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Karen Miles

InSpira Centric African Dance InStructor

Born and raised in Jersey City, NJ. Mrs. Karen’s professional dancing career

began in 1982 with the Suliman Dance Company. After college Karen felt a need

to give back to her community, so she started teaching African dance to the Girl

Scouts of America in Jersey City. She was so inspired from watching the youth

learns and enjoy the art of their heritage that she founded her very own Zawadi

School of African Dance which has been in existence for over 27 years and is still

going strong.

Karen was a principal dancer with Maimouna Keita School of African

dance, Umoja Dance Company, Message From our Ancestors and Universal

Languages. She has free-lanced her dance talent with various other companies and

organizations. Karen was the director of African dance for Sankofa Dance Theater

by way of African Globe based out of Newark, NJ. She has performed throughout

the United States and in July 2004 has had the pleasure of bringing her performing

arts company to St. Croix, Virgin Island and Australia. Karen has appeared in

Njinga, the Queen King and Color Girls who Committed Suicide. Karen has

shared her gifted dancing skills with the Brooklyn’s very own Brooklyn Academy

of Music during Dance Africa, the teaching Artist Program at New Jersey

Performing Art Center (NJPAC), InSpira and many other schools, colleges,

retirement parties, weddings, funerals and scholarship ceremonies.

One of Karen’s greatest aspiration is to enhance the souls and minds of the

community through traditional African dance, song and history. She also

endeavors to develop our youth into being culturally motivated and aware,

respectful of themselves, others and most of all their elders.

Karen believes that she has found a way to honor our ancestors and

dedicates all that she does in the African dance world to all of those who have left

their mark in society.

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