Black Diaspora Studio Showing

Mar 18, 2:00 pm4:00 pm EDT


The Black Diaspora Studio Showing is open to all audiences.

Black Diaspora, a three-year residency program for Black and Afro-Latinx dance and performance artists, proudly welcomes you to its first studio showing, featuring samples of work by member choreographers Jenny Boissiere (3-year member) and Makayla Peterson (2-year member).

Jenny Boissiere will be showing excerpts from Heron and Release. These two excerpts are the beginning of the artist’s research into an evening-length performance called Red Brass Dream, an exploration of jazz music, the spirit of New Orleans, and collective liberation.

Makayla Peterson will be showing an excerpt from Words Spoken, a collaborative project between dancers and poets. In Words Spoken, the dancers and poets  introduce themselves to the audience, examining their relationships to themselves and to others, serving the communities they belong to, and journeying through life experiences to unearth and proliferate who they are at their core.


Jenny Boissiere (she/hers) is a dance artist based in Washington Heights. Originally from New Orleans, Jenny creates dances for stage, screen, and unconventional spaces. In 2016, she created DanceBoissiere, an all-women dance theater collective, out of a need to give women creative space to tell their stories.

Her work has been presented at Gibney, Peridance Center, Dixon Place, Abrons Art Center, Erikson Theatre (Seattle, WA), and The Dairy Arts Center (Boulder, CO). Jenny and DanceBoissiere have created and produced two full-length performances in Upper Manhattan: one in a Harlem brownstone and the other at the Little Red Lighthouse Beachfront at Fort Washington Park in Washington Heights. Most recently, Jenny and DanceBoissiere were invited to perform at Little Island, New York City’s newest public park, in July 2022.

Jenny has received support from Mertz Gilmore Foundation and UMEZ’s inaugural Seed Fund for Dance (2022), UMEZ Arts Engagement (2022 & 2019), and LMCC Creative Engagement (2019 & 2021).


Sarah Hillmon (she/hers) is a native of Rochester, NY. There, she trained with Garth Fagan and Timothy M. Draper and was a member of the Rochester City Ballet. She graduated with a BFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she had the privilege of performing works by talented artists, including Sidra Bell, Lucinda Childs, Gus Solomons Jr, and Charles Weidman. While in New York City, Sarah has danced for Lucinda Childs Dance Company, Suzanne Beahrs Dance, BodyStories, AMS Project, MATYCHAK, and was a founding member of RedCurrant Collective.

Jessica Robling (she/hers) of Brooklyn, NY, graduated from The University of Wisconsin Madison in 2019 with a BFA in Dance and Pilates Certificate. While at UW-Madison, Jessica performed works by Kate Corby, Li Chiao-Ping, Chris Walker, Jin-Wen Yu, Michel Kouakou, Scott Ewen, Heidi Latsky, Brooke Smiley, and Anna Halprin. Since graduating, she has worked with choreographers Jin Wen Yu, Li Chiao Ping, Liz Sexe Dance, and Kanon Sapp, who was a member of Nimbus2 Dance.

Rebecca Hutt (she/her) is a dancer, visual artist, and graduate student currently residing in Boston, MA, while she completes her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. She has trained in many styles of dance and has had the opportunity to perform with companies in Chicago and New York, and has toured throughout the US, Canada, and South America with Disney Live. Becky was a member of DanceBoissiere from 2014 to 2017 and has been a collaborator since then. She looks forward to rejoining the company as a performer upon completion of her degree.

Madelyne Clark (she/hers) was born in Baton Rouge, LA, and grew up in Monroe, Louisiana, where she began her formal competitive dance training at Linda Lavender School of Dance. During her off seasons with Twin City Ballet, Madelyne spent her summers studying at Joffrey South Ballet Summer Intensive, Next Generation Ballet, and Regional Dance America’s National Choreography Intensive. Madelyne graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Louisiana at Monroe with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. She soon moved to New York to continue training at The Ailey School. As a student in The Ailey School Scholarship Program, Madelyne has worked with renowned choreographers such as Omar Roman de Jesus, Earl Mosley, and Martha Nichols and was featured in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. As a member of the Ailey Student Performance Group, she had the opportunity to learn repertory by Alvin Ailey and work with Ronald K. Brown and Tina Bush. Madelyne enjoys all styles of dance and exploring new movements through both improvisation and choreography of her own, which has been recognized and awarded through Regional Dance America (Monticello Award 2017).


