Ada Adalat
    Ada is a professional Uyghur Traditional and Arabic Belly Dancer. She started dancing when she was 7 years old. She completed dance major in China Xinjiang Art institute. After graduating, she worked with Xinjiang Uyghur Art Group, Xinjiang Local TV , and CCTV Beijing. Since 1998, she stayed in Beijing and worked with the A Fun Ti art group which is one of the best dance groups in China.
    Ada was also an independent dancer. She performed as a special guest, with a special invitation by groups in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Turkey Etc.
    Her last dance journey was to Toronto Canada where she was invited twice to perform in the Toronto Chinese New Year festival.(2002, 2003).
    After immigrating to Vancouver, Canada(2003) she took belly dance classes from the famous dancer and dance instructor Rahma. She has never stopped dancing since 2003 and continues in restaurants in Vancouver, important festivals, special events and on the big theater stages. ~VRADProfile~

    Artist | Teacher | Performer  
    Jacky Yenga
    Jacky Yenga (formly Jacky Essombe) is a professional dancer from Cameroon, West Africa, who now makes her home in Vancouver, British Columbia. She has toured in Canada, the United States and Europe with major recording artists and has appeared on television and radio numerous times. As a dance instructor and workshop presenter, she gives more than just a dance lesson; she offers the experience of openness to the self through movement and body awareness, and a true cultural experience. Over the last three years, Jacky has been presenting the African Healing Dance Workshop for Women throughout BC. She loves to share the traditions, history and culture of Africa, and the wisdom of her ancestors, and she truly believes that the Western world can benefit from the African traditional wisdom. Phone: (604) 879 3099 website: www.JackyEssombe.com ~VRADProfile~

    Artist | Performer  
    Jennifer Bishop
    Jennifer Bishop has been tirelessly promoting, teaching and performing the art of tap dance for over 15 years. She is the Artistic Director of THE URBAN TAP SQUAD and TIME-STEP PRODUCTIONS, a resident tap instructor at HARBOUR DANCE CENTRE, and founder of THE WEST COAST TAP DANCE COLLECTIVE.

    She has had the unique pleasure of working both on and off stage in the entertainment world. Locally you may have seen her at The Harmony Arts Festival, The Vancouver Tap Festival or The Chutzpah Festival. She is an eternal student and enjoys the challenging of dancing with local musicians (Including Lache Cercel, Adel Awad, Russell Shumsky) ~VRADProfile~

    Kesseke Yeo
    For Kesseke dance is like a medicine. He started dancing at 7 years and at 11 he went to the Ivory Coast National Ballet and was there for several years dancing locally and touring around Africa and Europe. He also danced for Yelemba d`Abidjan and Ballet Djolem d'Abidjan, la Companie de Wouafou de Abidjan.

    In 2001 he moved to Vancouver and currently dances for Masabo Culture Company and his own group West meets West.  He also teaches West African dance in various dance studios in Vancouver (please go to the events and workshops page for current and upcoming dance classes). ~VRADProfile~

    Artist | Teacher | Performer | Vancouver  
    SPOTLIGHT: Kurai Mubaiwa
    Kurai Mubaiwa was born into mbira music in Mashonaland, an East province of Zimbabwe, and has been performing in ritual gatherings from a young age.

    He's also taught and performed in many countries in Europe and Africa as well as North America. ~VRADProfile~

    Artist | Teacher  
    Lyle Povah
    Lyle Povah is a percussionist/singer/guitarist, children's entertainer, drum circle facilitator, and teacher with a special interest in African drumming. He travels throughout North America presenting at conferences, leading corporate team building sessions and bringing musical fun, wellness and learning to a wide variety of musical arenas, including health care centres, youth at risk programs, schools, faith groups, detention centres and community events.

    Lyle has shared music with kids at B.C.'s Children's Hospital one day a week for the past 14 years and regularly visits hospitals across Canada and the U.S. Lyle also leads the longest running weekly "drop in" Community Drum Circle in Vancouver, an intergenerational and intercultural musical event moving into its 8th year. He is the President of the Westcoast Sacred Arts Society that recently sponsored the Dalai Lama visit to Vancouver. ~VRADProfile~

