PhillyFolk Artists

Jeannine Osayande

West African and Brazilian Dance

Jeannine Osayande is a teaching artist, choreographer, and performer of West African, Brazilian Samba, and Bahian dance. She has been active for over 35 years and is the founder and director of Dunya Performing Arts Company. Jeannine has a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from Temple University, as well as a Certificate in Traditional and Contemporary African Dance from Noyam African Dance Institute and the Ghana Board of Education. She has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of the Arts for 10 years, and Bryn Mawr College for 15 years. Osayande actively serves on the Boards of the Philadelphia Folklore Project and the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation, and teaches dance technique, repertory, and dance history courses at Ursinus College.

Jeannine was educated in dance through an apprenticeship with the Art of Black Dance and Music, Boston, MA. Her mentors include De Ama Battle, Bamidele Osumarea, Ibrahima Camara, Marie Basse-Wiles, Edir Passos and Eno Washington. She is currently mentored by Ibrahima Camara, and Prof. F. Nii Yartey, of the Noyam African Dance Institute in Ghana. She is committed to exploring art through all aspects of life, exemplified through the African proverb, “Good dancing and drumming restore the community to wholeness.”

Jeannine Osayande was a dancer with Alo’ Brasil, a highly acclaimed Philadelphia-based Brazilian dance band. She has performed throughout the U.S. and internationally for over 23 years including; the Lincoln Center OOD Festival, the Dance Africa / Brooklyn Academy of Music, WXPN World Cafe Live, the International Exchange Program; Dakar, Senegal, and as a touring/teaching artist with Darpana Academy of Performing Arts in Ahmedabad, India. In addition to this, Jeannine Osayande has received numerous awards, including: the Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts, a Picasso Grant, a 2005-2007 Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance Artist in Residence Grant, and the Asian Arts Initiative; Artist for Social Change Fellow and a 2003 University of the Arts Faculty Grant to study in Mali.