New Faculty: Assistant Professor of Dance Lela Aisha Jones
As we begin the semester, we're highlighting Bryn Mawr's newest faculty members. The College supports faculty excellence in both research and teaching.
Assistant Professor of Dance Lela Aisha Jones
Lela Aisha Jones is an artist scholar, movement performance artist, and interdisciplinary collaborator. Lela is the founder of Lela Aisha Jones | FlyGround, a creative home. Her work intimately intertwines personal and collective lived experiences of diasporic blackness as archived in and excavated from the body through dance. Her life as an artist has led her to researching, teaching, performing, and choreographing in Barbados, Brazil, Ghana, New Zealand, Senegal, and the U.S.
Most recently she was a choreographer and performer with the Same Story Different Countries Project in Johannesburg and Cape Coast, South Africa (2017), directed by Dr. Lynnette Overby; in Onye Ozuzu's work at Dance Gathering in Lagos, Nigeria (2019); and presented her work Plight Release and the Diasporic Body at the African American Museum of Philadelphia with, and in response to, the work of visual artist and scholar Fahamu Pecou. Her awards and honors include a 2015 Leeway Foundation Transformation Award, a 2016 Pew Fellowship in the Arts, and in 2017 she received the Reflection | Response Commission at Temple University, curated by Merian Soto.
She earned a B.S. in Health Science Education from the University of Florida, an M.F.A. in dance from Florida State University, and a Ph.D. from Texas Woman's University. Some of her most influential professional experiences have been in movement practice with nia love, Christal Brown | Inspirit, Barak Ade Sole, Moustapha Bangoura, Anssumane Silla, Sulley Imoro, Omi Osun Joni L. Jones, and Urban Bush Women. Lela is grateful to continue the important work of teaching and facilitating in and with intergenerational communities worldwide, and to bring her artistry, research, and performance to Bryn Mawr College as a member of the faculty in the dance program.
The Bryn Mawr College Dance Program is designed to both welcome the newcomer as well as support the continuing progress of trained dancers. It offers a range of technique courses, from introductory to advanced levels, in different styles and genres of dance; multiple performance ensembles; courses in composition and choreography; and lecture/seminar courses that introduce students to dance as an exciting area of research and inquiry. In addition to other opportunities such as the School Performance Project and Dance Summer Study program, the Dance Program further enhances student experiences in dance by taking advantage of the lively dance and arts scene in Philadelphia and by offering master classes and workshops with regional, national, and international artists.