of Batoto Yetu African Dance Company and Mikerline Haitian Dance Company. He is a former member of Kotchegna African Dance Company.
His talent has brought him around the world performing in China, Portugal, Spain, as well as here in the US in Colorado and Texas and at The United Nations, Carnegie Hall, Joyce Theater and Symphony Space.

Dakota Holmes-Dodge performing with the Maimouna Keita Dance Troupe

Dakota Holmes-Dodge performing with the Maimouna Keita Dance Troupe

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