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President and Artistic Director


As the Artistic Director of Gaudanse Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Imani's ambition is to create a collaborative space for all artists alike while exploring what it means to delve deep into how movement languages bring forth new ideas and translates into what we call dance. The organization originated and currently operating in New York as well as Louisiana to promote, provide access and education in dance and the performing arts.

Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Imani completed her pre-professional training at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) and received a Certificate of Artistry which represents the highest level of artistry by Level IV dance graduates.  She then attended the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, SUNY where she earned a BFA in 2021 with honors in Dance. During her studies at Purchase College, she was elected as her dance class president and she had the privilege of traveling abroad to study at Amsterdam University of the Arts (Academy of Theater and Dance) in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Upon graduation, she was awarded the Bert Terborgh Dance Award for Leadership and Excellence in Dance by the Purchase College Foundation as well as a recipient of the Foundation's Adopt-A-Dancer Scholarship Award. 






She has trained at The Julliard School, GagaLab, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Vim Vigor, The Ailey School, Springboard X, Dance Theater of Harlem, Point Park University and Joffrey Ballet. She has performed works by Ohad Naharin, Netta Yerushalmy, Amos Ben-Tal, Rena Butler, Roderick George, Jennifer Archibald, Nicole Beutler and Loni Landon. 

In 2018, she performed at the American Dance Guild's Performance Festival in Joniece "JoJo" Boykins' choreographed work, Unseen, Unheard, Forgotten. She performed Roderick George's choreography, "Unprotected Set" with Purchase Dance Company at New York Live Arts for their 2019 Spring season. In 2022, she had the opportunity to perform with Loni Landon Dance Project at Jacob’s Pillow Summer Dance Festival and in 2021 at Green-Wood Cemetery and four/four Presents | Open Air: Mary Lattimore & Loni Landon - Solace of Surrender.  She was also honored to be selected to participate in a performance art residency initiated by TRIBE’s Artistic Director Shamel Pitts, Solace of RED which intertwined different art languages to create one live performance experience.  She performed choreography by Marcella Lewis for Pitt's - Solace of RED - Vol. II - Spectacle of Ritual.  The work-in-progress was shared with audiences at JACK in Brooklyn, New York.

In 2017,  Alonzo King Lines Ballet awarded her a Summer Intensive Scholarship to attend its training program in San Francisco, California. That summer, Alonzo King Lines Ballet again honored Imani by presenting her with its Homer Avila Scholarship Award in honor of the inspirational dance luminary who was also a New Orleans native. One award is presented for a full scholarship to attend their summer dance intensive which she attended the following summer.  In 2017,  she was also featured in their LinesConnected Blog,  “THE NEXT GENERATION: LINES BALLET SUMMER PROGRAM 2017 SESSION TWO STUDENT SPOTLIGHTS”.

Imani has presented her own artistic work as an individual and on behalf of Gaudanse Inc at the 2021 Battery Dance Festival in New York as a Young Voice in Dance to present "二時二分(2:02)" and returned to perform at the 2022 Battery Dance Festival as an emerging choreographer and received a favorable critical review by CriticalDance for her New York Premier of "Nanibu".  She also performed her choreography at the T2 Dance Company's Versatility Festival in Colorado and Utah.  In 2021, she had the opportunity to collaborate with fellow Purchase graduate and emerging choreographer, Caleb Dowden, and perform in Dowden's - As The Sun Set Sets, at the New Ohio Theater as part of the Ice Factory's 2020-2021 Season in New York.

In addition to serving as Gaudanse Inc’s Artistic Director, Imani also works as a freelance professional dance artist, performer, choreographer, and instructor.

Artistic Journey

She started formal dance lessons at three years old with Kai Knight and knew at an early age that she was “born to dance” as she proclaimed to a close family friend at the age of eight.  During her early training, she learned various forms of dance including modern, classical and contemporary ballet, tap, pointe, African and Haitian.  She performed with her dance school at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually and taught dance classes to the younger students. She also trained through a collaborative community program with the New Orleans Recreation Department / New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA) where she performed roles in the Nutcracker.

She was selected to perform as an apprentice for Magnolia Dance Theatre with Edward Spots, Artistic Director, while in high school.  She was also selected to perform with Chard Gonzales' Chard Gonzales Dance Theatre and was selected for a Dance Apprentice to perform and volunteer with Kesha McKey's KM Dance Project in New Orleans, Louisiana where she had an opportunity to participate in an initiative through the non-profit Dancing Ground’s - Dance for Social Change which is their award-winning arts and advocacy initiative. The program inspires New Orleans youth to use their artistic talents to catalyze positive social change in the community. 

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