Urban Bush Women Dance: Fierce, Fabulous, and on Fire

COURSE DATES: July 10 to July 23, 2017

  • The bold and athletic dancing of the Urban Bush Women is dedicated to empowerment, social justice, truth-telling, and stories. Be challenged physically, mentally, and spiritually.
  • Burst onto the dance scene with bold, innovative, demanding and exciting works that bring under-told stories to life.
  • Engage communities and use dance to bring together audiences through innovative choreography, community engagement and artistic leadership development.
  • To identify as an Urban Bush Woman is to describe yourself: bold, fierce, athletic, strong, honest, inquisitive, determined, artistic, hopeful.
  • This course will culminate in a public performance of student work.

undergrad: DANCE 421/3 units
graduate: DANCE 621/3 units


Intermediate to advanced level dancers. The course will accommodate a mixed level of movement practice. Students should be interested in issues of social justice and how dance is a tool for empowerment, community and change.

1) Submit a letter of interest/intent and how the course is in alignment with your current dance practice. Include a letter of recommendation and photo or headshot.
2) Upload the materials listed in step one with your completed Registration Form by May 15, 2017.

Professor Gayle Fekete

Urban Bush Women urbanbushwomen.org
Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Founding Artistic Director
Jawole Willa Jo Zollar trained with Joseph Stevenson, a student of the legendary Katherine Dunham. After earning her BA in dance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, she received her MFA in dance from Florida State University. In 1980 Jawole moved to New York City to study with Dianne McIntyre at Sounds in Motion. In 1984, Jawole founded Urban Bush Women (UBW) as a performance ensemble dedicated to exploring the use of cultural expression as a catalyst for social change. In addition to 34 works for UBW, she has created works for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco, University of Maryland, Virginia Commonwealth University and others.

“When I began Urban Bush Women in 1984, I envisioned a company founded on the energy, vitality and boldness of the African American community that I grew up in. I wanted a company that brought forth the vulnerability, sassiness and bodaciousness of the women I experienced growing up in Kansas City. My goal was to use those experiences as a vehicle for my choreographic voice. That was now more than 30 years ago. UBW has grown to be that and more. We have inspired many and left an indelible mark on the dance field. We have changed perceptions about body types and approaches to performance in both form and content. Driven by our passion for dance, we have shown how choreographers can address socio-political issues in their work and involve whole communities in art-making.”

“I don’t know, but I been told, if you keep on dancin’ you never grow old.”