2019 wolf pack

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Leadership

Julie Brannen, Sarah Lemley, Krystle Aguilera, Jen Halman, Sondra Malling, Tracy Mihaljevic, Kristen Perry, Jess Fialko

Guest Artists

Frediliza David, Cher Nicolas, Ellen Dancer + Venus Vibrations, Jane Justice, Jean Edrada, Radia Ali, Tara Luther, Gaea Lady, Catherine Hepler, JCSpace Radio, Audrey Herrington, Karen Lum + SoSwift, Laksha Dantran, Brandice Manuel, Sojourner Zenobia, Melissa Tigerlily Larson

Ensemble

Theresa Fernandez, Antonia Callas, Ellen Geis, Cassandra Justine, Theresa Venus, Laura Monsreal, Lizzie Monsreal, Teria Stamatis, Sierra Buffum, Janine Tvrz, Heidi Woelbling, Madelyn Hughes, Courtney Elizabeth Ticsay, Vivian Sakellariou, Ashley Meyer, Karen Lum, Jordan Lohf, Sarah Winkler, Cher Nicolas, Norma BUcholtz, Sabrina Washington, Becca Wiseman, Maura Tobin, E’a Williams, Shannon Tudor, Bridgette Hammond, Kavi Elijah

Musicians // Drummers

Jen Halman, Victoria Boateng, Lexi Weintraub, Belinda Kimmons, Lauren Vogel, Octavia Marie Madeleine, Bryan Alvarez, Sam Bianchini

 
 
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Julie Brannen, Founder / Artistic Director

Julie Brannen, emerging as SheWolfMama, is set out to unleash the wild within. Dancing through life, her experiences are abundant in creativity and community, learning and growth, healing and transformation. Some of her identity markers include artist, healer, teacher, mover; she follows the path of heart and soul. Julie facilitates an organic and compassionate practice of fiercely approaching vulnerability and embodying whole-hearted living.

Since moving to Chicago in 2011, she has collaborated and performed with local companies and independent artists such as; The Dance COLEctive, dropshift dance, Salty Lark Dance, The Fly Honeys / The Inconvenience, Comedy Dance Chicago, Ashley Fargnoli, Catherine Tiso, and Bonnie Christine Willis. Her works have been presented at Links Hall, The Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago, Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theater, The Crowd Theater, and The Den Theatre.

She is the Founder + Artistic Director of SheWolf Sacred Movement, a new paradigm global purpose revolution to venerate the embodied feminine soul.

Julie practices as a dance/movement therapist, healing artist, and clinician as part of InTouch & Motion private practice and Institute for Therapy through the Arts non-profit agency. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Registered Dance/Movement Therapist, with a Master of Arts in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling, and Graduate Laban Certificate in Movement Analysis from Columbia College Chicago.

As a teaching artist and conscious movement facilitator, she works with various community-based and arts-integration organizations, such as Inner Sense Healing Arts, Sat Nam Yoga Chicago, Dancing with Class, and Ecstatic Dance Chicago.

Her intention is to bring beings back into their bodies with a felt sense of h(OM)e by re-claiming safety, owning truth, expanding awareness, stepping into power, and creating with passion and purpose. In the process, she taps into different aspects of the psyche, stored in the body, which have been silenced, shrunken, or scared. Her goal is to create a safe, inclusive, nonjudgmental space in order to express, liberate, and uplift. Please reach out to her if you have any questions or want to learn more.

Sarah Lemley, Producer / Choreographer

Sarah is a perpetual student of the bond between mind and body known as a soul, and she is dedicating her life to exploring these connections with others. Her fascination with dance developed in Florida with the Indian River Charter High School's Performing Arts Center discovering Ballet and Musical Theater. She continued her study with Molly Magee at the Indian River State College where she furthered her study of ballet and various innovators of modern dance. In 2014, she apprenticed with LACDC during their workshop and performance at the Riverside Theater before relocating to Chicago for Columbia College Chicago's dance program. Along with technique and creativity, it was here that she expanded her understanding of dance history and it's social impacts. She cultivated a deeper passion for the evolution of Hip Hop from West African Roots under the lessons of Ayo Alston from Ayodele Drum and Dance and Kelsa "K-Soul" Robinson. Sarah's studies shifted to a yoga and eastern philosophies under the wings of women who have founded Inner Sense Healing Arts, as well as Amber Daniel Cook, her 200hr RYT mentor. She completed her Karuna Yoga Training with Amber in 2018 and it has launched her pursuit of movement therapy and to eventually ameliorate the education of movement practices for all. From all the movement communities who've welcomed her, she has developed her passion with dance as a therapeutic practice and choreography as a shared therapeutic process. While attending a workshop at the Discover Breathe Festival, Sarah was able to connect with Julie Brannen and learn about the SheWolf Sacred Movement in May of 2018, for which she performed the lights and sound. This year she is thrilled to produce and create alongside so many wildly beautiful souls, and she looks forward to the many years of manifesting this sacred process.

