Ayo’s research focus encompasses the ﬁelds of dance education and curriculum development with an emphasis on African American dances.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Ayo has established herself as a sought-after choreographer and dance educator. She performed with New Generations Dance Company while still in high school. After receiving her B.A. in theater and dance from San Diego State University she continued her training as a fellowship student at the Academy of Performing Arts – San Diego. Further training includes Mills College Graduate Studies Department of Dance and NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development – Music & Performing Arts Professions. Her works have been commissioned by, Cal State University East Bay, Cypress College, Fullerton College and Long Beach City College as well as Norwalk High School and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
In March 2011 Ayo, a.k.a LJ Boogie. formed LJ Boogie & Company. The company made their ﬁrst appearance at the 2011 White Wave 11th Anniversary DUMBO Dance Festival in Brooklyn New York. Then the company was invited back to perform again at White Wave for their 9th Annual Cool New York Dance Festival.
Ayo is currently a Provost’s Fellow in her ﬁrst year as a PhD candidate in Performance Studies at UC Davis. Her general research focus encompasses the ﬁelds of dance education and curriculum development with an emphasis on African American dances. Her works aim to promote non-stereotypical assumptions about the Black dance aesthetic.
“I am against the ‘natural assumption’ of Black dance as a practice done by and for Black people. My work seeks to go against the mark of Black dance. In this case being marked is being a stereotype. My resistance to being marked is not an attempt to being perceived as unmarked — ‘normal’, white, male, etc. — but to undermine the oppression of this concept.”
For Ayo’s personal website follow this link.