LaVondia Bryant-Square, Artistic Director of Nathifa (nah-thee-fa) Dance Company, meaning clean and pure, was established in September of 1994. LaVondia a performer, dance instructor of African, Jazz, Modern, and Praise Dance Ministry. Coupled with her joy for working with people through dance, she established a youth performing dance and drum company. This non-profit organization has help increase cultural awareness and foster positive self-image along with self-esteem, self-confidence, and spirituality among the people of Birmingham.
After graduating from Mabel Dean Bacon Vocational High School class of 1986, LaVondia moved back to her hometown, Birmingham, AL. She continued her studies in Business Education at Booker T. Washington Jr. College of Business where she received her Associate Degree in Applied Science, 1988. She then began studying Modern dance with Southern Danceworks' Mary Foshee and Sculpture Essence Dance Company's Donna Edwards Todd. While dancing with these companies she learned how to conduct teaching classes in the community, working with under-privileged kids at local schools, day care centers, churches, community centers, and colleges. In 1988 through 1995 she continued her African & Caribbean Dance under the directorship of King Sundiata Keite of the Omowale Afrikan Dancers and Cultural Society based in Detroit, Michigan and the Birmingham African Dance Coalition under the directorship of Ife Balams. She has also performed and studied modern dance with Southern Danceworks' Teri Weksler in Birmingham, AL. She currently attends numerous workshops with the Fa’Neye Fa’dance conference, Atlanta, GA, classes with the Uhuru Dancers, Inc. of Decatur, GA, and the Giwayen Mata of Atlanta, GA.
LaVondia Bryant-Square has been widely recognized for teaching, performing, and choreographing the art of dance and culture of West Africa. In 2007, she received the “Mr. & Mrs. Richard Ireland Pigford Individual Artist Award” through the Cultural Alliance. In 2005, she was awarded the Fellowship Grant through the State Council of the Arts. She is now attending various workshops through Alabama Alliance for Education and the Alabama Arts Education Summit for residencies that integrate dance and Academic Core Curriculum.
Norma Flores began acquiring experience with her culture’s dance at the age of eight through the 1st Company of Folk Dances in Mexico City. At 18 years old, Norma desired to share her passion for Mexican folklore dance, so in 2009 she decided to form a small Mexican folklore dancing group. Beginning with only seven students, the newly formed dance group held three performances, developing its own identity and becoming known as Ballet Folklórico Corazón Azteca.
In 2010, Norma doubled her folklore dance group’s size and the dance group experienced a substantial increase in interest, holding 15 performances at different social and cultural events within and outside the metro Birmingham area. This year, Ballet Folklórico Corazón Azteca expects its performance schedule to be just as busy with several performances already completed this year. Ballet Folklórico Corazón Azteca performances are primarily intended to share the splendor and uniqueness of traditional Mexican dance and teach Mexican dance awareness at multicultural venues. These performances also provide an energetic cultural entertainment to their spectators.
Dance Trance (DT) is a dance fitness class that offers the excitement of moving with the rhythm, and attaining total mind & body deliverance through dance! Directed by Carla Higginbotham, Dance Trance incorporates funk, Latin, jazz, hip hop, and other types of rhythm movement to the beat of music from all genres. People of all ages are welcome to come and groove and sweat your worries away. DT can help members lose weight, tone & shape, improve dance skills, and meet lots of really cool people.
Dance Trance began in Birmingham in 1993 and has since spread to locations all over the country. DT Birmingham offers classes 6 days a week (mornings and nights), performs for community events, and strives to provide a workout experience like no other. Class times, membership, and location information can be found at dancetrancefitness.com; click on the Locations tab. Join the hottest dance fitness class in Birmingham and let DT Rock Your Body!
Dancing since 2007, Marsha Lewis is the current instructor for the Sixth Avenue Sliders Line Dance/Fitness Ministry. Sixth Avenue Baptist Church places emphasis on good health & fitness under the leadership of Dr. John Cantelow III, Pastor of the church. Initiatives encouraging and supporting healthy lifestyles are integral parts of the church’s focus on developing the total individual. “We want our members and our community friends to be spiritually fit, but we also want them to be physically fit,” Cantelow said. “This will enhance their quality of life.”
The Line Dance/Fitness Ministry launched in August 2014 through the vision of Mrs. Lois Germany. The group dances mostly Christian, Smooth, Jazz, and Cruise type music. “Line dancing is good for the mind and body,” Germany said. “The movements are good aerobic exercise, and remembering the steps help quicken your mind,” You’ll find dancers of all ages on the floor at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church every Saturday (10:00am-11:00am), located at 1101 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, 35211. CLASSES ARE FREE!
Megan Zema has been in the fitness industry since 2007. She became Zumba® Fitness licensed in 2010, Aqua Zumba® licensed in 2011, Zumba® Sentao Licensed in 2012, and is the Zumba® Jammer candidate (instructor trainer and choreography specialist) with the Zumba® Fitness Corporation for the state of Alabama. Due to her own physical and mental transformations through getting healthy and fit through Zumba® Fitness, she has a passion for people and seeing them succeed in their own health and fitness goals.
Megan's goal is to show you just how much fun you can have using dance fitness as a form of exercise. You will be jamming to the sounds of international music while learning easy to follow choreography from around the world! This class is for all! Beginners through advanced! No formal dance training needed. All you need is an open mind and a good sense of humor! JOIN THE ZUMBA® FITNESS PARTY!
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