Umfundalai Summer Dance Intensive

Join the Department of Dance at the University of Illinois for our professional dance intensive for ages 18+. Learn from master teachers in a supportive and welcoming environment, establish meaningful connections with other professionals in the field, and build upon your community.

dr. nance instructs a class

Umfundalai Summer Intensive - June 2024

Immerse yourself in the Umfundalai Technique with Master Teacher Monique Newton Walker and Senior Master Teacher Dr. Kemal Nance. Participation in the intensive can count toward Umfundalai Teaching Certification.

June 3-7, 2024
Ages 18+

*Alums receive half-off

In order to register for the Intensive, please fill out the Registration Form.
All registrants will not be considered until payment has been received via the Payment Form.

Room & Board options available for an additional fee, more information coming soon.

dr. dance and monique walker

About the Instructors

Dr. Kemal Nance

Kemal Nance, PhD “Kibon” a native of Chester, Pennsylvania is a performer, choreographer, and scholar of African Diasporic Dance. Attendees at the Colloquium of Black Arts in Bahia, Salvador knighted him “Kibon” – the name of a Brazilian ice cream to reflect the “delicious time“ they experienced in his movement class. Nance is a master teacher of the Umfundalai technique of African dance. His work with the National Association of American African Dance Teachers has resulted in teachers’ training programs for budding African dance artists to be certified in the technique.

Nance performed as a principal dancer with Kariamu & Company: Traditions (Philadelphia, PA) and as a recurring guest artist with Chuck Davis’ African American Dance Ensemble (AADE) in Durham, North Carolina. He currently directs the Nance Dance Collective (, an all-male dance initiative that produces dance works about Black manhood. His choreographies have appeared on national and international stages including the Afro Dance Xplosion Showcase in London, United Kingdom and the Stella Maris Dance Ensemble’s seasons of dance in Kingston, Jamaica. His scholarly research has been published in several anthologies including Karen Bond’s Dance and the Quality of Life, Kariamu Welsh’s and Esailama Diouf’s Hot Feet and Social Change African Dance in Diasporic Communities, and the Doug Risner’s forthcoming Masculinity, Intersectionality and Identity: Why Boys (Don’t) Dance.

Monique Newton Walker

Monique Walker is originally from Chester, Pennsylvania, and has traveled the world as a performer, educator, and choreographer. She has studied under many dance masters and institutions including Dr. Charles “Chuck” Davis, Dr. Katherine Dunham, and Dr. Kariamu Welsh. Based in southern Maryland, Monique holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Administration, is a Master Teacher of the Umfundalai contemporary African dance technique, an adjunct faculty member in the Visual and Performing Arts Department at the College of Southern Maryland and the Dance and Movement Studies program at Bowie State University. and the Executive Director of the National Association of American African Dance Teachers (NAAADT). She also teaches at CityDance’s Conservatory and Studios and The Viva School of Dance. Monique has served as a guest lecturer at Drexel University and the University of Illinois, and on the dance faculty at North Carolina State University and The School at Jacob’s Pillow. She is the former Assistant to the Artistic Director of Chuck Davis’ African American Dance Ensemble (NC), a former apprentice with Urban Bush Women (NY), and former principal dancer with Kariamu & Company: Traditions (PA). Her choreography has been presented at the North Carolina Dance Festival, the Philadelphia Fringe Festival (PA), Dance Place (DC), and the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (MD). Monique continues her mission of using dance, music, and theater as a vehicle for the preservation, promotion, and innovation of African Diasporan dance through her work as a choreographer with her project-based performance company, MoDance Works.

As an Arts Administrator, Monique is committed to using the art of collaboration to advance all the arts in the private and public sectors. This commitment has drawn her to serve as the
Executive Secretary on the Board of Trustees for the Phoenix International School of the Arts
(MD); the newly appointed Southern Maryland Regional Representative for the Maryland Dance Educators Association, on several grant panels with the Maryland State Arts Council, and provide consulting services to local non-profit organizations. As the Executive Director of NAAADT, she works with a team of dance educators and scholars from across the country to heighten the quality of contemporary, neo-traditional, and Diasporan African dance teaching in North America through teacher training, performance opportunities, professional development, and certification in the Umfundalai contemporary African dance technique.

dr. dance and monique walker

About Umfundalai

Umfundalai (ma-foon-da-lah) is a contemporary African dance technique that comprises its movement vocabulary from dance traditions throughout the Diaspora. The literal word, Umfundalai, means “essential” in Kiswahili. Much like Katherine Dunham, the late Kariamu Welsh, D. Arts, Umfundalai’s progenitor, has designed a stylized movement practice that seeks to articulate an essence of African – oriented movement or as she has described, “an approach to movement that is wholistic, body centric and organic.” – excerpt from

two dancers in bright costumes with pink and orange with text umfundalai summer dance intensive
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