Krystle Aguilera, Choreographer

Krystle Aguilera, originally from Miami, Florida, began exploring structured movement through classical dance training at the age of 7.

She went on to receive her BA in Dance Performance from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Since then, she has danced professionally for Modern Dance companies in Oklahoma, Arizona, North Carolina and now dances with and choreographs for Shewolf Dance Company in Chicago. While living in the enchanting mountains of North Carolina, she received her 200hr Yoga Teacher Certification at the Asheville Yoga Center. After Yoga Teacher Training, she launched her own small business, Krystle Collective. To share her love of guiding others to leading an intentional lifestyle and integrating a holistic approach to incorporating full activation of mind, body and spirit is a deep passion of hers and truly lights her up!

Now living one year in Chicago, she humbly brings her gifts of being a Movement Artist, Dance Instructor, Choreographer, Yoga Instructor, Reiki Level Master level energetic healer/ practitioner and writer to our beautiful movement to cultivate, integrate & embrace love, positivity and true human connection.


 

Jen Halman, Choreographer

Jen Halman has been a dancer, mover and a lover of rhythm since she was three. Her first ballet, tap, and MOMING (a modern dance movement class) experiences happened at Loyola Park District in Rogers Park, Chicago. Her first dance floor was at the beach on the shores of Lake Michigan. Her love of music and dance comes from the influence of her grandmother, Estelle Spoo, who danced as an original Adorable at the Chicago Theater in the 1920s. Jen began majoring in Musical Theater at Columbia College back in 1994 and then switched to Elementary Education when she became a mother. In 2003, while teaching Science for the Chicago Public Schools, Jen had the experience of traveling to the Amazon Rainforest to teach her seventh graders about the River and the Cultures that reside there. She immediately was drawn to the natives of the magical forest and ,their ritualistic drumming and dancing.

When Jen returned from the Amazon, she began teaching theater and was introduced to West African rhythms while hearing them played at the Old Town School of Folk Music. In graduate school for Interdisciplinary Art, she began taking lessons in drum and dance and her passion for the rhythms of Senegal, Guinea, the Ivory Coast and Mali was ignited. She performed her thesis HEAL, in 2010, based on the story and rhythm MORRIBAYASSA from Guinea, West Africa. The rhythm pays homage to women and was created for a woman who has endured trauma in her life. In a healing ritual, the woman dances wildly underneath the Morribayassa Tree and buries her clothes in the earth. This culmination included the dance to the backdrop of Jen's EEG (electroencephalogram) which showed significant calming of her brain waves due to the binaural beats from the live drumming. Jen's journey of healing and diagnosis of PTSD in 2005 has included and continues to involve the sounds and movement of West Africa.

Currently Jen teaches dance classes and facilitates drum circles in and around the Chicagoland area. She continues to study the movement and rhythms from Guinea and Senegal, with a trip to study the rhythms of Sabar in January 2019 to Casamance, Senegal. She was honored to be invited to choreograph for She-Wolf this year and feels the importance of bringing women together to share and heal through rhythm and expression.

Sondra Malling, Choreographer

Sondra H. Malling is a dancer, choreographer, dance/movement therapist, and movement analyst. She graduated with a dual Bachelor’s degree in Dance and Psychology from Beloit College, where her choreography was adjudicated to the informal concert of the American College Dance Festival. She obtained her Master’s degree in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling from Columbia College Chicago, where she also trained in Laban Movement Analysis. Sondra works full-time as a dance/movement therapist in outpatient behavioral health at a Chicago hospital. Her research on dance/movement therapy and culturally affirmative practices with Deaf adults who have mental illness was published in the American Journal of Dance Therapy. Sondra feels she has truly found her artistic home in SheWolf, and is honored and empowered to return as a choreographer in this sacred space. When not dancing or working as a therapist, she can be found going for long walks with her husband or snuggled on the couch with her cat and a cup of tea.

