Adama Jewel Jackson
West African Dance is the cultural, social, spiritual, and moral expression of African people. It is how values are expressedfor various life events including birth (naming ceremonies), growth and maturity (rites of passage), love and family (marriage rituals), social events, and death. African dance holds these traditions that are near and dear, and when coupled with the traditional songs, stories, and rhythms, tells a myriad of communal stories of hope, lessons, and life. As the art is passed down, it is imperative that the story goes with the steps, and the ritual with the rhythms.
Adama Jewel Jackson began studying West African dance at the age of 18. She has studied with Ballets National Du Senegal, Ballets Africains, Ballets Merveilles, Ballet Joli and more from Senegal, Guinea, Liberia, and the Ivory Coast. She is one of only 2 African-Americans that have been admitted into the Mandinka Music Society of The Gambia. She is the founder of African Soul International and has received several Congressional Awards for her work in advocacy and the arts.
As a master artist in ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program in 2014, Adama worked with apprentice Sesa Bakenra in the art of creating stories through dance, utilizing dance forms from West African traditions.