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Black British Ballet

Dr Adesola Akinleye

Ethnic heritage: British biracial (English Mother/Nigerian Father)

Training: Arts Education School, Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, Dance Theatre of Harlem

Ballet career: Dr Adesola Akinleye trained at London Youth Dance Theatre, Arts Education School and The Rambert Academy. With a grant from the Greater London Council Scholarship programme, they went to the Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York in 1985 to study and work as a dancer for its Workshop Ensemble for five years. They have taught and choreographed ballet for the last 30 years at university and professional levels in Europe and USA.

Dance career: Akinleye has worked with British companies like Green Candle Dance Company, Union Dance Company and the Carol Straker Dance Company. They have an extensive career as a dancer, choreographer, educator and author who has worked and performed in Europe, the Caribbean and North America.

Akinleye is also the founder and artistic director of DancingStrong Movement Lab (2009 to present) and Saltare Dance Company (1993 to 1998). They were a Senior Dance Lecturer at Middlesex University and currently an Assistant Professor in the Division of Dance at Texas Woman’s University. They are ACT Fellow, Affiliate Researcher at MIT and Visiting Artist CAST, MIT, a past fellow of Theatrum Mundi and lecturer at Irie! Dance Theatre.

Akinleye has a number of chapters on dance published and editor/curator of the anthologies Narratives in Black British Dance: Embodied Practices (Palgrave Macmillan) and (re:)claiming ballet (Intellect Books). They are authors of the monographs Dance, Architecture and Engineering (Bloomsbury Publishing) and Navigations: Scoring the moment (Theatrum Mundi).

I love dancing. Ballet is the movement language through which I come to have a relationship with my ever-changing moving body.
- Dr Adesola Akinleye