top of page

Calabasa Calabasa Dancing and Making The Music of Life

Hotter Than July Deep Dive Workshops July 29-31, 2022

Free- Registration Required
Experience African Diaspora dances, playing shekere, song, and vocal workshops

in this 3-day in-person intensive in Durham, NC

Friday 7/29 - 6:00-9:15 PM

Saturday 7/30 -9:30AM -2:30 PM


Sunday 7/31 -9:30AM-3:15 PM

    Registration Opens June 14-July 20

Teaching Faculty

Calabasa Calabasa Director

Andrea E. Woods Valdés - Dance and Shekere

Toya Chinfloo - Dunham Technique

Lana Garland - Pilates/Body Conditioning

Jasmé Kelly - Vocal Work

Ursula Payne - Soul Line Dance

Aya Shabu - Haitian Dance

Oesa Vinesett- Afro-Cuban Folklore Dance

Bashir Shakur - Accompanist

All 2022 sessions mask optional

Lunch is provided Saturday and Sunday

8x10-4904 (1) (1).JPG
Aya wedding dance crop.jpg

Class Descriptions/Faculty Bios

Toya Chinfloo

Katherine Dunham Technique


Toya J. Chinfloo M.Ed is a Dance Educator with over 20 years of experience teaching dance to students in public schools serving elementary, middle, and high school students as well university-level master classes and community outreach. She has an excellent ability to break down technical concepts/skills into learnable sections for all dance levels. Her choreographic strength is in African diasporic dance styles. Toya is currently a year three candidate in the official Dunham Teaching Certification program.  A New Jersey native, Toya received training from renowned teachers and performed with legendary artists such as Dr. Katherine Dunham, Lucille Ellis, Tommy Gomez, Vanoye Aikens, Talley Beatty, Alwin Nikolais, Lucille Hill, Ronnie Marshall, Milton Myers, Alfred Gallman, Bill T. Jones, H.T. Chen, Dr. Pearl Primus, Mabel Robinson, Larry Leon Hamlin, Dr. Kariamu Welsh, Titos Sompa, Ronald K. Brown, Mr. Mo-Mpongo and Dr. Chuck Davis.


Dunham is a codified dance technique of dynamic movements accompanied by live polyrhythmic percussion music. Created by Katherine Dunham, the technique is an intersection of modern dance with high-spirited folkloric-inspired movements celebrating our voyage through the African Diaspora/Middle Passage. Enjoy the benefits of body conditioning, the development of intrinsic muscles, building stamina, gaining knowledge of foundations in Dunham Technique, and learning Afro Caribbean performance repertory. 


Dancers are encouraged to bring water bottles, mat/towel for floor work, and full circle skirts or sashes.

Lana Garland


Lana Garland Fitness supports women who are struggling with consistency in their fitness journeys. We specialize in getting you up early in a safe and supportive virtual community. Our Zumba classes feature dances from the African and Latin diaspora. Our weights-HIIT-mobility training builds muscles and shreds fat. At the heart of the program is classical Pilates that strengthens core muscles, getting them in shape so that you can live your best life!


Jasme' Kelly

Song/Vocal Work

Jasme’ Kelly is a Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Producer/Engineer working in the audio field for over 20 years. Whether it’s performing, teaching, or writing, she brings a high level of enthusiasm to each project. She is excited to be a part of the talented instructors at Calabasa Summer Deep Dive. Jasme’ enjoys sharing her skills as well as the insight her students bring to classes.


Growing up in Durham, Jasme’ began her performance career in church and school choirs. She received her BA in Performance The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a candidate for her Masters in Music Technology from Southern Utah University. While in school, she added guitar and piano to her skill set to accompany her voice. She has been awarded the Wallace Ray Pepper’s Chancellor Award for Outstanding Performance and the Durham County Emerging Artist Grant. Her talent took her to New York City and landed her a production deal.  This is when she was trained in audio production at DML Studios. This resulted in 2 full length CDs and co-writing credits for The BahaMen. If you have been to the DPAC, The Carolina Theatre, The Hayti, Bull Durham Blues Festival, Bergan PAC, the Keswick Theatre, Tacoma Station, Bitter End, or SOB’s, you may have seen Jasme’ while opening for BB King, Kem, Ledisi, Chrisette Michelle, Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, Peter White, Jonathan Butler or Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Currently, Ms. Kelly is a performing member of the Nina Simone Archive project. Jasme’ is a frequent feature for events in Tryon, NC (the birthplace of Nina Simone) to continue the legacy of this NC legend. As a seasoned teacher, Jasme has taught hundreds of students the joy of music in schools, afterschool programs, and camps. As a product of Durham arts education, she is ready to keep the music going in the Bull City!

