Alseny is a master artist who was taught by his family as a young child in Conakry, Guinea, and performed professionally with Ballets Merveilles and Les Ballets Africains before moving to the United States. Alseny became Guinea's premiere master dancer, performing with Les merveilles D'Afrique and Les Ballet Africains, Guinea's national drum and dance company. Alseny has toured Africa, Europe, and the US, and has perfromed at the Lincoln Center, among other notable venues.
A native of Oakland, CA Traci Bartlow is an artist and entrepreneur with a longstanding career as an activist, business owner, photographer, dance educator, lecturer, curator, and cultural archivist. Ms. Bartlow has a unique experience in developing cultural institutions in the Bay Area. She was a youth dancer, faculty member and subsequently on the board of trustees at Citicenter Dance Theater at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts. She is also a founding member of Eastside Arts Alliance and Eastside Cultural Center in Oakland where she developed and curated many cultural programs. Traci Bartlow, a dancer who is proficient in many styles, has a passion for documenting and preserving black dance and culture.
Episode aired August 17, 2021
Episode aired July 20, 2021
Kumu Hula Kawika Keikiali'ihiwahiwa Alfiche has been teaching hula and Hawaiian cultural arts for over 28 years. Kawika is the Kumu Hula (Master teacher) for Hālau o Keikiali'i, and is the Director for the Kaululehua Hawaiian Cultural Center in South San Francisco. With a mission to preserve and perpetuate all things Hawaiian, Kawika spends his life learning, teaching and sharing his culture through hula and cultural arts and continues to teach throughout the Globe. Kumu Kawika is also a composer and recording artist with 4 albums.
Born and raised within the Loco Bloco family, Mayela Carrasco had the unique opportunity to learn from amazing community artist mentors including Heather Watkins, Tanya Mayo, Miss Little, Maya Havener, Joel Molina and others, who inspired her passion and dedication to dance, theater and stilt dancing. As a teenager she started to take adult dance classes studying under masters including Tania Santiago, Metzi Henriquez, Danda de Hora, Marcia Cigarra and many others who motivated her to expand her training by traveling to Brazil. In 2010 Mayela started teaching dance, stilt dancing through different non profit organizations such as Loco Bloco, Arts Ed/Intersection for the Arts, Performing Arts Workshop, Melrose Leadership Academy, Get Empowered and ABADA Capoeira. In addition to teaching dance, she spent years learning the art of costume design and production from local artists.
Episode aired June 15, 2021
Episode aired May 18, 2021
Vanessa Sanchez, Founding Artistic Director of La Mezcla (which literally translates to “the mix”) has a passion for cultural politic! This episode mixed together a break down of the “buffalo” tap step for us, as well as snippets of her show, “Pachuquismo,” which will be back on tour in 2022. Vanessa shared how she fuses rhythms and dance forms that are a mezcla in her body, thanks to a lifetime of training in tap dance, Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian dance, and fandango jarocho from Veracruz. Beyond fusing forms, she excavates stories and mixed-race relationships that are the backbone of Mexican cultural identity (especially the parts no one speaks/remembers).
Eddie Madril (Pascua Yaqui / Yoeme), a beloved dancer, singer, teacher, playwright and filmmaker, started us off with brilliance and generous wisdom. He shared the meaning of Sewam, and led us through some simple hoop and grass dance.
With enthralling wit, Eddie comments on everything from virtual powwows, to his experience sharing traditions on EDM festival stages.
Catch the simple hoop dance demo he gives at the end—it’s a great way to get moving even at your desk/office!