Tracy Mihaljevic, Choreographer

Tracy Mihaljevic was born to grow and express love through dance, music, art, teaching, and community. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, she spent her childhood dancing, learning musical instruments, and playing in nature. After graduating from Trinity Christian College with a teaching degree, she moved to Plainfield, IL to begin a career in teaching students with special needs and to raise a beautiful family of three. Throughout her journey, she has obtained a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Interwoven through it all has been a continual search for connection to divinity and a desire to express love. In 2013, Tracy began a return journey to the arts and her child within. She has been blessed to dance with the Desert Flames, SheWolf, and reignite her passion for music and art through the study of guitar, voice, and painting. Tracy is beyond grateful to have an opportunity to express the divine feminine within through dance in the SheWolf Community.

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Audrey Herrington, Guest Artist

~Embodied dancer & movement transmutation~

Dancing since her first steps, Audrey was trained in classical ballet, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, and broadway, plus a full childhood “degree” in dancing non-stop in front of the mirror and at family reunions.


Becoming intimately involved with a hula hoop, ushered in a new circus medium of art and passion that sparked in Audrey, a new era. An era more intuitive, theatrical, and handmade, plus a lot more sparkly! She is a storyteller with an affinity with sensual explorations.


You'll find AudWorld taking the stage in an Indian palace showing off her Kattak styles, coming out of a genie bottle as her Lebanese lineage becomes her, or even singing an old jazz song as she strips off layers of an extravagant narrative...and/or costume ;)


You can even find her teaching classes all over the world sharing her essence in full embodiment of a dancer and sharing her love of the senses as a Scentress.


You'll understand once you meet her in person.


Brandice Manuel, Guest Artist

Brandice Manuel began her love of dance at four years old and began teaching at the age of thirteen. She graduated from The Chicago Academy for the Arts, where she studied dance under the tutelage of Randy Duncan, Claire Bataille and Anna Paskevska. She continued her artistic journey at Howard University where she studied Musical Theatre and graduated with a BFA in Theatre Arts.
Brandice continued teaching and became a children’s ballroom instructor with the, Dancing With Class, program. She opened Indie-Art Media, an arts space and media center where she wrote for and trained young performers and recording artist.
In her return to the stage after a five year hiatus, her inner-most desire is to be vulnerable, honest and present.

Catherine Hepler, Guest Artist

Catherine (Cat) Hepler is a Chicago based dancer. Originally from Oakland, CA, Catherine began dancing at age three and gained a rich and varied dance foundation. Her background includes ballet, modern (Horton), contemporary, jazz, Bharata Natyam, Polynesian dance (hula and ori), and contact improvisation. At 15, she toured with Savage Jazz Dance Company of Oakland, CA as an apprentice, and from the ages of 19-21 she toured with the Dance Company of Middlebury as company member. Catherine’s Chicago company credits include Renegade Dance Architects, BodyCompass Dance Project, Synapse Arts, and, most recently, Is/Land: A Performance Collaborative. Additionally, she has been part of many freelance dance-related projects including a play about dance rehearsals. Independently, she is interested in the embodiment of concepts, as well as the expression of emotion and social messages within dance works.

 

Ellen Dancer, Guest Artist

Ellen has been studying and teaching belly dance for over 15 years. She fuses elements of hip hop, modern and middle eastern dance to create a unique and honest style that reflects her life's journey. Her energy is infectious and she loves connecting to people through dance. Ellen teaches out of Arabesque dance studio in Chicago and directs the fusion dance company Venus Vibrations. Ellen describes her obsession with "Belly dance as a holistic way of relating to the body by increasing awareness on all levels: physical, mental, and sensual. but Mostly, I just love to dance."

Frediliza David, Guest Artist

Healer, teacher, peace ambassador, lover and student of life at heart.