Ursula Payne

Soul Line Dancing

Ursula Payne is a Professor of Dance and Director of the Frederick Douglass Institute at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. Payne’s most recent creative commission includes choreography and movement direction for the 2021 film Obi Mbu (The Primordial House) directed by acclaimed photographer Mikael Owunna and traditional African cosmologist and multimedia artist Marques Redd. The film was screened in New York, Los Angeles, Big Sur/CA, Pittsburgh, and Raleigh. During the fall of 2021, Professor Payne participated in the Archiving Black Performance: Memory, Embodiment, and Stages of Being project at the Ohio State University where she staged Dr. Pearl Primus’s Bushasche Etude with permission from Dancing Legacy. Professor Payne has been a featured guest on three podcast episodes and presented her research on soul line dancing at the Colloquium for African Diasporic Dance at Duke University in February 2022. Payne was inducted into the Lawrence County Hall of Fame in 2010 for her athletic achievements in Basketball and Track and Field 

Aya Shabu

Haitian Dance

Aya Shabu is a professional dancer, choreographer, and teaching artist living in Durham, North Carolina. In 2017 Aya was awarded an artist residency at the Power Plant Gallery at American Tobacco Campus where she co-developed an embodied research performance entitled Hayti|Haiti|History.  A 2012-2013 Emerging Artist Grant recipient, Aya has choreographed for some of the Triangle's best theatrical productions, most notably I Love My Hair, The Brothers Size, and The Parchman Hour - an original documentary theater performance celebrating the Freedom Riders and 50th Anniversary Reunion of the The Freedom Riders in Jackson, MS.  An alum of the African American Dance Ensemble “discovered” by Baba Chuck Davis in NYC  in 2003, Aya and her musician husband are lead artists and directors of The Magic of African Rhythm— a 30-year-old family drum and dance ensemble.

Bashir Shakur  

Percussionist/Class Accompaniest 

Bashir Shakur is a percussionist, composer, performer, educator, and recording artist whose unique blend of improvisational, and traditional percussion can be found on his latest release entitled “Visible”, with acclaimed Zimbabwean dancer and singer Nora Chipoumare.

In addition to his work with Nora, Bashir has recorded, performed, and/or toured with an array of diverse artists including Chuck Davis, Camille Yarborough (foremother of Rap), DJ Grandmaster Flash, Michael Wimberly, Waley Reyes Jr. (drummer for Santana), The North Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra, Bessie award winner Jawole Jo Zollar and Reggae superstar Freddie McGregor. One of Bashir’s latest creations is his youth leadership program “Buckets and Beats”. Created in 2014 with funding from the Alvin Ailey Arts in Education program. Shakur developed a cost-effective, empowering, and fun 14-week percussion study with 3rd and 5th graders, using just two drumsticks and a bucket. Also playing with his acoustic Jazz, World, and Urban Music band “B-Shak Rhythm and Soul”. This quartet of adventurous musicians was assembled in 2012 and has been described as Be-bop Jazz, meets Afro-Beat, meets trance-inducing Urban Music. 


Shakur has been an artist-in-residence and or faculty member at many institutions including New York University Steinhart School of Education, Florida State University, Florida A&M University, Guilford College, American Dance Festival, Future Leaders Institute, Williams College and is currently on faculty at The Brooklyn Music School. In 2007 Shakur released his first solo album entitled “Steady Hands”.  Mr. Shakur would like to thank Allah for all his many gifts and blessings.

Oesa Vinesett

Afro-Cuban Folklore

This class will focus on foundational steps that incorporate syncopation, polyrhythms, and necessary subtleties to learn various Orisha dances. 

After ten years of practicing Capoeira with Capoeira Brasil, Oesa Savionne Vinesett transitioned her love of movement to dance. In school, she spent her time performing salsa and bachata with Sabor: Columbia University’s First Latino Dance Troupe and studying Afro-Cuban Orisha dance and rumba under her phenomenal mentor, Rebecca Bliss. For multiple years, Oesa also acted as a musical accompanist for her mother Ava Vinesett’s practical courses at Duke University, under the direction of her father, Richard Vinesett. She believes hands-on familiarity with polyrhythms is one of the absolute best ways to understand body movement, timing, and nuance. Oesa currently resides in Durham and is a member of the collective Indigo Yard Gals.

Andrea E. Woods Valdés


Teaches a unique blend of modern dance shaped by African Diaspora movement that incorporates shekere playing and vocalwork into the dance style. In NYC, Woods Valdés performed as a member of Women of the Calabasa under the direction of Madeleine Yayodele Nelson. The formation of her group Calabasa Calabasa and dance-shekere-vocal work is a continuation of the WOTC legacy and an homage to Madeleine Yayodele Nelson.


Woods Valdés is a dancer/choreographer/video artist and musician. She is Director of the Duke University Dance Program, Souloworks/Andrea E. Woods & Dancers, and founder of wimmin@work, a series of interdisciplinary, intergenerational performance and teaching events that develop and facilitate the production of wimmin’s creative work, develop Black audiences, mentor and create space for new and developing teachers of African Diasporic-centered dance forms. Woods Valdés developed Calabasa Calabasa Deep Dive in 2021 to share the dance/shekere/vocal work and process and introduce other teachers, artists, and creatives committed to African Diaspora embodied liberating practices reflecting social justice awareness. Woods Valdés is currently in Ph.D. studies  (ABD) in Dance at Texas Women’s University.

bottom of page