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Shea Berry

Shea Berry

Music, Dance, and Creative Director

Shea Berry was 13 years old when she began her study of Congolese, Senegalese, Ghanaian, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian dance. By the time she was 17, Shea’s training with various master teachers throughout Northern California led to her teaching a variety of ethnic dance classes. Shea continued studying and teaching dance at Humboldt State University where she majored in music and dance.

In 1991, Shea lived in Zimbabwe where she was a student as well as a guest choreographer and instructor for the Zimbabwean National Ballet, directed by Sue Powell. While in Zimbabwe, Shea also choreographed an acclaimed music video for the popular soul group Sister Sledge.

In 1992, Shea became a student and guest instructor for the National Song and Dance Company of Mozambique, directed by David Abilio.

In 1993, Shea continued her training abroad by studying Senegalese dance at the Senegalese National Ballet.

In 1994, Shea lived in Ghana where she worked with the Ghana National Dance Ensemble and studied as well as taught in the Dance Department of the University of Legon. While in Ghana, Shea choreographed, on behalf of Lego, a 20-minute music and dance performance involving 63 children for a national dance and music festival called Panafest. Based on the success of this performance, Shea’s dance ensemble was chosen as the opening act for concerts that featured well-known artists such as Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder.

In 1996 Shea moved back to San Francisco where she was a resident dance teacher at Third Wave and Rhythm and Motion, two prominent studios specializing in ethnic dance in San Francisco. In addition, she formed her own dance company, Mazungus, which gained notoriety throughout the Bay Area and performed with formidable artists such as the Senegalese performer Baba Mal, the country singer Emmylou Harris, and the folk singer Joan Baez.

While in San Francisco Shea taught dance and directed a children’s program at the world-renowned Camp WinnaRainbow, sponsored by the Grateful Dead, and operated by Wavy Gravy.

As a permanent staff member, Shea developed a comprehensive kids’ music and dance program for Bantu Camp, an annual program that took place in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The primary focus of this camp was African music and dance.

In 2004, Shea relocated to Brooklyn, New York where she choreographed for, and performed with, the acclaimed bands, Panjea, Timbila. and Sounds of Tarib. She also created and produced an ongoing, highly successful one-woman, female empowerment music and dance revue that performs in prominent clubs throughout New York City and around the U.S. At the same time, Shea teaches and choreographs dance for public and private schools in New York.

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