    Artist | Teacher | Performer  
    Navaro Franco
    Navaro is a cultural translator inspired by ancient traditions of earth based music, rhythm, and dance. She is deeply interested in the current movement of traditional knowledge into present day context, and how it supports consciousness, community, and healing in our modern world. Navaro draws from over 20 years of experience as a student, teacher and performer in many forms of dance and music. She has spent many years playing within community and professional music groups, taught thousands of people in private, corporate, school and retreat center settings. She has studied widely, spending 3 years in the Zimbabwean Music community here and in Southern Africa, primarily with Marimba Muzuva, and the Chigamba family. She spent 3 years intensively studying and performing as a key member with Gordy Ryan and his Cortes Island 25 member drum ensemble, Island Rhythm. Gordy Ryan was a 26 year member of Drums of Passion, the group of renowned father of the drum in the West, Babatunde Olatunji. Navaro has co-created with Vancouver celebrity Pepe Danza for the past 4 years, and currently co-creates DivaDrum, all female rhythm & movement quartet. As well, Navaro is a dancer who has deeply explored trance, ecstatic and healing movement forms, as a teacher and student. She studied western dance as well as African dance, and is sourced in the essence and translation of tribal wisdoms and forms. She is also informed by modern ecstatic explorations such as the work of Gabrielle Roth and 5 Rhythms, and Leyollah Antara's Kundalini Dance. Navaro is currently a founding member of The DivaDrum Collective, and holds ongoing weekly classes with Earth Prayers Ecstatic Dance Journeys, and Rhythm Maps Drum Classes. Please contact her for her current schedule of classes and performance. www.NavaroFranco.com navaro@tribal-bliss.com (778) 239-8444 ~VRADProfile~

    Artist | Teacher | Performer  
    Nestor De La Zerda
    Latin dance choreographer, teacher and coach for competitive team champions.  Former trainer for 2004 world champions in Miami Florida. Nestor's team qualified in the top ten out of the best 60 teams in the world in 1999 in San Juan Puerto Rico. Invited to tour Asia and Europe among the best ten teams in the world. Founder of the first two World Salsa Congresses in Vancouver, 2000 and 2001
    Nestor`s team has performed in numerous venues in Vancouver such as the Queen Elizabeth theatre, Micheal J-FOX theater, The North Shore theatre, BC Place Stadium, Pan Pacific Hotel, Vancouver Hotel, Plaza Hotel, Bay Shore In, The Hyatt Regency, The wall Center, The Chan Center, and many others, as well as in cities such as Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Seattle, Oregon, Los Angeles, San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Manila (Philippines).  http://www.bcdance.com

    Artist | Performer | Teacher  
    Paul Bray
    Paul Bray is a multi-talented percussionist working as a musical educator and performer in Vancouver. Paul has devoted his attention to the study of African influenced music, specializing in Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian folkloric musical styles. He has studied extensively in Cuba, and has developed a strong command of Brazilian percussion. Currently, Paul is the percussion instructor at the Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach program and leads Vancouver's Escola de Samba: Sambata http://www.sweetjams.com/ ~VRADProfile~

    Artist | Teacher | Performer  
    Ron Stelting
    Ron Stelting has been accompanying dance classes for over 20 years and is on staff at Simon Fraser University. He has been facilitating rhythm events since 1997. Ron is one of the founders of Vancouver Rhythm and Dance. ~VRADProfile~

    Artist | Teacher | Performer  
    Russell Shumsky
    Russell Shumsky teaches and studies West African drumming, accompanies dance classes and performs with his band. He has over 18 years of professional playing and teaching experience.
    He is a percussionist that plays the Marimba, Djembé, Dunduns, Bodhran, Didgeridoo and Congas. He travels to West Africa regularly to study with two of the world's most respected djembé masters, Mamady Keita and Famoudou Konaté.

    His performance experience includes touring with Sarah McLachlan and contemporary dance troupes such as Toronto's, "Dancemakers" and Vancouver's "Karen Jamison Dance Company". ~VRADProfile~

    Artist | Teacher | Performer  
    Sandi Millman
    Sandi S. Millman of Drum Mama Studios offers private, semi-private and group hand drumming instruction on Djembe and Congas at her studio located in the heart of Kerrisdale. She facilitates rhythm-based events for private functions, corporate and government teambuilding programs and healing drum circles.

    Sandi is a recovering psychology major addicted to rhythm. After studying dance for 12 years, she became a percussionist/dance accompanist at many of the finest dance studios in Vancouver. She is a life long rhythm student, recording artist and performer who has played percussion and drum kit for the past decade in local Latin, African, rock, funk, klezmer and alternative bands. As a busy mother of 3 she is now focusing on her true passion: sharing her love and joy of rhythm with others through instruction and facilitation. For more information please visit www.DrumMama.com. You can reach Sandi at (604) 873-9495 or e-mail drum.mama@shaw.ca ~VRADProfile~

    Artist | Teacher   
    Tannis Hugill
    Tannis is a registered Dance-movement and Drama Therapist, BC Clinical Counsellor, Spiritual Director and creator of ritual theatre. For the past several years she has been collaborating with Vancouver movement leaders to create community movement rituals.

    Devoted to the performing and healing arts for over 30 years, her private therapy practice includes teaching workshops in Authentic Movement, Moving Prayer, and Ecstatic Body Postures, in addition to seeing individual clients for therapy and spiritual direction. .

    Her passion is to guide others to experience the joy and healing of sacred wisdom as it moves through our bodies. ~VRADProfile~

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