Makayla Peterson (she/her) is a dancer, choreographer, scholar, teaching artist, and Founder and Artistic Director of Monét Movement Productions, The Collective. She is a 2020 Temple University graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a minor in Digital Media Technologies. Makayla is a 2019 recipient of the Temple University Diamond Research Scholars Grant. This research has been presented, verbally and through movement, at national and international conferences, including CADD, the Global Caribbean Dance Conference, and more. Her company works have been featured in the COCO Dance Festival, Collective Thread Dance Festival, Atlantic Antic, Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers’ Inhale Performance Series, and more. Additionally, Makayla is a dancer with CarNYval Dancers, OKRA Dance Company, Enya-Kalia Creations, a Notes In Motion Teaching Artist, and an editorial/administrative intern for Black Dance Magazine. She is the former Program Coordinator for MOVE|NYC|.


Destiny Betts (she/her) is a military child from Queens. She is an up-and-coming artist, dancer, and choreographer. Destiny has spent her time training at the Joffrey Ballet School under the direction of Angelica Stiskin and is a 2022 graduate of 2022. Her training includes Ballet, Pointe, African, Jazz, Ballroom, Contemporary, Horton/ Graham Techniques, Heels, and other various techniques/ styles. She routinely performs at different sets and stages, gaining access to a plethora of different cultures, learning experiences, and people. Her purpose in the art industry is to inspire, create and uplift people within the current society. There is no doubt that she has already started to fulfill these objectives. For her, each opportunity is a chance to show a sense of humbleness and joy. Destiny is proud to share herself with audience members alike!

Fatou Diouf (she/her) is a multi-faceted creative whose expertise and passion are in dance, theater, poetry, and community leadership. She was born and raised in the Bronx and is of Senegalese descent. Her work relies heavily on social justice, uplifting others, and celebrating her West African heritage and culture through art. She attended DreamYard Preparatory High, where she trained in Dance and Theater. She graduated from Purchase College Summa Cum Laude, earning dual degrees in Arts Management and Theater and Performance, along with an award for Distinguished Black Student Leader. She also trained in musical theater at DreamYard Art Center, Shenandoah University, and Manhattanville College. She is currently a professional dancer working with Monét Movement Productions, The Collective, CarNYval Dancers, Camille A. Brown & Dancers, Accent Dance NYC, and an artist-in-residence coordinator at New York Edge. Her career goals vary from becoming a professional choreographer to becoming the founder of an interdisciplinary art center in The Bronx for underprivileged youth and adults.

Janyah Destiny Harte (she/her) is a Guyanese American professional dancer and promotional model from Brooklyn, New York. Her movement style is rooted in her technical background in jazz, ballet, contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, and Afro-Caribbean dance. Her mission as a creative is to promote and create safe spaces in the dance community for unlimited expression, networking, and personal and professional growth.

Serena Thomas (she/her) is currently in her gap year post-undergraduate school and currently working as a medical scribe. Although aspiring to be a doctor, Serena has always believed dance to be a vital outlet and source for her artistic expression.

Ava-Celeste (she/her) is a writer and freelance proofreader from The Bronx, NY. As a child, she developed a great appreciation for words. She began writing short plays, short stories, songs, and poems in an exploration of a focus for her pen.  She recognized the power that words possessed, desired to use them effectively, and wanted to help others do the same.

Her heart for her writing is that people will read her words and be introduced to the God who wrote them in her. She believes everyone has a story to share and hopes to continue using her gift to assist others in finding the best way to share their own God-written stories.

Ashley Imanë Fields (she/her) is a Caribbean-American writer, editor, and dancer from Brooklyn, NY. Having grown up in a studio, dance has become one of her favorite forms of storytelling. Paired with her passion for fiction, Ashley loves being able to share stories full of culture and wonder through movement and self-expression.

Jevon Suralie II (he/him) is a construct project manager and civil engineer for the city of New York. He holds a Bachelor of Technology in Construction Engineering from New York College of Technology. He is an artist who is known as Jv. When he was younger, he wrote a lot of poetry, which developed into his passion for music. As an artist, he connects deeply with his work and the topics he writes about. His goal is always to bring imagery to the listeners’ mind when hearing his works.

About Black Diaspora

Conceived by curator Eva Yaa Asantewaa during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter uprising, Black Diaspora launched its first activities in September 2020 as a Zoom-based peer support program serving up-and-coming, Black- or Afro-Latinx-identified dance and performance artists from various cultural backgrounds.

With the support of Gibney, Black Diaspora has offered numerous peer group discussions, workshops led by notable guest artists, and conversations between artists. We celebrate the resourcefulness, accomplishments, and generous wisdom of Black creatives, educators, and activists.