A native New Yorker, Joya Powell received her M.A. in Dance Education at New York University, and her B.A. in Latin American Studies and Creative Writing at Columbia University. Throughout her career she has danced with choreographers such as Katiti King, Neta Pulvermacher, Donlin Foreman, Marcea Daiter and Paco Gomes. She is proficient in Afro-Brazilian Dance, Dances of the Orixás, Samba de Roda, Simonson Jazz, West African dances, and the Graham technique. Her choreography has been performed on stages such as City Parks Dance, The Riverside Theatre, Miller Theater, Dance New Amsterdam, The Casa del Prado Theatre in San Diego, The TANK, Triskelion Arts Theater, WOWcafe, White Wave’s John Ryan Theater, Minor Latham Playhouse, the Walt Whitman Theater at Brooklyn College, the Children’s Museum in Brooklyn, BRIC Studios, S.O.B.’s, and other educational venues throughout New York City. Ms. Powell lived in Salvador Bahia, Brazil, for four years where she worked and studied dance with the first Afro-Brazilian Carnival group Ilê Aiyê. She has taught a fusion of Simonson Jazz and traditional Afro-Brazilian dances in the schools of Ilê Aiyê and FUNCEB in Salvador, the Centro Cultural Afro-Brasileño Caribeño in Puerto Rico, Dance Beautiful Studios, and The New Dance Group Broadway Bound Summer Program in New York City. She is currently a Teaching Artist at various NYC Public Schools and an Adjunct Professor at SUNY Stony Brook where she teaches World Dance and Jazz. In 2005, Ms. Powell founded Movement of the PEOPLE, of which she is the Artistic Director/Choreographer. This dance company is dedicated to connecting cultures through dance, exploring the connections and nuances of dances throughout the African Diaspora, and finding ways to empower underprivileged communities through dance.