Company Members

Founders Myron and Natalie Jackson have presented traditional dance, music and songs of Africa for over 3 decades and initially studied drum and dance at their respective alma mater's of Morehouse College and Hampton University.

Their extensive studies in music and choreography from master artists include Babatunde Olatunji, Cornelius Kweku Ganyo, Mabiba Baegne, Neri Torres, Malik Faye, Souleymane Diop, Kadijah Wilson, Malang Bayo, Djimo Kouyate, Mouminatou Camara and Reginald Yates.

Myron and Natalie are recipients of the Florida Assoc. of Multicultural Education Trailblazer Award, Arts Recognition Award Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Tampa/Hillsborough Youth Council and Weekly Planet's Best of the Bay/Best Dance Company.

 
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span.s1 {font-kerning: none} Dr. Kya "Mame Djarra" Conner has been dancing with Kuumba Dancers and Drummers for three years and has been a professional West African Dancer since the age of 14. Dr. Conner has studied West African Dance since she was 6 years old and is trained in the dance forms of Djembe, Sabar and Kutiro. She has trained in the countries of Senegal, Guinea and South Africa; and in the Unites Stated she has studied under Master teachers including Mama Kadiatou Conte and Papa Assan Konte. Dr. Conner has traveled Nationally as well as Internationally to teach West African dance, including a 2016 two-week dance tour in Russia. Dr. Conner is a professor of minority health disparities at the University of South Florida and teaches West African Dance at the University of Tampa. She is married to Master Drummer Cheikh N'Dong.

Dr. Kya "Mame Djarra" Conner has been dancing with Kuumba Dancers and Drummers for three years and has been a professional West African Dancer since the age of 14. Dr. Conner has studied West African Dance since she was 6 years old and is trained in the dance forms of Djembe, Sabar and Kutiro. She has trained in the countries of Senegal, Guinea and South Africa; and in the Unites Stated she has studied under Master teachers including Mama Kadiatou Conte and Papa Assan Konte. Dr. Conner has traveled Nationally as well as Internationally to teach West African dance, including a 2016 two-week dance tour in Russia. Dr. Conner is a professor of minority health disparities at the University of South Florida and teaches West African Dance at the University of Tampa. She is married to Master Drummer Cheikh N'Dong.

 Beryl Colbert is a professional dancer, choreographer and a consultant on integrated arts and wellness, . Beryl has a BA in Psychology and a Masters in Public Health from USF. Beryl performed, created choreography and arts based programming for various artists, organizations and institutions, some including the University of Tampa, Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival, UNSTOPABULL pre show with Broadway actor Quentin Darrington & choreographer James Kinney, MTV’s Made and "Feather" the Musical, and a production in the New York Musical Theater Festival.  Beryl is continuously furthering her knowledge of the arts as well as the role the arts play in individual and community wellness.

Beryl Colbert is a professional dancer, choreographer and a consultant on integrated arts and wellness, . Beryl has a BA in Psychology and a Masters in Public Health from USF. Beryl performed, created choreography and arts based programming for various artists, organizations and institutions, some including the University of Tampa, Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival, UNSTOPABULL pre show with Broadway actor Quentin Darrington & choreographer James Kinney, MTV’s Made and "Feather" the Musical, and a production in the New York Musical Theater Festival.  Beryl is continuously furthering her knowledge of the arts as well as the role the arts play in individual and community wellness.

 Papa Cheikh N’Dong is a Master Drummer and Musical Director who was professionally trained at the feet of Master Drummers since he was a child in his home country of Senegal in West Africa. Cheikh’s ethnic group is the Serer people from Senegal, and in his country drumming is not just a profession, it is a way of life. He was a lead drummer for and has performed with the National Ballet of Senegal and Ballet Africa all over the world. It is through his work with these internationally acclaimed Ballets that he came to America to continue performing and teaching his craft. He has taught workshops to professional drummers, community drummers and students at National dance and drum conferences, festivals, community and university workshops. He has trained over 30 drummers in traditional West African drumming. He is proficient in Djembe, Sabar and Kutiro Drums. Cheikh is identified as one of the best Master Drummers in the United States and in addition to performing and teaching, also works as a Musical Director and can choreograph drum calls as well as West African dance routines. Cheikh is married to dancer Kya "Mame Djarra" Conner. 

Papa Cheikh N’Dong is a Master Drummer and Musical Director who was professionally trained at the feet of Master Drummers since he was a child in his home country of Senegal in West Africa. Cheikh’s ethnic group is the Serer people from Senegal, and in his country drumming is not just a profession, it is a way of life. He was a lead drummer for and has performed with the National Ballet of Senegal and Ballet Africa all over the world. It is through his work with these internationally acclaimed Ballets that he came to America to continue performing and teaching his craft. He has taught workshops to professional drummers, community drummers and students at National dance and drum conferences, festivals, community and university workshops. He has trained over 30 drummers in traditional West African drumming. He is proficient in Djembe, Sabar and Kutiro Drums. Cheikh is identified as one of the best Master Drummers in the United States and in addition to performing and teaching, also works as a Musical Director and can choreograph drum calls as well as West African dance routines. Cheikh is married to dancer Kya "Mame Djarra" Conner.