Artistic Director/Performer & Specialist Youth Dance Teacher

Imani Jendai is Founder and Artistic Director of ‘Free Expression Dance UK’ (FE’DANCE UK), a Cultural Diverse Dance Company. FE’DANCE UK has a broad-based emphasis on dance education and culture and has been operating for 15 years.

An artist and educator with Caribbean roots and heritage, Imani’s pre-professional training began with Barbara Sharples Theatre School of Performing Arts in the late 70’s. Imani has trained and performed with some of the leading teachers and practitioners throughout the UK and developed a variety of unique dance styles with Caribbean and African influences. She teaches dance professionally in both community and educational settings, providing a service for young students, as well as mature and older people. She works in partnership with a range of agencies including schools, colleges, youth services, and arts organisations.

Carribean and Street Dance WorkshopsImani’s intensive workshops fuse Caribbean, Contemporary & Street dance together with other dance and movement forms that complement the dance experience. Her work sensitizes young people, adults and the elderly to the vast potential of dance in the process of modern society integration. She is also a qualified fitness instructor who has designed her own fitness class fusing aerobic movements with traditional African and Caribbean styles.

After training at The Barbara Sharples School of Dance Imani went on to the Manchester Youth Dance Theatre in 1986; she then became the Artistic Director in 1998, a post she held for the next ten years. She has participated in a variety of training workshops in African, Caribbean, Contemporary, and Street Jazz with Urban Bush Woman Dance Company; Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre; Bebe Miller Company; Jackie Guy; Jonzi-D; Robert Hylton; Peter Badejo; Frances Angol and Ace Dance & Music.

Contemoprary DanceAs a performer ‘Divided Truth’ - a dance and music ensemble featuring Contemporary, African and Caribbean movements and rhythms with Khemtech Dance Company & ACE Dance Music (UK Tour) ‘Inquotations’ - Tap with Urban Voice (Bridgewater Hall) ‘Wings of the Soul’ - Contemporary and African Dance with Khemtech Dance Company (Contact Theatre) ‘Twisted Souls’ – Contemporary, African and Caribbean Dance with Khemtech Dance Company (Capital Theatre) ‘Bad Reputations’ – residency with Penny Arcade using tap extracts (Contact Theatre). ‘In the Long Run’ Contemporary Dance choreographed by Emilyn Claid for MYDT 21st anniversary.

Imani has also had roles in a variety of TV programmes and advertisements including ‘Day Tripper’ for Granada TV alongside presenter Jenny Powell and a Diamond Insurance Advert for Granada TV.

Jazz and Tap DancingAs producer and director – a series of musicals and dance showcases for gifted and talented young people including: ‘Going Back to My Roots’ - 60s, 70s, & 80s musical Zion Arts Centre and Contact Theatre (2002) ‘Children of a Revolution’ - Street dance , Rap/song musical, The Met, Romiley Forum, Contact Theatre (2003) ‘Journey through the Soul’ - Afro-salsa, contemporary musical Dance House Theatre and Zion Arts Centre (2004) ‘Carry Mi Ackee’ - Caribbean folk song & dance musical Contact Theatre (2005) ‘The Future is Ours’ - Performance showcase (2005) ‘Carry Mi Ackee’ - CD Production (2006) ‘The Future is Ours’ - Performance showcase Zion Arts Centre (2006) ‘Celebrating the Life of James Brown’ - Zion Arts Centre (2007) ‘The Future is Ours’ - Performance showcase Dance House Theatre (2008)

Imani is presently developing and performing her one-woman autobiographical show ‘Tap Lyrical’, which has so far been performed at Contact Theatre (Research and Development residency Nov 08), The Drum Theatre (as part of Dance Under Construction project Feb 09) and The Unity Theatre (as part of the Leap Festival
March 09).