Keur Khaleyi African Dance Company
"If you can walk, then you can dance."
Keur Khaleyi is a multi-generational, family oriented traditionally driven African dance company.
Our mission is to promote, provide, and produce African culture to the community at large and share the riches of the African Diaspora.
Men, women, and children from as young as 3 to as old as 85 attend our classes. We've welcomed students of Black, Caucasian, Asian, East Indian, Ghanaian, and West Indian descent. Our audience is very wide and we welcome everyone regardless of skill level. If you can walk, then you can dance.
We are based at the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center in the heart of Baltimore's Bromo Tower Arts & Entertainment District.
Keur Khaleyi was founded 6 years ago and became a non-profit organization 2 years ago.
Wednesday, February 12, 2020, at 7:30 pm
Experience an evening of dance drawing the area’s top talent in a celebration of Baltimore’s local dance scene.
From West African to contemporary ballet, the professional artists and companies selected to perform in this one-night-only showcase represent the best and brightest of the local dance community, celebrating a diverse variety of dance styles.
Hosted by The Collective Dance Company, with participating artists: Charm City Ballet, Dance Baltimore Repertory Ensemble, Full Circle Dance Company, Keur Khaleyi African Dance Company, and LucidBeings Dance. The showcase also presents the premiere performance of The Community Project, an annual tradition hosted by The Collective, featuring dancers and movers from an open call throughout the local community.
“Baltimore Dances! is a celebration of dance in Baltimore” said Sonia Synkowski, executive director for The Collective Dance Company. “We are thrilled to bring both professional dancers and community dancers to the Gordon Center stage for this Baltimore dance highlight.”
Part of the 7th annual Take a Leap, Baltimore County Dance Celebration, Baltimore Dances! is a joint presentation of The Collective Dance Company and the Gordon Center for Performing Arts.
Jihan Von Hendricks
Artistic Director & Founder
Is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. Jihan had an early start in dance. She studied ballet, tap and jazz with Alice Bradfield at the tender age of 4. As she got older, she was introduced to African Dance by her mother, the late Mama Sheilah.
Coming from a strong and close-knit family, Jihan and her sister and brother studied with Sankofa Dance Theater. Jihan studied for 10+ years with Babacar N’Diaye, a former lead dancer of the National Ballet of Senegal. She served as dance captain for Return to Goree African Dance Company until June 2010 where she formed Keur Khaleyi African Dance Company.
Jihan has performed in many festivals over the years such as Artscape, Kunta Kinte, African Heritage Festival of Towson, Dance Africa-Dc and various other events.
Jihan has studied under many master dancers such as Marie Basse-Wiles, Mariama Basse, Babacar Mbaye, Aziz Faye, N'deye Gueye, Assane Konte, Tacko Sisssokho, Tenefig Dioubate and Mouminatou Camara. Over the years, her passion for the culture has lead her to After School Programs and Summer Dance Intensives with both Baltimore City Public School Systems and Private Schools.
Diarra Von Hendricks
Children's Dance Instructor
Ayana Von Hendricks
Assistant Artistic Director
Started out with Baltimore-based Sankofa Dance Theater in 1993 under the direction of Kibibi Ajanku and Kauna Mujamal. With Sankofa Dance Theater Ayana was given the various wonderful opportunities to perform at the Walter’s Art Gallery, Baltimore Museum of Art, Dance Africa DC, AFRAM, Art Scape, Kunta Kinte Festival, Common Grounds at Western Maryland College, BAM in New York City as well as competing at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
As time went on and Ayana wanted to spread her dance wings and parted ways with Sankofa Dance Theater and took classes with Kankouran West African Dance Company based in Washington DC under direction of Assane Conte and African Heritage Dance and Drum Ensemble under the direction of Melvin Deal. After a year of studying Ayana decided to join Return To Goree under direction of Babacar N'Diaye and Willa Walker, there she emptied her dance cup and filled it to the brim with traditional song and dance from her new teacher Babacar N'Diaye whom was from the National Ballet of Senegal.
Since Ayana's departure from Return To Goree and Babacar N'Diaye relocating to California, she's currently dancing, performing, teaching and choreographing with Keur Khaleyi African Dance Company.
Ayende Von Hendricks
Beginner/Intermediate Drum Instructor
Born in Dakar, Senegal. Coming from a griot family, the historians of the village, Brigo has a host of siblings, cousins and family members that are musicians, dancers, and artists. He comes from Sing Sing Family, an elite International drum corp founded by legendary Doudou N'diaye-Rose. He started drumming at the early age of 9years old. His passion for drum took him all over the world. Paris, Switzerland and other countries in Europe. He toured with Afrique, which covered Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal and Guinea. After coming to the United States, Brigo drummed at Walt Disney in Florida for Mor Thiam (father of Pop Sensation Akon). He also played with musical super star such as Senegal's own Youssou N'Dour, Ziggy Marley, and most recently in 2014 he was in the recording studio with Akon. His multi-lingual abilities of French, Wolof and English allow him teach his craft anywhere in the world.
Being a master drummer, Brigo plays the Kutiro, Djembe and Sabar drum. He teaches at many U.S. Dance and Drum conferences such as New York, Columbus, Houston, Florida, Atlanta, Dc and right here in Baltimore. Many say dance conferences are not the same without Brigo Gueye.
Keur Khaleyi frequently partners with schools and organizations all over Baltimore including:
Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center
Furman L. Templeton Elementary School
Goucher College and Stephanie Powell
St. Vincent DePaul Head Start for the Right Start, Healthy Start for Obesity Prevention Program
Contact us if you'd like to partner with Keur Khaleyi for performances or private classes.