Chidinma “Chi-Chi” Osuagwu is a Boston native who has been dancing since she was young in African traditional dance and movement. She is a graduate of Tufts University. For four years she was the founder, choreographer, and captain of the African Dance Collective (now COCOA) at Tufts, which traveled throughout the state to other colleges and communities for performances and competitions focused on African culture and dance. She has also trained with the University of Ghana-Legon's Dance Department in traditional (West) African dance styles, and performed in several dance productions at the University of Ghana including "Asem Yi Dika". As a Nigerian, she has been immersed in her own traditional dances since her youth. She founded and created Afrobeats Dance Boston in April of 2017. She currently serves as the Executive Director where she choreographs, mentors, and dances with extremely talented dancers in the performance unit of the company.
Executive Team Coordinator
Adetola Olatunji is a member of the Afrobeats Dance Boston (ABDB) Executive Team. She joined ABDB in October 2019. Adetola began her dance career at age five, training in ballet, tap and jazz. As she grew older, she trained extensively in hip hop, step, contemporary, modern and traditional West African dance styles. Adetola has a longstanding passion for choreography and dancer enrichment. When she was in ninth grade, she co-led a dance club for fourth and fifth graders at her school, and was an active member of her high school (Milton Academy)’s Dance Club. At Princeton University, Adetola was the Artistic Director for the Black Arts Company (BAC) Dance, Princeton’s premier hip hop dance company. She choreographed dozens of pieces, co-directed four major shows, and oversaw dancer enrichment practices for the group. After moving back to Boston in 2011 after college, Adetola participated in Jeanette O’Neill’s Dance Studio Repertory performances, and joined a competitive Boston hip hop dance group the Concept Artists. Afrocentric movement and music is essential to Adetola’s core and identity as a Nigerian woman, and she is thrilled to be able to combine her culture and passions as a member of ABDB’s leadership team.
Executive Team Coordinator
Freda Otaru, born and raised in Edo State, Nigeria is a dancer and part of the Executive Team of Afrobeats Dance Boston. She started her dance journey as part of her church dance team and performed every Sunday which was broadcast on television. In middle school, she joined the OLNN Team based in Delta State, Nigeria where she started dancing Afrobeats alongside Hip Hop and contemporary. Moving to the United States, there was a lack of Afrobeats dance classes where she resides. In 2018, she discovered and joined the company. She now serves as a member of the Executive Team. Freda loves choreographing and dancing with the team. Her love and passion for dancing is what drives her everyday!
Charnice Charmant is a New York native who believes that dance is a conduit to pride, culture, and community. Born to a Barbadian mother and Haitian father, she grew up fully immersed in the music and dances of calypso, soca, kompa, and dancehall. She began formal dance training at the age of 3 studying ballet, tap, and jazz. At the age of 10, Charnice was awarded a dance scholarship with the National Dance Institute, where she was introduced to modern, contemporary, and West African dance. In college, Charnice studied modern dance and did her written and performance theses on dances of the African diaspora, how they lend themselves to modern dance and the fusion of the two. After graduating from college, Charnice found freedom and solace in actively taking Afrobeats, Soca, and Dancehall classes throughout New York and Boston. After moving to Boston in 2017, she would find herself serving as the Creative Director of Afrobeats Dance Boston where she is one of many talented choreographers, dancers, and instructors on the performance company. Charnice currently choreographs for company performances and teaches classes in the genres of Afrobeats and Soca n’ Afrobeats fusion.
Angel Aiworo, born in Lagos,Nigeria. She moved to America at the age of 12 and started her professional dance career at the age of 14, but she’s been dancing ever since she could walk. She’s specialized in dances such as: Ballet, Jazz, hip hop, Afrobeats and many more. Her first Dance Club she joined was in High school called the Koolie high Swag team which she played the role as a choreographer and a captain and laterÂ joined an outside team called ITM, a hip-hop based team. Angel then further pursued her love for AfroBeats to improve her techniques and become a better dancer. She is now a current member of Afrobeats Dance Boston. She is a part of the creative team, she plays the role in choreographing and creating content. Angel has developed so much over the years that she now teaches different dance classes from time to time. She has fun teaching other people that want to learn what she knows from dancing all these years. Angel taught Afrobeats class in programs such as Girls Inc and many more places. She even went back to her own community and taught classes for people who wanted to learn Afrobeats. Other than Afrobeats she is currently in school pursuing her dream career of becoming an international business lawyer.
