Keur Khaleyi African Dance Company

"If you can walk, then you can dance."

-African Proverb

 
 

About Us

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.

Our Events

BALTIMORE DANCES!

SAVE THE DATE

JULY 1st-3rd

Our Annual three day dance and drum conference

EUBIE BLAKE CENTER
847 N. HOWARD ST.
BALTIMORE, MD 21201

all roads 3.png
all roads 2.png

CLICK LINK FOR TICKETS

 

Our Faculty

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.

Jihan Von Hendricks has taught over the years at numerous workshops, dance intensives and dance festivals for hundreds of children, teenagers and adults. Morgan State University, Goucher College, Maryland Academy of Dance, Baltimore Dance Tech, Baltimore City and County Public School System, and Dance Baltimore, an arts service organization for professional dancers. 

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.

IMG_3997.jpg
Brigo Gueye

Musical Director

Ayende Kenyama Ousseynou Von Hendricks is a Baltimore native and has been drumming and studying the African drums since he was 9 month old. His first drum teacher was his uncle, Shakai Von Hendricks; he gave Ayende his foundation then turned him over to his godfather, world renowned Papa Medoune “Dame” Gueye where continued to develop his language of the djembe, dundun and kutiro drums. At the age of of 10, was when he was introduced to the Sabar drum and taught by the late world renowned and lead drummer Cheikh Tairou M’Baye of Sing Sing Rhythm; where a year later he was invited to join the international ensemble and to date Ayende is the only American member. As Ayende has developed and sharpened his drumming techniques and vocabulary with several of his drum teachers such as Abdou M’Baye, Brigo Gueye, Abdoulaye Toure, Mangue Sylla, Assane M’Baye

 

Throughout Ayende’s drumming career he’s been afforded a lot of opportunities from performing, to teaching and now serving as the Musical Director of Keur Khaleyi Dance and Cultural Institute, Inc. Ayende has performed with Kankouran West African Dance Company (Washington, DC), Maimouna Keita School of African Dance Inc. (New York), Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (New York), The Kennedy Center (Washington DC), American Visionary Arts Museum (Baltimore), The Baltimore Museum of Arts (Baltimore), Nation of Flags (National Harbor), The Ivory Coast Embassy (Washington DC), the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (Washington DC), Charity Fundraiser for former Baltimore Raven’s James Ihedigbo’s Hope Africa (Baltimore), and most recently he lead the African music selection for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (Baltimore).

 

Ayende started teaching at the age of 13 at Goucher College for their Spring semesters. Now he’s teaching a weekly drum tech class at Keur Khaleyi on Saturday afternoons where his youngest student is 2 years old.

Diarra Von Hendricks

Children's Dance Instructor

Ayende Von Hendricks

Beginner/Intermediate Drum Instructor

Patricia Lewis

Treasurer

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, and choreographing with Keur Khaleyi African Dance Company. There she has been curating the dance and drum festivals where over 200 participants have attended and had various instructors from the African diaspora facilitate. Also, Ayana has been given the opportunity to curate for the historical Eubie Blake Jazz and Cultural Center’s Kwanzaa and Juneteenth Celebrations where the community at large have participated from Baltimore and the DMV area.

 

Our Partners

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.

Contact Us

Keur Khaleyi African Dance Company
 

Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center

847 N Howard St, Baltimore, MD 21201

Tel: 443-250-1985

Email: keurkhaleyidance@gmail.com

  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Instagram - Black Circle
  • Twitter - Black Circle
 

Success! Message received.