A native New Yorker, Joya Powell is a choreographer and educator passionate about community, activism, and dances of the African Diaspora. She is the recent recipient of 2016 The Outstanding Emerging Choreographer Bessie Award, and her choreography has been performed at venues including SummerStage, Lincoln Center, and The Bronx Museum of Arts. Joya spent four years studying dance in Brazil with Ilê Aiyê (the first Afro-Brazilian Carnival group), and has taught and studied in Brazil, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Israel. She is the Founder of Movement of the People Dance Company, which is dedicated to building community and social awareness through socially conscious choreography. Joya believes that we teach, heal, and pass on historical and sociocultural information through movement; her teaching style is energetic, supportive, and positive.