Lakeisha St. Joy
Lakeisha is a Haitian American afro dancer. Your fave dance energy! She has always loved to dance, but officially began pursuing dance as a profession in 2017 after falling in love with afro style 3 years on Boston College’s traditional African dance team, Presenting Africa To yoU (PATU). Through her dance company, Afrobeats Dance Boston, she has been able to thrive as a professional dancer as an opening act for Davido twice, perform all over the New England area at schools, weddings, corporate organizations, etc., and occasionally teach class. Her favorite style of afro dance is afro house. She challenges herself by taking hip hop classes, and loves dancehall classes, in order to continue to hone in on her skills and eventually merge the dance styles she knows into epic freestyles and amazing choreography. When Lakeisha dances, you have no choice but to smile. Her ultimate goal when performing to feed and give off amazing energy to make her audience feel like they are dancing joyfully with her.
Creative Team Associate Director
Janiqua is a Boston Native. Haven’t ever received formal dance training, she found love in dance in her parent’s living room. Janiqua’s first brave step was when she auditioned and got into the performing arts high school, Boston Arts Academy. There she received the formal training she needed; mastering the dance styles in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, and Traditional African dancing. Janiqua joined AfroBeats Dance Boston in the fall of 2019, where she reconnected her love for dancing. In addition, she is taking other classes in Boston such as SocaFusion, Heel’d, Dancehall and Hip Hop. Following a dance intensive with Galen Hooks, Janiqua decides to be fearless when it comes to dancing. Now Janiqua is the Creative Team Associate Director for ABDB. So please keep an eye out for her as she steps more and more into her purpose.
Director of Public Relations & Media
Dominique is a Caribbean-American Boston Native is a dancer and ABDB’s Director of Public Relations and Media. For as long as she can remember, Dominique has been in love with music and dance. She has not had any formal training, however has had years of experience doing interpretive/liturgical dance in church and then took an interest to hip-hop dance in high school, where she began performing at pep rallies and talent shows. She attended Boston College and joined a hip-hop dance team, Phaymus, where she performed at several shows, choreographed, and eventually became president her senior year. Upon graduating, Dominique sought to fill this void she felt after no longer having a dance outlet. She attended several dance classes in the Boston dance community, and eventually joined Afrobeats Dance Boston in the fall of 2018. She hadn’t had any experience with the Afrobeats dance style, however movement comes natural to her; she’s grateful for the opportunity to be able to train with such talented individuals, and is dedicated to continue to grow!
Executive Team Coordinator
Patricia Aline Louijamé is a Boston Native and serves as an Executive Team member of ABDB. More specifically, she acts as chief liaison between ABDB and guest performers who come Nation-wide to host classes in and for the Boston Community. Although she would urge against a true genesis of her love for dance (as she’d state it was innate), one could argue that it began at the age of 3. Bred to Haitian parents who played music of all genres from Kompa to Salsa y Merengue in her little Hyde Park basement, Patricia could often be found in her own world “breaking it down.” Officially, nonetheless, she started dancing at her local community dance studio. Weekly she was immersed in the fundamentals of tap, ballet and gymnastics. Years later as a Nursing Major at Boston College, she became a dancer and executive board member of PHAYMUS Dance Entertainment. As an active team member she was both introduced to and given the opportunity to sharpen her Hip Hop dance technique. After graduating college, Patricia craved the thrill and purpose the art of dance gave her and resultantly joined the ABDB family. She is beyond blessed to be a part of such a dynamic collective of dancers and thrives to continue to grow in agility, precision and presence in her dance career.
Cynthia Odiah, MBA
Chief Financial Officer
Cynthia “Cynn” Odiah is a Boston/South Shore native. Her role in the company as the Director of Operations are the day to day tasks to ensure things are run smoothly. She handles client bookings and company financials. She started with ABDB in 2018 as a manager. She is Nigerian and has been a part of the dance community since 2006 as a dancer in my high school and college dance teams. Her first Afrobeats class in the community was in 2017 at the Haley House. During that time she was excited to see Afrobeats Dance finally in Boston. Her passion for dance and music with her detailed organizational skills has led her to ABDB. She loves being a part of this great organization and excited to see what the future holds for ABDB.