In schools, in communities, and online

From artist-led workshops to special classroom curricula to free online lessons, Ordway's Education and Community Engagement programs connect artists with you—wherever you are. Get to know the extraordinary artists who are sharing their work, and learn where else you can find them!


Igbo-rooted dance therapy by Korma Aguh-Stuckmayer
  • Afrocontigbo: pronounced "AFRO- CON-Tee-Bough"

  • Igbo: pronounced "Eee-Bough"

Afrocontigbo is an African Contemporary Igbo dance company founded by CEO Korma Aguh-Stuckmayer in 2015. Korma is from the Igbo tribe in Nigeria. Afrocontigbo mixes traditional and modern West African dance moves. They teach classes and do performances all across the Twin Cities.

The music is invigorating and the moves are joyful. Get ready to join Afrocontigbo on the dance floor. Add "Afrocontigbo" on social media for more information on classes, challenges, and performances.

Featured on the Ordway Education YouTube
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@Afrocontigbo on Instagram

Ololade Gbadamosi Alashe

A self-taught Krump dancer who has hosted events like The Uprizing

Ololade Gbadamosi, also known as O and Gambit, is a practitioner of Krump. Krump is a street dance style that stands for Kingdom Radically Uplifting Mighty Praise. Mostly self-taught in this style, he has traveled outside of Minnesota to participate in battles and also take classes from other respected krumpers including the creators of the dance style Chez "Tight Eyez" Willis and Jo'Artis "Mijo" Ratti.

Ololade has been a big supporter in the Minnesota hip hop and Krump community by teaching krump, hosting events such as The Uprizing and being involved in hip hop based performances such as I'm From Vol. 1; Mixtape, Mixtape Side B, Mixtape Ill; Gutta Zone Festival in Montreal Canada and ROOTED: Hip Hop Choreographers' Evening.

Teaching students through Ordway's Artists in the Schools program
@_oga_boss on Instagram

Sivanuja Balaji

artistic director and Founder of Nritya Kalakshetra School of Performing Arts

She has been teaching, performing , choreographing and promoting art forms for more than 28 years. She is a well trained Alumni of world famous Kalakshetra and a disciple of great Mastro Late Adyar K Lakshman and Krishnaveni Lakshman and trained Mohiniattam dancer including folk dances of India and Carnatic music.

Sivanuja has been an active contributor to all social/regional events in Minneapolis , other parts United States and India . Her students are involved in variety of performances ranging from Kalakshetra Style Bharathanatyam  ,Mohiniattam [ Indian Classical forms ] and Kuchipudi through Contemporary Dances and Performances. Sivanuja has been contributing to the growth of this ancient art through focused teaching on the depth of Bharathanatyam, Natyashastras, facial expression called Abhinaya, yoga exercise to improve dance posture and stamina. Her classes also focus on theory of dance and theatre performances. Sivanuja is a serious proponent of the discipline with steadfast passion to the classical, theatrical art forms and contemporary art forms.

She is currently working on having structured level exams for classical art forms in Minnesota and other parts of states through an established and approved college Griffin Exam Board in London.  Sivanuja is working on multi-disciplinary theatrical art works ranging from folk, classical, western and contemporary to our art lovers and  patrons.  She is also collaborating with out of state art schools and organizations.

She is also a contributing choreographer for a upcoming film called ‘REFUGE’.  ‘REFUGE’ was created by Minneapolis choreographer Jennifer Arave and will be co-directed by award-winning filmmaker Philip Harder.  Produced by Patrick Riley. Contributing Choreographers  Sivanuja Balaji , and Germaine Tazz Lindsey, Rachel Clark, Kerry Parker, Tom Carlson, Joshua Lorris.

@Nrityakalakshetraacademy on Facebook

@sivanujabalaji on Instagram

Fode Bangoura

Cofounder of Duniya Drum & Dance Company and creator of the Fakoly Dance and Drum Project

Born in Conakry, Guinea, Fode Bangoura has been recognized internationally for his work as the lead drummer with the acclaimed ensembles “Les Merveilles de Guinea” and the national ballet of Guinea, “Les Ballets Africains.” A protégé of the late, great Mohamed Kemoko Sano, Fode is now one of the most respected and sought after drummers of his generation.

