All of your certified ASA! Instructors have at least 3 years’ experience as African dancers, dancer instructors and professional performers. Through the 3-5 month training process they have gained knowledge in basic biomechanics, anatomy, musicology, dance history, health and wellness and the ASA! technique. Each instructor holds a CPR/AED certification and is capable of maintaining a safe and fun exercise environment. 

Akosua Akoto

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to learn more about our founder. Creator, Founder of ASA! Enterprises

Artistic Director, ASA! Kelenya

Co-founder 5 The Hard Way

Co-founder FUZE Carnival

Dancer/Choreographer 

Personal Trainer

Rehabilitation Specialist 

Performance Enhancement Specialist

Nkenge Cunningham

 Master Level Certification

ASA!'s Director of Certification, and  Assistant director for ASA! Kelenya. She began her professional dancing career at the precious age of 5 in New York City under the auspices of Marie Basse Wiles, founder and director of Maimouna Keita School of West African. She currently performs and teaches with the D.C. based company, Farafina Kan. Teaching internationally as a Master certified ASA! instructor, ASA! has recently come to take its rightful place inside her dance career.

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Dr. Fofie Akoto

 Master Level Certification

Assistant to the president for ASA! Enterprises, Manager and Booking Agent for ASA! Kelenya, and ASA! Enterprises Medical Advisor. Dance has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember and the art of performance began at age 7. Sometime later, the desire for broader understanding and the skills to heal magnified inspiring an enduring journey to medical school as a single mother, dancer, choreographer, entrepreneur and all around community developer. Since graduating from Meharry Medical College with an M.D., she has been working as an internal medicine physician in Atlanta Georgia. 

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Sunmolu 

Hamilton-Samuel

 Master Level Certification

Sunmolu, the 2012 ASA! Marathon champion in the category of longest whine, and lead performer for ASA! Kelenya,  is a Master Certified instructor from the DC Metropolitan area. A mom, education consultant, and professional dancer, she was motivated to become an ASA! instructor after finding joy, discipline and freedom in the program.

Kamille Turner

 Master Level Certification

A lifelong dancer, I began my training in classical ballet. Ever the omnivore, my interests led me to Graham, Middle Eastern Folkdance, modern, Afro-Cuban and dance traditions from across The Diaspora. In college, I fell in love with African dance while learning traditional rhythms from Senegal and Guinea. Becoming a part of the ASA! Movement as both certified instructor and lead performer for ASA! Kelenya is a fusion of that passion and an ever-growing desire to learn new styles and techniques.

Hasanna Tyus

 Level 3 Certification

Dance, health and fitness, and African culture are a large part of my life, so naturally I fell in love with ASA!  I am a lifelong dancer and health enthusiast.  As a wife and working mother of 5 children, ASA! has been my "release" from the daily "have-to"s.  It gives me energy, feeds my spirit, and is the best workout I've ever experienced in my life.  I was so inspired by the ASA! movement, that I too wanted to become an instructor, so that I could share it with the world. 

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Lesina Martin

 Level 1 Certification

Born and raised in Detroit, MI, at age 10, she stepped onto the dance floor, and hasn't left it since.  A graduate of Howard University with a B.A. in African Studies, she has lived in the DC area for nearly 15 years. As a student, Lesina was a co-founder of Nsaa Dance Ensemble, the campus' first African diasporic arts organization.  Her love for African music and dance has taken her to West Africa, South America and all accross the United States.  Currently,Lesina is a member of Farafina Kan performing company and co-director of the Junior company.

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Bintou Kouyate

 Level 2 Certification

She has performed professionally for more than 20 years, continuing the cultural and musical path of her family as a dynamic dancer, singer, educator and performing artist of Manding traditions. The 150th generation of the Kouyate lineage of her father, Diali Dimo Kouyate, Bintou performs with Fara fina Kan, Memory of African culture, the Manding griot Ensemble and teaches children and adults for various community organizations.

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Donovan Herring

 Level 3 Certification

Donovan is a native of College Park, Georgia. He received his training and BFA from Howard University under the direction of the late Dr. Sherrill Berryman Johnson. He has performed with numerous companies and choreographers including Kankouran West African Dance Company, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company, Camille A. Brown and Dancers and choreographs independent works. Mr. Herring is currently working with Black Grace dance company in Auckland, New Zealand.

Krystle Browne

 Level 2 Certification

Krystle Brown fell in love with West African dance in 2003 as she started to take classes with Sankofa Dance Theatre in Baltimore, MD. Krystle has performed with many premier dance companies in Baltimore, yearly company showcases, and several public school and community events. The spiritual nature of the movements and the symbiotic relationship African dance has with the drums made Krystle gravitate and appreciate this form of dance. Krystle’s love and respect for this form of artistry reaches all that have taken her classes

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Tosha Alston

 Level 2 Certification

Tosha “T. Ayo” Alston, Brooklyn made her but Chicago claims her. She’s been in the spotlight since the age of 5; dancing, acting, singing, and drumming. T. After 10 years of developing her quintessential style with Muntu Dance Theater of Chicago;  in 2008 T. Ayo founded Ayodele Drum and Dance community to foster a safe space for women and children to study and perform African, Contemporary and Afro Brazilian dance and music styles. Ayo continues to educate students in dance and music from the African Diaspora at various arts establishments in Chicago. 