My intent is to encourage others to shine through the dark, to embrace all life experiences—good and bad and to Live Out Loud! Through the power of our breath, intention, and embodied movement we can explore the depth of our body, mind, and human experience. Let us recognize, acknowledge, and fully love the most painful parts of ourselves so we may heal, come back to our truth, our essence, our divinity.

This life is a gift. May we have the courage to dive deep unto ourselves so we can discover the strength and beauty that lies within.


Frediliza is a 200hr RYT and Certified Thai Massage Practitioner. She studied with Anna Argeropolous of Shakti Shack Yoga and Paul Fowler of Blue Lotus Thai Healing Studies in Chicago. She started practicing TaiJi Quan with Jimmy Chan in the Summer of 2018. She has fallen in love with this Ancient Traditional Internal Martial Art and is very proud and excited to perform for the very first time on the SheWolf stage.

She is an active and founding member of non profit organization Yoga Gardens. She is inspired by the cosmos, truth, and the natural world.


Sojourner Zenobia, Guest Artist

Sojourner Zenobia is an eclectic artist whose work demonstrates non-linear, site specific tapestries of structured improvisation, intergalactic characters and vocal sound-scapes, as well as installation and participatory rituals. She creates alternate worlds that can be experienced within our current reality for Black and Brown queer femmes to explore truths, express feelings, and play. Her influences are site specific street performer, Pearl Ubungen, Joan Forest Mage, a ritual performer and energy worker, experimental vocalist Jonathan Hart Makwaia, installation and textile artist Alexis Ortiz, contemplative dance founder Barbara Dilley, and the gender queer Great Mother (AKA God/Goddexx). She founded Soul Journey Productions in 2008, and is in her seventh year of guiding, "Stillness," a bi-monthly meditation and ritual space for Femmes of Color. She recently premiered Black Prism Moon, her multi-disciplinary participatory ritual experience on Black femme embodiment, during the 2018 Links Hall CoMission residency. She is a resident storyteller with Chicago Folklore Ensemble and guide for youth empowerment vision quests with Lumenkids.

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Gaea Lady, Guest Artist

Gaea lady is an enchantress by nature; a force that will make you feel the earth move. Integrating 28 years of dance, art, visuals, costuming, concept, fire, silk fabrics, temple dance, hoops, and deeply seated intention, Gaea cultivates an intentional style that is all her own. She seeks to share knowledge and empower others through her performances and teaching, forging connections and community.

Gaea has performed all over the country: notably at the Burlesque Hall of Fame 2016 where she won “Best Debut” and “Most Classic”, at the 2017 & 2018 “Icons & Allstars” show, and headlining Carnivale de Sensuale in 2018. She graces festival stages such as Show Me (St. Louis), Envision (Costa Rica), Electric Forest (Michigan), Symbiosis (California), Oregon Eclipse (Oregon), Burningman (Nevada), and Bhakti Fest (California). In her home base of Chicago, Gaea performs at Unbridled at Untitled, the Kiss Kiss Cabaret, the Vertical Sideshow, the Drifter, Raks Geek, and with Pyrotechniq Fire Troupe. She also is a vegetarian chef, traveling to teach and nourish for movement and wellness retreats. www.gaealadychicago.com

Cher Nicolas, Guest Artist

Cher has always been moved by the arts, feeling that self expression, creativity and movement are essential to self care. She was enrolled in ballet at a very young age and stubbornly chose to quit as a shy and sometimes anxious child, however could not stay away from dance for very long. Cher formerly performed in several musicals and dance ensembles throughout her youth, but has gratefully rekindled her relationship with movement in a more authentically intuitive way through participation within the inaugural cast of SheWolf in 2018. Having been recently reconnected with flow arts, something that she first practiced on a high school color guard team, she draws her inspiration for this particular piece from recent adventures in Costa Rica which have set in motion her greatest sense of connection with Source and Self. She is undoubtedly grateful for this community and this sisterhood that stands clearly as a whole greater than the sum of its parts.


Jane Justice, Guest Artist

I am Rebecca Jane Justice, and I came here to walk the path of the wounded healer, the Cosmic Parent, and the creative life coach, mentor, and guide. It is my purpose and passion in life to continually strive toward self-mastery and to share my wisdom with as many fellow earth school travelers as I can, which I’ve been working on for the better part of my life.

