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Portsha Jefferson

instructor

san francisco, oakland

MY STYLES
Haitian Folkloric
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MY STORY

Portsha Jefferson is a professional dancer and choreographer trained in Ballet, Modern, Jazz and African derived styles, who specializes in Haitian Folkloric Dance. She began her formal training at the age of six at the Marsha Woody Dance Academy in Beaumont, Texas. Established in 2004, Ms. Jefferson is the founder and artistic director of Rara Tou Limen (RTL), an arts organization that presents Haitian music, dance & culture through classes, workshops, and performances. Ms. Jefferson was a principle dancer and vocalist with Group Petit La Croix (1996-2003) under the leadership of veteran dancer and educator Blanche Brown. She has been fortunate and blessed to grace the stage with Reconnect, Ase Dance Theater Collective, Feet of Rhythm and El Wah Movement. In Haiti, she has had the privilege to perform with Compagnie Culturelle Des Arts and Ayiti Dans Ansanm (ADA). Guest performances with Afro-Cuban companies include: EMESE: Messengers of the African Diaspora, along with Jose Francisco Barroso & Obakoso. Ms. Jefferson's dedication and exploration of Haitian culture have brought her to Haiti, where she has traveled throughout the country to research regional dance, rhythms and musical traditions since 2003. Specific interest and concentration of study took place in Gonaives at Lakou Badjo, where Nago (Yoruba) traditions are preserved, and at Tanp Souvenance Mistik, a Vodou community that celebrates it's Rada (ancient kingdom of Dahomey) heritage. Further studies at Ecole Nationale des Arts (ENARTS), Vivian Gauthier's School of Dance and Artcho Danse, the official dance school of internationally renowned dance troupe Ayikodans, provided a rich foundation into the Folkloric aspect of Haitian culture. Lynn Coles, Blanche Brown, Peniel Guerrier, Cadet Jean Evens, Emmanuel Louis, Metayer Frantz, Ramses Pierre, Lee Hetelson and Daniel Brevil, among others, have played a key role in her artistic growth. Currently, Ms. Jefferson is an Adjunct Professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Conservatory for Contemporary Dance Arts (CCD) and is an artist in residence for Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond and SF Unified School District. In addition, she is an instructor at East Bay Dance Center, Dance Mission Theater and the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts. She also serves as a Cultural Arts Specialist with Oakland Parks and Recreation where she continues to share her love of dance with Oakland youth. Ms. Jefferson is a recent grant recipient from the American Folklore Society to continue her fieldwork in Haitian Folkloric Dance & Musical Traditions.

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Petwo FIRE!

uploaded 09/17/21

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MY STYLES
Haitian Folkloric
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CLASSES
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in person

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in person

Haitian - Live Drumming

About this class
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This class introduces the technique of Haitian Folkloric dance. Representing various nations such as Mayi, Ibo and Nago, each dance has it's own distinctive character, choreography and spirit. You will experience the meditative Yanvalou, the fiery rhythms of Petwo, to the playful and celebratory dances of Banda and Rara. Expect a high energy class in celebration of a rich, spiritual tradition. A dance experience guaranteed to UPLIFT, INSPIRE & INFORM! Live Music with celebrated Haitian drummer Daniel 'Brav' Brevil and Co.

WORKSHOPS

08/10/2018

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

All Levels

Dance Mission Theater
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08/10/2018

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

All Levels

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ONGOING CLASSES

sunday

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

All Levels

Malonga Casquelourd Center
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sunday

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

All Levels

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*Please confirm schedules with studio

EXPERIENCE

Dance Companies / Groups

KSP Studios

Instructor

2022 - present

KSP Studios

Instructor

2022 - present

Rara Tou Limen

Artistic Director

2004 - present

Rara Tou Limen

Artistic Director

2004 - present

MY STORY

Portsha Jefferson is a professional dancer and choreographer trained in Ballet, Modern, Jazz and African derived styles, who specializes in Haitian Folkloric Dance. She began her formal training at the age of six at the Marsha Woody Dance Academy in Beaumont, Texas. Established in 2004, Ms. Jefferson is the founder and artistic director of Rara Tou Limen (RTL), an arts organization that presents Haitian music, dance & culture through classes, workshops, and performances. Ms. Jefferson was a principle dancer and vocalist with Group Petit La Croix (1996-2003) under the leadership of veteran dancer and educator Blanche Brown. She has been fortunate and blessed to grace the stage with Reconnect, Ase Dance Theater Collective, Feet of Rhythm and El Wah Movement. In Haiti, she has had the privilege to perform with Compagnie Culturelle Des Arts and Ayiti Dans Ansanm (ADA). Guest performances with Afro-Cuban companies include: EMESE: Messengers of the African Diaspora, along with Jose Francisco Barroso & Obakoso. Ms. Jefferson's dedication and exploration of Haitian culture have brought her to Haiti, where she has traveled throughout the country to research regional dance, rhythms and musical traditions since 2003. Specific interest and concentration of study took place in Gonaives at Lakou Badjo, where Nago (Yoruba) traditions are preserved, and at Tanp Souvenance Mistik, a Vodou community that celebrates it's Rada (ancient kingdom of Dahomey) heritage. Further studies at Ecole Nationale des Arts (ENARTS), Vivian Gauthier's School of Dance and Artcho Danse, the official dance school of internationally renowned dance troupe Ayikodans, provided a rich foundation into the Folkloric aspect of Haitian culture. Lynn Coles, Blanche Brown, Peniel Guerrier, Cadet Jean Evens, Emmanuel Louis, Metayer Frantz, Ramses Pierre, Lee Hetelson and Daniel Brevil, among others, have played a key role in her artistic growth. Currently, Ms. Jefferson is an Adjunct Professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Conservatory for Contemporary Dance Arts (CCD) and is an artist in residence for Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond and SF Unified School District. In addition, she is an instructor at East Bay Dance Center, Dance Mission Theater and the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts. She also serves as a Cultural Arts Specialist with Oakland Parks and Recreation where she continues to share her love of dance with Oakland youth. Ms. Jefferson is a recent grant recipient from the American Folklore Society to continue her fieldwork in Haitian Folkloric Dance & Musical Traditions.

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