Teaching and performing in Japan, Europe, and across the U.S., Fode brings a unique energy and electricity to audiences around the world. Fode has toured with some of the biggest names in African music and dance, such as Sekouba Bambino, Sekouba Kandia Kouyate, and Les Ballets Africains. Fode has appeared on MTV, and appeared at the Lincoln Center, Walt Disney World, and The Apollo Theater.

In 2008, Fode cofounded Duniya Drum & Dance Company and began the Fakoly Dance and Drum Project, an annual drum and dance conference held in Minneapolis, Minnesota giving students the opportunity to study and perform with the best of the best in Guinea drum and dance.

Fode is a 2021 McKnight recipient, he continues to search for new ways to share his unique art form with others and to bring his rich culture to the world.

Featured on the Ordway Education YouTube
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Duniya Drum & Dance Website

@duniyaMN on Instagram

Center for Irish Music

A community music school dedicated to Irish traditions

The Center for Irish Music (CIM) is a thriving nonprofit community music school based in St. Paul’s Hamline-Midway neighborhood. The CIM is dedicated to handing down traditional Irish music to the next generation of musicians in our community through private lessons, group classes, and events featuring world-class artists like the Minnesota Irish Music Weekend. This video features teaching artists Norah Rendell (flute, whistle, song), Danielle Enblom (fiddle, stepdance) and Danny Diamond (fiddle, Irish language).

Featured on the Ordway Education YouTube
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Center for Irish Music Website

@CenterforIrishMusic on Instagram


An international, award-winning poet & hip hop artist

She has traveled the US & abroad delivering her lyrics and spoken word, also spending her time in traditional and non-traditional classrooms spaces, working in over 300 schools, prisons and community centers in the US and France. She co-founded B-Girl Be, a first of its kind celebration of women’s contributions to hip hop culture. Desdamona’s most recent release is entitled  No Man’s Land  and features an all woman cast of singers, poets and emcees from the Twin Cities.

Desdamona Website

@art_by_desdamona on Instagram

@desdamona.rox on Facebook

Adria Edwards

Dancer, instructor, and Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Arts graduate

Adria Edwards is a graduate from Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Arts and a current dance instructor at the Art Of Dance Studio.

She has been dancing for 15 years and teaching for 2 1/2 years. She has always had a great love for dance and has studied in various dance forms such as ballet, jazz, contemporary , tap, hip hop and voguing. In summer 2022, Adria will head to New York where she has been accepted to attend The Ailey School Professional Division summer intensive.

Teaching students through Ordway's Artists in the Schools program
@dance_by_adria on Instagram

Troy Florent

Dancer, Singer, Model, Actor, and Teacher

He was trained at the National Institute of Arts (NIA) in St Martin. In 2020, Troy played the part of Aaron Burr in NIA’s abridged version of the Broadway Musical Hamilton. In 2021, he was featured as a model in Vogue Italia as part of Lisandro Suriel’s Ghost Island Photography Project. During this same year, he was also a principal character in Jonathan van Arneman’s internationally acclaimed dance film documentary Atlantis Rebirth. In 2022, Troy had the privilege to perform for International Afropop artist Ckay as well as several local artists like Kenyo Baly, Clara Reyes, and Arlene Halley. Troy has trained with artists like Ryan Miller, Alicia Graf Mac, Vivian Nixon, Nikeva Marie, Jaquelyn Allsopp, and Darian Parker in styles such as Ballet, Lyrical Jazz, Afro Caribbean, Soca, Dancehall, Hip Hop, Acro, Contemporary, Improv, and West African Dance. Troy currently works as an educator at several local primary schools on St Martin teaching a dance outreach program that gives K-12 kids skills in Afro Caribbean, Hip Hop, Lyrical jazz, and Improv.

@troyflorent on Instagram

Gary Hines

Music Director and Producer of the Grammy-winning Sounds of Blackness

Jazz, blues, spirituals, rock and roll, R&B, gospel, hip-hop, and soul: these are the Sounds of Blackness! Led by Gary Hines, three-time Grammy Award-winning ensemble Sounds of Blackness have performed for kings, queens, presidents, and ambassadors at concert halls, colleges, schools, corporations, and festivals all over the world.

Sounds of Blackness have performed at The Olympics, The World Cup, Ryder's Cup, The NFL, NBA, MLB, The Grammy Awards, Denver Summit of 8, The NAACP National Convention, and the Super Bowl. They have appeared with Quincy Jones, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Kirk Franklin, Shirley Caesar, Yolanda Adams, Sting, Prince, Elton John, Maya Angelou, Usher, Harry Belafonte, Aloe Black, Common, John Legend, and many more.