I used to think I was born to suffer. I created stories of abuse, abandonment, pain, and lack for most of my life before I realized that I Am the master of my own reality, and I Can rewrite my stories whenever I am ready and decide to recreate them. I can change my emotional landscape, put on fresh perspectacles, and sinceriously start over as many times and as often as I need to.

My awareness of the mind-body-spirit connection was enhanced after 2 near death experiences (over the course of 6 years), an auto-immune diagnosis, issues with addiction, family, relationships, compromised health, and stresses beyond my wildest expectations. Needless to say, it took years of suffering and nearly losing my limbs & life before I understood that my physical pain was consistently coming from the same root causes, all of which revolved around emotional stress – lack of love & support, misguided boundaries & direction, and a failure to follow my own inner voice or intuition. In fact, I started to see that such was the case for nearly everyone facing any kind of dis-ease, no matter how big or small. Every diagnosis from a migraine to stage 4 lung cancer became much clearer once I realized that dis-ease most often stems from 1 of 4 categories: shame/guilt, fear, anger/resentment, and lack of (self)love. Though I have done a great deal of interpersonal work over the years to manage my stresses, thereby eliminating most of my symptoms, the road has been long, at times agonizing, and often merciless.

 

JCSpaceRadio, Guest Facilitator

JCSpaceRadio is a collaborative co-engineered by Jenn Cooper and Christine Shallenberg. The artists met while completing graduate studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago between 2012-2014. JCSR was conceived in December 2015 as a result of continued intellectual engagement and a desire to challenge cultural norms of communication and perception.

JCSpaceRadio is interested in engaging in a casually critical dialogue with frequencies. Inspiration for the projects’ endeavors comes from the astronauts living and working on the International Space Station and their onboard 2-meter shortwave (HAM) radio. Currently emanating as a conceptual broadcasting station, JCSR is host to bioresonance, binaural, and body-centered tones physically realized through workshops and events.

JCSpaceRadio’s long term goals include exploring the physicality of sonic experiences, making contact with the International Space Station, creating participatory structures for public engagement, and facilitating aesthetically driven citizen science. JCSR prioritizes direct public engagement with most aspects of the project, and ultimately fosters community environments open to discussions of experience, culture, and technology.

www.jcspaceradio.com

@JCSpaceRadio


Jean Edrada, Guest Artist

Jean Edrada is a yoga practitioner and the founder of Movement and Medicine. She has been practicing yoga for eight years and received her 200-hour RYT in Chicago in 2014. She regularly collaborates with and supports organizations and platforms such as Gabriela Chicago, Tree Femme Collective, and Equity First Alliance as well as local non-profit and youth organizations. Working with people of different walks of life in Chicagoland, the Bay Area, Los Angeles and most recently the Philippines, Jean understands the importance of a resilient body, mind, and spirit. Her mission is to create safe and sacred opportunities to explore and expand the human experience. To deeply engage with the dance between our own complex internal world with the complicated external world. For more than a decade, Jean has been in service to that mission. She envisions a world in which people of all colors, shapes, sizes, abilities, challenges and expressions of life have equitable access to spaces for healing, expressing and creating. With no formal dance training or background, Jean is honored to be a SheWolf.

So Swift, Guest Artist Group

So Swift is an all-female, Midwest-based dance crew specializing in freestyle house dance, waacking and hip hop. As a collective they aim to inspire others into movement and represent powerful women in a predominantly male hip hop community. Members of the crew have performed in numerous shows, events and have taken part in battles thoughout the Midwest, East Coast and West Coast. So Swift has also taught house dance and waacking classes/workshops throughout Chicago, to spread the love, knowledge and foundation of these dance styles

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Laksha Dantran, Guest Artist

Laksha Dantran is an artist with a powerful vision. Rooted in the forms of Indian classical dance and theatre, Laksha believes in using her artistic creations to enlighten and move audiences into action—to find the humanity and essential value of communities of all abilities and experiences. Laksha has produced original theatre works that feature LGBTQ perspectives, with a focus on emboldening her female soul trapped in a transgender identity, and her strength and beauty as a woman. Even as we continue growing as a society or culture, or within our own journeys, Laksha wants audiences to understand “we are still small.”