Djifa Jones

 Level 1 Certification

Dzifa Richards Jones resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her three children. Raised in New York, she started dancing and performing with Marie Brooks Caribbean dance theatre at age 3, where she studied West African, Dunham technique and Ballet.  During her years at Howard University she danced with Memory of African Culture and then Injabulo Leta when she relocated to Atlanta. She has served as co-founder and principle dancers for various companies in Atlanta, GA. She has also taught both African dance and a prenatal dance movement class locally and internationally. As a Pediatric Physicians Assistant and Holistic Birth Doula she is passionate about health and wellness. 

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Zawadi Dismuke

 Level 1 Certification

I have nurtured a love for African culture and dance since my early years. Performing in various small productions, I learned to appreciate the creativity, art, and expression that is dance. Upon acceptance at Howard University, I quickly joined the campus’ traditional West African dance group, Nsaa African Dance and Drum ensemble. Growing in experience and exposure, I served as Artistic Director of the ensemble my Senior year. In this role I choreographed for both on and off-campus performances as well as the ensemble’s spring concert production. A proud Atlanta native, I currently reside in Detroit, Michigan where I have performed professionally in two major West African dance production

Dara Yahya

 Level 2 Certification

Dara moved from ASA! fanatic to ASA! instructor and is the first recipient of the ASA! Certification Scholarship. She praises ASA! for introducing her to the magic of dance and its incredible ability to nurture the whole self and empower one to push beyond expectations.  A native of Philadelphia (PA), with a B.S. in Psychology and a Master’s in Education, she’s known for her expertise in creating out-of-the-box learning experiences that inspire youth and adults. Whether it’s at a dance studio, wellness event, or private fitness session, Dara brings ASA! to those who are moved by music and desire to explore the strength and joys that come with dance.

Isa Sesay

 Level 1 Certification

A Washington D.C. native, by way of Sierra Leone, dance has been a part of Isa’s life since age 4. Isa began performing at the age of 13 becoming well versed in the art of Stepping, Hip-Hop, and Contemporary West African dance styles. While attending her alma mater Virginia State University, she became of member of P.A.N.I.C. 2000, the premier performing arts organization on campus as a dance performer focusing on Hip-Hop, Popping, Locking, Reggae/ Dancehall, and Traditional West African dance styles. Isa was introduced to ASA! in 2015 while training to compete in the national Miss Black USA Pageant.. After her first class, Isa became an #ASAfanatic. She trained to become  an official ASA! instructor in Dec 2018. With African history and culture at her core, Isa hopes to take ASA! to even higher heights and share her love African music and dance across the diaspora!

Kimberly Yates

 Level 1 Certification

A native Washingtonian, I began training in and performing dance at 8 years old, and over the course of the next four decades, wound my way through modern, jazz, some ballet, martial arts (tae kwan do and later ju jitsu), cheerleading, stepping, and Latin Dances (street not ballroom).  Informally, there was club training in DC Go-Go, House, Atlanta bass, Hip Hop, Reggae, and most recently Soca and contemporary incarnations of Afrobeat. Professionally, I pursued a career in Education and founded various dance program outlets for the youth, but never stopped dancing.  A lifelong dance and workout enthusiast, I came to ASA! timidly in 2012 with a multiple joint arthritic crisis unfolding in my body but continued to push through my training into the instructor levels

Jalia Inman

     Level 1 Certification

A native of Washington D.C, Jalia began her dance training at the age of 5 and studied at various studios in the D.C. At the age of 12 Jalia began her West African dance training with the West African dance and drum performance company, Farafina Kan.. In addition to Jalias work in dance she has been an active participant in various African centered programs and organizations in the D.C. area.  She spent 5 ½ f her post graduate career studying, teaching, and dancing in New York with Asase Yaa West African dance Company, Forces of Nature, Dishi Bem dance Group, Voices of Congo Square (New Orleans), and Harambee African Dance Company to name a few. While in New York, Jalia instructed dance at several dance studios and programs throughout New York City.  Jalia can currently be found developing her organization E.A.S.E. Works, LLC.; an organization dedicated to the upliftment and education with a specific interest in the African American community through arts education, early childhood education, and enrichment/support programs.

Jerijah West

 Level 1 Certification

 Jerijah is a native of Englewood, NJ. He is a graduate of Syracuse University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree. Jerijah started his dance career at the age of 8 years old as a member of Batoto Yetu; and from 2011-2015 served as the company’s Rehearsal Director. His two career highlights include performing Off Broadway and for Michael Jackson’s 30th Anniversary alongside the late Whitney Houston, Usher, and Mya. He was a company member of Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, under the direction of Abdel R. Salaam from 2012-2017. Jerijah is currently a Teaching Artist for Alvin Ailey Arts In Education & Community Programs. He takes pride in educating our youth and instilling the value of their cultural heritage.  

Dianne Adkins-Forte

 Level 1 Certification

 A native of Lakeview, Long Island, NY, Dianne began dance training and running track as a youth. As a nationally ranked sprinter, she earned a full athletic scholarship to Texas Southern University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. Upon returning to New York, Dianne began studying dances of the African Diaspora. This reignited her passion for dance and since 2004, she has immersed herself in all aspects of the African Dance community. She has performed with D'joule African Dance and Drum Company, Forces of Nature Dance Theatre and Harambee Dance and Drum Company. Passionate about healing the mind, body and spirit, Dianne is certified in chakra healing. It was a natural progression to become a certified ASA! fitness instructor and teach classes that are designed to strengthen as well as heal, offering physical benefits that optimize energetic and emotional cleansing, improve cardiovascular capacity, as well as furthering ASA! Fitness's goal of promoting, protecting and perpetuating African cultural expression.