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Founding Members 

Clarence Brooks, dancer, lecturer, choreographer, Associate Professor/Director of Dance at Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton), has toured with more than 60 companies. An FDEO advisory board member, he sits on the boards of Compass and the FAU Women, Gender and Sexualities Studies. Brooks holds an MFA and several certifications.

A'Keitha Carey, is a Bahamian educator, artist, and scholar who developed CaribFunk, a fusion technique rooted in Africanist and Euro-American aesthetics and expressions. A'Keitha is currently in the combined MA in African and African Diaspora Studies and PhD in Global Sociocultural Studies Program at Florida International University. She is a member of Olujimi Dance Theatre.

Melissa Cobblah Gutierrez, Cuban native raised in Ghana and Cape Verde is a dancer, performer and choreographer. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Florida State University. She is currently dancing professionally with Urban Bush Women and Olujimi Dance Theatre.

Michelle Grant-Murray, a Georgia Peach, hybrid Florida Mango fused with Texas Honeysuckle, is mother, wife, educator,  author, choreographer, performer, Founder and Artistic Director of Olujimi Dance Theatre/Dance Collective, The Black Artist Talk; Artistry In Rhythm Dance Conference; author of Beyond the Surface: An Inclusive American Dance History. She is Co-founder of the Florida Black Dance Artists Organization.

Florencia Guerrier, is a mother, dancer, choreographer, arts administrator and dance educator impassioned by the potentiality of dance to activate, engage and incite reflection. Florencia holds a Master of Education in Educational Leadership, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and is a alumna of New World School of the Arts.

Tiffany Merritt-Brown, a native of Miami, Florida is a choreographer, performer, scholar, educator and grant writer. The 2019 alumna of the Jacob’s Pillow Ann and Weston Hick’s Choreographer Fellows Program holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Augusto Soledade, a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow, is the Founder Artistic Director and choreographer for Augusto Soledade Brazzdance, and serves as an Associate Professor in Dance at the University of Florida.

Toranika Washington, CEO of Somatic Soul Food-Coaching Professionals in Leadership & Engagement, Choreographer, Adjunct Professor of Dance at New World School of the Arts College (Miami, FL). Certified Movement Analyst & Registered Somatic Movement Educator. Washington holds an M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction, M.F.A. in Choreography.

Brittany Williams, is originally from exit 1, Homestead/ Florida City area. She is an international organizer, dancer, choreographer, maroonist.

Denzel Williams, is an educator, mentor, scholar, performer and choreographer. He is an Assistant Director to a Visual and Performing Arts Dance program in Miami, Florida. Currently, he is researching  the heightened political climate and its relationship to African-American social dance.

Shanna L Woods, is a mother, dance artist, instructor, choreographer and Delray Beach, Florida native. Shanna danced with Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theatre, and Olujimi Dance Theatre. Shanna created Art of Acceptance to explore self love, acceptance, and accountability through movement and dance.

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