Terrie “Ajile” Axam, dancer/choreographer, arts educator, and cultural arts entertainer, is the Founder and Artistic Director of Dancical Productions, Inc. is a prominent community leader, dedicated dance and cultural arts educator, artistic educator, artistic director and certified life coach. She has served the Atlanta community as well as national and international communities for 40 years. Ms. Axam became a history maker as the first person in the State of Georgia to receive a Teacher’s Certification in Dance. She subsequently helped develop dance programs and teach dance for Fulton County Board of Education. Ms. Axam is the originator of the legendary Mojah Dance Technique for which she was featured on CNN. Her unique contribution to the arts led the Fulton County Arts Council to support the Mojah Conference. Ms. Axam has performed worldwide with a multitude of acclaimed artists. Additionally, she has taught throughout the U.S. at major colleges and universities.
Ms. Axam has duly been honored for her contributions in dance, including recognition by the national association for the advancement of colored people in 1981 as “an outstanding and influential woman in the plight for human justice” and Declaration by Cosmopolitan Magazine as a “Fun Fearless Female” in 1998.
Ms. Axam continues to serve the Atlanta community via Total Dance/Dancical Productions Inc. and serves as director of the Dance Ministry at Wheat Street Baptist Church in the Sweet Auburn Historic District. Most recently, Mayor Lester Miller of Macon Georgia proclaimed June 18th, Terrie Ajile Axam Day , for her gift of her pioneering teaching of African and Modern dance to the Bibb County Community. Ms. Axam received her B.A. degree from Princeton University and Masters in Education with an emphasis in Dance from Rutgers University. She is devoted to touching lives through the genre of dance.
Dawn Axam, Master Instructor of the Mojah Technique, Dawn Axam received her B.F.A. in dance and theatre from NYU Tisch School of the Arts along with a Masters in Arts Education from Lesley University. Dawn was awarded Dance Teacher of the year in 2017 by DanceTeacher Magazine and in 2014 received a Fulbright scholarship where she traveled to Senegal, Africa to study the Woolof language and the culture of the people. While there she was able to teach and choreograph for the Senegalese dance company ARTEA Dance. Dawn served as the Director of Dance and the Co- Director of Musical Theatre at Tri-Cities Visual and Performing Arts High School for 20 years. She currently holds the position of Director of Dance and Theatre for Woodward Academy LS while also running her own company AXAM Dance Theatre Experience, a company of choreographers and performing artist.
Yasmine Axam, a native of Atlanta and instructor of Hip-Hop. She began dancing at the age of 4 under her aunt, Terrie Ajile Axam and instructors and artists of Total Dance Studio. Yasmine attended Livingstone College in Sailsbury, NC and Georgia State University. She performed with Total Dance Company for 20 years. Yasmine is Founder/Director of Trio Kolectiv a collaborative dance company representing art, music and dance for 5 years and is currently principal dancer for
Mojah Dance Theatre.
Aquila Kikora Franklin, Master Instructor of the Mojah Technique, serves as a visiting guest instructor for Dancical Productions, Inc. She is a Professor of Theatre/Dance, Associate Director for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for Penn State University School of Theatre. Professor Franklin has performed, choreographed and taught in cities across the globe including Linz, Austria, Grahams town, South Africa, Dakar, Senegal, Minas Gerais, Brazil, throughout China, Europe, and the United States. At Penn State, her creative work includes research that focuses on developing the Mojah dance technique and more.
Greyling “Oginga” Love, Master Drummer, conducts workshops in drumming and West African dance. Oginga Love developed his talent through the Katherine Dunham Performing Arts Center in East St. Louis, Illinois, where he studied under the tutelage of Senegalese Master Drummer Mor Thiam. He performed for 15 years as a percussionist, dancer, actor and pianist. He is the son of Clayton Love, jazz and blues musician of St. Louis, who was a member of the Ike and Tina Turner Band. Oginga received his B.S. from St. Louis University and teaching certification from Harris Stowe Teaching College. His performances include working with Grover Washington, Najee, Dennis Miller, the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, Julius Williams Jazz Ensemble, and more. He has performed throughout the United States in the National College Tour of “Fusion – From Africa to Hip Hop” with Total Dance Company, Edna Manley College in Kingston, Jamaica, the grand opening of Disney’s Epcot Center, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, and much more.
Nadasia Scales, Guest Instructor of Modern dance. Nadaisa is a trained dancer and choreographer originally from North Carolina. She is a graduate from UNC Greensboro with a BFA in Dance. She is an experienced dance teacher and enjoys sharing her knowledge and will continue to make it her mission to inspire others through the art of dance.
Leo “Da Venci” White, Guest Instructor of Hip Hop, was born in Augusta, Georgia. Leo graduated from Tri”Cities High School Conservatory Magnet program. Leo shined in both Dance and Musical Theatre, and was awarded the Top Dance award in 2013. He is a recording artist who sings and raps. Leo was featured in The Color Purple, West side Story, Chicago, and Black Nativity directed by Robert Connor and Dawn Axam. Featured dancer in D. Woods video, Foolish Dreamer and Keep Calm/Dance To This. Leo also studied Recording at Full Sail University.
Frankie Axam- Frederick– Ballet- Background Information forthcoming.
Lamond Hayes– Mojah Mix- Background Information forthcoming
Trisha Lindsay– Instructor of Urban Reggae. Trisha :is a graduate of Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica with a BFA in Choreography and Performance. Trisha started dancing at the age of eight at the Praise Academy of Dance. Not only is she a dancer, but she is a Swedish Massage Therapist and obtained her certification at the Face Place Institute of Aesthetics.
Nikia Smith- Sellers – Instructor of Creative Movement. Nikia is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and a graduate of Shaw University in Raleigh North Carolina with a BA in International Studies. She also graduated from The Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law with a Juris Doctor and practices law in Georgia. Outside of her professional and academic life, Nikia is an avid supporter of the arts. She began training at Total Dance in 1997 and is currently a member with of the Mojah Dance Theatre.
Ayana Wright-Instructor of Beginning Mojah. Ayana is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University. Her dance training began in church at a very early age. Ayanna continued to dance throughout elementary and high school. While attending Clark Atlanta University, Ayanna studied ballet at Spelman College and became a member of Clark’s Mighty Marching Panthers. Ayana is an Intern and Apprentice for Total Dance Company. Her career goal is to open a counseling practice and implement coping strategies via the arts.
Legacy Instructors: We salute our Legacy Instructors. Our Legacy Instructors taught at Total Dance Dancical Productions, Inc. over a period of ten or more years. Their excellence and professionalism supported our students in reaching high standards in their careers and aspirations.
Legacy Instructor: Al Morrison, instructor of Intermediate/Advanced Ballet performed with the Atlanta Ballet Company from 1997-2003. He has also danced with the Donald Byrd Company from 1991-1997, where he was the lead dancer for 7 years. Al taught master classes in Kansas City at the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Alley from 2001-2015.
Legacy Instructor: Samara Rowland, instructor of Beginning Ballet, has studied ballet at the prestigious Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts. There she studied under Elena Tchernikova, former coach to Baryshnikov and ballet mistress of ABT. Samara is certified in the Vaganova technique and teaches beginning and intermediate level ballet classes at Total Dance Studio. Currently, Samara is a member of the Atlanta Festival Ballet in Stockbridge, Georgia.