Initially training in Vaganova technique in my youth, Marilyn Middleton Sylla introduced me to the technique and communal, quotidian, spiritual, and improvisational aspects of West African dance while I pursued my B.A. at Amherst College. I continued to study and then perform Guinean dance with Abdoulaye Sylla, who recently passed away in December 2015, and Fotoba Dance Company based in Hartford, CT. Under Abdoulaye's tutelage I decided to dedicate my professional life to dance. I then received an M.A. in Dance from UCLA's Department of World Arts and Cultures in 2001. At UCLA I was introduced to African diasporan forms such as Haitian folklore as well as contemporary postmodern techniques from Simone Forti, Kim Epifano, Nina Martin, and other influential teachers. After moving to New York City, I toured locally and nationally from 2001-2008 with NYC-based Haitian and Afro-Cuban dance companies – most consistently with The Mikerline Pierre Haitian Dance Company and Felix “Pupy” Insua’s Oriki Omi Oddara in addition to Lionel St. Surin's Negbhatalah Dance Company, Peniel Guerrier's Kriye Bode, and Julio Jean and Dancers. After traveling to Haiti for the first time in 2007, I decided to explore my creative interests within the University of California's Experimental Choreography M.F.A. program in Riverside, which interfaces with its innovative Ph.D. program in Critical Dance Studies. I received the M.F.A. in 2010 and began a position as Assistant Professor of Dance at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia in 2011.
My choreography has been presented in Port-au-Prince and Jérémie, Haiti, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York City (Chez Bushwick, Dixon Place, Gibney Dance), Massachusetts, and Virginia and I present my scholarship at the international level through the Caribbean Studies Association (CSA), KOSANBA, Collegium for African Diaspora Dance (CADD), and the former Congress on Research in Dance (CORD) and Society for Dance History Scholars (SDHS).
I continue to study contemporary postmodern dance techniques through Movement Research in NYC and Afro-Cuban folklore with Ife Michelle in Virginia, Danis "La Mora" Perez in NYC, and many teachers in Havana, Matanzas, and Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.