Laksha has been dancing for over thirty years, initially training in her home state of Kerala, and later in Chennai. She has received her education and gone on to perform and teach with prestigious arts schools, where she mastered technique and music (vocal percussion and composition), and continues to offer glimpses into these rich methods in her classroom and work. Still, Laksha’s greatest education and inspiration are her experiences, which emerges in her work.

Laksha’s choreography and direction focuses on bringing out the natural expression of her artists; she creates movement that is clear and elegant, effortlessly conveying a mood and story without excessive decorum or abstraction. Often taking new spins on ancient Hindu mythology, she believes in creating ancient characters embedded in modern reality, often urging artists to delve into their own experiences to bring truth into their portrayals.

Currently, Laksha is working with Mandala South Asian Performing Arts in Chicago, a not for profit arts organization that promotes ancient cultural arts and their modern progressions. Also Laksha is associated with Second city out laws , Chicago (an LGBT country line group ) as one of the members and performers of line dancing group heading seasonal shows through out Chicago and other states as well.

Laksha feels connected to Mandala and Second city out laws, which will serve as a platform for her to push forth her work in the United States and international community.

Laksha is an established artist who has toured throughout India, Belgium, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and the United States. Her work has received critical claim: as a performer, curator and director.

Laksha’s intention is that her work is fully realized at a human level. She believes humans in their natural state are trusting, loving, and ready to understand. She is actively pushing structures away to open space for true visibility and realization.

Radia Ali, Guest Artist

Dance is a form of Identity, and I seek to spread awareness of different cultures and stories through dance. My sincere hope is that this will spark curiosity and expose people to the different ways in which humans connect through Movement and Rhythm globally.

I grew up between South Asia, UK, and US, and am currently based in Chicago. I am trained in Kathak, Bengali, Persian and Turkish dance styles, as well as Samba, Flamenco, Bachata and Tango. I have performed with hip-hop and dancehall troupes in Chicago. I am also a fire performer and organizer at the Chicago Full Moon Fire Jams. I am currently the dancer for the Bangla folk music group Ochin Pakhi.


My true passion and personal style is fusion choreography. I am always ready for an opportunity to improvise with diverse musicians. I use fire props, silk veils, swords, and anything that comes to my mind! I call on the influences of the cultures that raised me, or that I have moved through. My mission is to light a spark in your soul, and leave you wanting to explore the world through rhythm. No matter who we are, music can unite us!

Harry Detry, Costume Designer

Harry Detry hails from the island of Jamaica native to Chicago since 1979, is is one of the most exceptional Historians, Knowledgeable and skillful dancers, and craftsmen in Chicago... His dance and teaching style is wicked and powerful. Harry is providing costumes for the West African numbers of the production.

 

Tara Luther, Live Painter

Tara Luther is a contemporary oil painter of the fantastical. Her work explores themes of mysticism, fantastical worlds, religious traditions, cosmology, and multidimensional awareness.

Tara received her undergraduate in studio art from Columbia College Chicago, and her Master's Degree in Counseling in the Arts, from Alder University in Chicago. Tara has studied and practiced astrology for nearly 20 years. She frequently draws upon astrological archetypes to inform her work. Tara is a Chicago local, though she exhibits her work extensively at art fairs and galleries in Chicago and Southern California.

Recently, she’s begun exploring the magical history of ancient Ireland through her magical castle series. She’s in continual dialogue with her muse, seeking to bridge the mythologies of the ancient world with her modern perception of consciousness.


Lexi Weintraub, Drummer

Lexi is a teacher, drummer, and expert in Forestry and Environmental activism. Lexi is part of a Buddhist community in Indiana called Manjunshree Hermitage. This is Lexi’s second year drumming with SheWolf.

Victoria Boateng, Drummer

Victoria Boateng graduated from Western Illinois University in December 2012 with a bachelor's degree in communication and minor in theatre. After graduation, Victoria Boateng studied West African drumming at Old Town School of Folk Music from September 2013- October 2018. Victoria is now a substitute teacher at Old Town School Of Folk Music and drum teacher at New Rhythm Arts Center. She is also now an apprentice performer and drummer in an all female drum and dance company Ayodele Drum and Dance.

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