Sounds of Blackness has won Image, Soul Train, International Time For Peace, Stellar, and three Grammy Awards. Their life-changing, top 10 single and video “ROYALTY" was also nominated for 2 NAACP Image Awards and 2 Stellar Awards.

Featured on the Ordway Education YouTube
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Sounds of Blackness Website

@TheSoundsofBlackness on Instagram

Naomi Janelle

Jamaica-born, Sint Maarten-grown dancer, singer, choreographer, and teacher

She has been in performing arts ever since she was 9 years old at the Motiance Dance School now known as The National Institute of Arts since merging with Imbali Dance School. She rooted herself in many art forms to fulfill her artistic desires including representing her home country in international dance competitions. In 2015, she competed in an international dance competition in France called ‘concours de confederation de danse‘ where she received two silver medals (2nd place) in Jazz and African Dance. She also received a scholarship to Anthony Burrell’s ‘Breaking Barriers’ Summer Intensive. In 2018, she was awarded a scholarship from Arts Saves Lives Foundation to partake in a week-long intensive in New York where she danced at BDC, Steps on Broadway and The Ailey Studios. She has been a St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Dancer since 2018.  In 2020, she auditioned for St. Maarten’s Abridged Version of Hamilton and she was casted as Angelica Schuyler. Her role consisted of singing, rapping, dancing and acting. She also auditioned for a dance and cultural film called ‘Atlantis Rebirth’. She was casted as a main dancer for this film and it is now one of St. Maarten’s Historic Films, touring the Dutch Caribbean and Minnesota. In 2022, she performed for International Afro-beats artist Ckay and International Hip Hop artist Kalash.

@iamnaomijanelle on Instagram

Tumelo Khupe

Award- and tournament-winning krump dancer

Tumelo Khupe is a krumper, emerging choreographer, and actress based in the Twin Cities area. She began focusing on her passion for performing arts while still living in Botswana. In 2016, she moved back to the United States to pursue a career in performing arts. Tumelo is at the early stages of her evolution as an independent artist. Still, through connecting and working with Maia Maiden, Darrius Brown, and more recently, Herb Johnson 111, she has become a part of the street dance community, more specifically the Minnesota Krump (MN KRUMP) community—aliases "Lady Stain" and "Twin OP."

As she continuously works to learn and understand the beauty in the culture of krump, she takes an interest in how krump captures spoken and unspoken stories. Krump offers endless possibilities for storytelling through its technique and language shared amongst its practitioners and provides a shared experience that encourages community building. She also takes an interest in how the body naturally captures critical moments in life that can reveal themselves through improvisation and uses some of these principles in her work. She works closely with Wynn Fricke, Claudia Tatinge Nascimento, and Patricia Brown, who also mentor her.

She graduated with a B. A in Music Theater with a minor in Dance, May of 2020. Some awards received in college are the David Wick Leadership Award, David Wick Best Choreography Award, and The Mabel Meta Frey Outstanding Theater Artist Award. She has also competed in krump tournaments out of state, coming first place at the first "King of the Ring" event in Texas in 2020.

Teaching students through Ordway's Artists in the Schools program
@melo_kh_ on Instagram

David Stalter Jr.

Self-taught dancer, competition winner, teacher, and 2021 McKnight Fellow

2021 McKnight Fellow David Stalter Jr. was born and raised in Minnesota. He started dancing in 2012, the summer after freshman year of high school, dancing as an outlet to express himself. He's self-taught, teaching himself all sorts of styles like Hip Hop Freestyle, Animation, Breaking, House, and many more. He's danced with the 612 Timberwolves crew, where he's danced with G-Eazy, Lil Jon, and Skee-Lo he's currently been dancing for 7-8 years.

Winning over 15+ competitions in his dance career. He focuses on musicality, control, and becoming one with the music. He comes from a street background but has built studio experience throughout his dance career. He's been teaching since 2015. Dance has taught him many different things and has made him the person he is today.

His ultimate goal is to inspire as many people as possible with his art to spread love and light and help those in need. He believes it's important to be yourself no matter what because that's what makes you special, and that's what makes you, you. He's based in Minnesota, but his passion, art and dance have allowed him to travel to many different places so far like Chicago, Texas, L.A, Paris, and more. Currently, he works hard to become an even more versed artist and a better teacher. He has faith that one day he'll travel the world teaching about self-love and dance, while continuing to be a student learning new things along the way.

