ABDBBoard of Directors
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 previously served as the Executive Director where she choreographed, mentored, and danced with extremely talented dancers in the performance unit of the company.
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 was one of many talented choreographers, dancers, and instructors on the performance company.
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.
Dominique J. Thelismond
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!
Cynthia Odiah, MBA
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.