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Bio


 

 

performer + instructor + peacemaker

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Bio


 

 

performer + instructor + peacemaker

DANCE & DRUM INSTRUCTOR * PERFORMER

Jill has been an all-around athlete, and lover of all forms of movement and physical expression, her whole life.

As a professional cultural/contemporary dance and drum soloist, her movement is a unique blend of the traditions she has studied with her own authentic expression. She is one of grace and strength. Jill incorporates both dance and drum into her performances, as well as spoken-word. She is available to:

  • Perform at your next event

  • Teach a dance/movement workshop

  • Teach a drumming workshop

Jill embraces all cultures and religions. Her artistry centers around personal and global peacemaking, empowerment, love of self, love of the body, and the understanding of our body as an instrument to be of purpose, service, and expression in the world. See Jill's CV

I know there was only one of you on stage, but it felt like there were more people!” ... “Just by watching you I felt as if I was moving my body too!” ... “You took us on a journey, and I couldn’t help but cry.
— Audience responses from a performance

Jill was a collegiate athlete in women's volleyball and a 1995 NCAA Final Four finalist. She is a member of her high school's Athletics Hall of Fame.

Her bridge to the artistic world of cultural dance and drum arts came in 2002, on the Hawaiian island Kauai, which progressed to an intensive year of study with master teachers at the renowned Djoniba Dance & Drum Center in New York City.

In 2003, Jill began studying and performing West African Dance and Drum with master teacher Biboti Ouikahilo, from the Ivory Coast, West Africa. Together, they founded Wacheva Cultural Arts, a non-profit organization, dance and drum performing arts company, and studio based in Syracuse, NY. 

In 2009, Jill evolved from student/performer to instructor. For five years, she taught a weekly Afro-Modern Dance/Movement class of her own choreography, and a Women's Drumming class of her own rhythms at Wacheva. 

Since 2014, Jill has moved full-time into her professional performance art career as a cultural/contemporary dance and drum soloist. 

Always a lifelong student, Jill continues to study traditional cultural dance and drum in the styles of West African, Afro-Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, Samba, Salsa, Belly Dance, Hula, and Indian Dance, both in the states, as well as abroad. (see trailer of Jill learning dance in Chennai, India). She also enhances her technique by taking modern and ballet classes. 

Jill currently teaches dance/movement and women's drumming workshops nationwide, in communities, local studios, retreat centers, wellness programs, colleges/universities -- you name it. 

Photography courtesy of Jennifer Wolsey. Videos courtesy of Michael Choi.