Teaching students through Ordway's Artists in the Schools program
@Davidjrx on Instagram

Jonathan van Arneman

Dancer, choreographer, and musician trained in traditional and contemporary styles

AJ is the 2019 recipient of the Momentum New Dance Works grant for emerging choreographers in Minneapolis and is the current Artist in Residence at the National Institute of Arts (NIA) in Soualiga. AJ is a previous company member of Ananya Dance Theatre and Afoutayi where he trained in Yorchha under the leadership of Dr Ananya Chatterjee and traditional Haitian dance under Djenane Saint-Juste, respectively. His training also includes West African dance forms, Ballet, Modern, Caribbean Social and Traditional Dances, and Capoeira. His past work includes Atlantis Rebirth- a nod to the defiant history of Black peoples in the Caribbean as well as an imagination of a post-colonial Caribbean utopia; and Atlantis13- a work choreographed in collaboration with Peace Madimutsa and a cast of brilliant dancers in Minneapolis that explores diasporic connections and Black liberation. AJ's current project, Atlantis Origins, is the third installation of the Atlantis Universe series and will premiere on November 5 and 6 at the Cowles' Center in Minneapolis. In the realm of music, AJ trained and performed with Souliga's Ebony Steel Orchestra for 10 years under the leadership of steelpan legend Isidore York aka The Mighty Dow.


Oanh Vu

Puppeteer, filmmaker, educator, and community organizer

As the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, Oanh Vu uses humor and the playfulness of puppetry to tell stories of healing for herself and her Southeast Asian community. She was a 2019 Puppet Lab Artist and her work has been shared through the Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre, Mia, MN Opera, Open Eye Theatre, Twin Cities Public Television, and the Walker Art Center. She got her start in puppetry through Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop and has continued her studies through venues like Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival and The National Puppetry Conference at The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.

Featured on the Ordway Education YouTube
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@okvu.puppets on Instagram

Larry Yazzie

Actor, two-time World Champion Fancy Dancer, and Eagle Dancer

Larry is from the Meskwaki Nation in Tama, Iowa. He is the Founder and Artistic Director for Native Pride Productions, Inc. which is based in Saint Paul, MN. His repertoire includes performances at the Olympics, The Kennedy Center, and the Smithsonian Institute. Larry has performed all over the world and has won many awards for his dancing. As an international lecturer, dancer, and educator, Larry has earned the reputation for being one of the nation's leading experts on Native American dance. In May 2010, he and his son Jessup were the sole U.S. performers invited for performances and workshops throughout northern France.

He founded Native Pride Productions to give back to his community and to the world: "By sharing life stories through music, dance and storytelling, we nurture meaningful communication among all people." Larry's goal is to share cultural traditions through artist-in-residency workshops, performances, lectures, classroom instruction and theatrical performances enhancing access to diverse, multicultural artists for people of all ages and backgrounds. His warm, enthusiastic spirit truly reflects the beauty of Indigenous people. Following the tradition of his elders, he is giving back, and enriching the lives of all audiences for generations to come.

Featured on the Ordway Education YouTube in February 2022

Native Pride Website

@Native_Pride_Dancers on Instagram

Young Dance

An inclusive, multi-age dance community encouraging creativity for civil discourse

Since 1987, Young Dance has encouraged youth in our community to build body and spirit through the art of dance. Our mission is to transform lives through movement. We are an inclusive community where creativity flourishes and all are encouraged to aspire to artistic excellence.

Young Dance encourages peer-to-peer mentorship and collaboration in our multi-age classes. Through our engagement of youth of all abilities, body types, and economic, social, and cultural backgrounds, we provide an environment in which diversity is authentically embraced and celebrated. The young people with whom we work become leaders in their schools, which prepare them for leadership roles—both formal and informal—in their communities. In working with professional, highly accomplished artists, Young Dance dancers develop a keen understanding of the art form, the complexity of creating a production, and the power of the pursuit of excellence.

At Young Dance, we believe that:

  • Young people are artists with something important to say

  • Social justice is an embedded component of our classes and organization.

  • Everybody is capable of creative expression.

  • The creative process is a model for civil discourse.

  • Healthy somatic dance practice is grounded in a developmentally appropriate curriculum.

@youngdancemn on Instagram

Young Dance Website