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Black British Ballet

Rachel Afi Sekyi

Ethnic heritage: British biracial (English Mother and Ghanaian Father)

Year of birth: 1971

Training: Italia Conti Stage School / Dance Theatre of Harlem

Ballet career: Rachel Afi Sekyi began her dance training at the King Slocombe School of Dance, in Cambridge, England were she was also selected to perform as a dancer in annual holiday pantomime productions. She arrived in America as a graduate of the Italia Conti Stage School of London (now Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts), with qualifications for teaching dance from The Royal Academy of Dance and The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance.

Sekyi began her association with Dance Theatre of Harlem as a scholarship student in their Professional Program, receiving a fellowship and transitioned into the ensemble. Rachel expanded her career in dance with first the Erroll Simpson Dance Company and then Laura Dean Dancers and Musicians, touring nationally and internationally. She has performed in seasonal productions of Porgy and Bess at the New York Metropolitan Opera House at the Lincoln Center, and served as Assistant Choreographer to Arthur Mitchell and Dance Captain at Dance Theatre of Harlem.

Sekyi's choreography has promoted commissions of new works which have been featured at many New York City venues including The Apollo Theater and The Cathedral of St. John the Divine. In addition, her choreography has been a part of the Harlem Week activities and Dance Theatre of Harlem's annual benefit galas.

Teaching career: Seyki’s teaching career spans 40 years including work at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Martin Luther King Jr. High School and most extensively at Dance Theatre of Harlem, where she held the position of School Artistic Administrator. She is currently Associate Director of the Tendu Program and a full-time senior faculty member at Dance Theatre of Harlem.

Teach with integrity, create with originality and grow with awareness. My students are my inspiration and my legacy.
- Rachel Afi Sekyi