The daughter of a Barrister and Labour Councilor, my destiny was somewhat written for me. That was until I woke up one day and realized I was living the dream of my parents who wanted me to follow in my dads footsteps and become a Barrister. Dance has always been part of my upbringing living in a Nigerian home and at 14 it was to play a significant part of my life.
I became a carer for my mother, younger sisters and home at this age; dance became my escape and sanity. It played a massive role in my life as I cared for my family for the next 14 years.
At 19, I went to Hammersmith & West London College, studying a BTEC National Diploma in Performing Arts. Whilst studying there, I qualified as a Professional Studio Instructor with a specialism in Exercise to Music. On completing my BTEC I went to Middlesex University where I graduated with a BA in Dance Studies.
I started working professionally at age 20 when I successfully auditioned for Impact Dance, lead by Artistic Director Hakeem Onibudo. Here I worked as a Dancer, Choreographer and Youth Artistic Director for several years. Age 24 I was appointed Youth Dance Practitioner for East London Dance (ELD). Three years later I was promoted to the position of Creative Projects Manager where I developed and managed East London Dance’s programme for the informal youth sector.
During this time I landed a sponsorship deal with Nike; working as a Sponsored Dance Athlete and Master Trainer for their dance based fitness programme the Nike Rockstar Workout.
2009 was a year of great change and heart break for me.
- I set up Uchenna Dance
- I left my full time job
- My mother passed away
- I began studying a Masters in Cultural Leadership at City University, graduating two years later.
UD gave me a platform to focus on choreography and enabled me to explore the new styles House Dance, Waacking and Vogue that were redefining me as an artist. These styles alongside African and Contemporary Dance allowed me to express myself in a way that I had not found before. It was a successful application to the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora (ADAD) for their Trailblazer’s Scheme (2007-2008) that was the catalyst UD and gave me the confidence to transition form management to being a full time creative artist.
In addition to being the Creative Director and Choreographer of Uchenna Dance, I work as an independent Choreographer, Teacher, Lecturer and Curator. My work with UD and independently has allowed me to work with a wide range of educational institutions, people, venues and companies including Kingston University, Middlesex University, WAC Arts, The University of East London, Rafael Bonachela, Luca Silvestrini, Jeanefer Jean-Charles, Sadler’s Wells, The South Bank Centre, Tanzhaus Nrw Dusseldorf, Germany, Nike UK, Ireland and Europe, Jack Morton Worldwide, Five Currents and World Wide Shows.
My most recent credits include: Mass Movement coordinator of the opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (London 2012). Mass Movement Choreographer of the opening ceremonies for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Sochi 2014), Choreography Coordinator for Opening Ceremony of Commonwealth Games (Glasgow 2014), Sadler’s Wells Wild Card Curator and Artist (Between The Lines, 2013), Association of Dance of the African Diaspora (ADAD) Trailblazer (2007-2008) and Trailblazer CHAMPION (2012-2013).