Welcoming new Dancing While Black Leadership
As part of AP’s continued investment in Black leadership, DWB’s 10th Anniversary programming and visioning will be guided by a team of co-directors: Paloma, DWB’s founder, is joined by Kayla Hamilton (2017-2018 DWB Fellow), Marguerite Hemmings (2015-2016 DWB Fellow) and Joya Powell (2016-2017 DWB Fellow). The DWB Leadership Team will meet weekly throughout 2022 and 2023, supported by NYCTs Empowering NYC’s Black Communities Grant.
This Leadership team meets weekly to plan the year of programming. Scroll on to meet the team members, and stay tuned for more events as Dancing While Black turns 10, kicking off a year of celebration and exchange!
Kayla Hamilton is an artist, producer, and educator originally from Texarkana, Texas and now reside in Bronx, NY. Kayla earned a BA in Dance from Texas Woman’s University and an MS Ed in Special Education from Hunter College. She is a member of the 2017 Bessie-award winning cast of the Skeleton Architecture, the future of our world’s curated by Eva Yaa Asantewaa. In addition to Skeleton Architecture, Kayla dances with Sydnie L. Mosley Dances and Gesel Mason Performance Projects, teach master classes around the United States, and the recipient of Angela’s Pulses’ Dancing While Black 2017 Fellowship. Under the name K. Hamilton Projects, Kayla self-produced numerous projects, organizes community events, and write arts integrated curriculum throughout NYC. When Kayla is not dancing, she’s a special education teacher at the Highbridge Green School who loves to watch Law and Order on Hulu while sipping on peppermint tea.
Marguerite Hemmings is a Jamaican born, Jersey-raised, performance artist and educator who has been living in the NYC area for over a decade. She graduated from Columbia University in Education and Urban Studies. Hemmings specializes in street, emergent, improvisational and social dance styles.
Hemmings’ work centers itself in liberation. She has been subverting, working, and creating with youth as a teaching artist for a very long time. She has received grants from the Jerome Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Council, Harlem Stage, University Settlement, and Dancing While Black to further her work. She is a 2017 recipient of the Bessie Award for Outstanding Performer in Eva Yaa Asantewaa’s Skeleton Architecture. She currently works inside of a self/spirit directed thing called we free. we free looks at the millennial and post-millennial approach to liberation through its music, social dance and social media. we free is centered in the livelihood and reparation of the African continent and diaspora. It is a social experiment, a conversation, a non-performance, a call to action, a revival, a bashment party, an ode to, and in moments a critique of, the present and emerging generations and what we are doing, right now, to be free.
A multiethnic Harlemite, Joya Powell is a Bessie Award winning choreographer and educator passionate about community, activism, and dances of the African Diaspora. In 2005 Joya founded Movement of the People Dance Company, dedicated to addressing sociocultural injustices through multidisciplinary immersive dance. Her work has appeared in venues such as: BAM, Lincoln Center, SummerStage, La Mama, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, The Dance Complex (Cambridge), Movement Research @ Judson Church, BAAD! among others. She has choreographed such plays as: Songs About Trains by Beto O’Byrne (The New Ohio Theatre), Fit for a Queen by Betty Shamieh (The Classical Theatre of Harlem), JOB by Thomas Bradshaw (The FLEA Theater). Recognition includes: Angela’s Pulse’s North Star Arts Incubator, Dancing While Black Fellow, CUNY Dance Initiative AIR, The Unsettling Dramaturgy Award. She is a collaborating member of Dance Caribbean Collective and Radical Evolution Theater Company. Joya is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Wesleyan University.