Aziza is a Harlem resident and long-time community activist, as well as a choreographer, performer and teacher whose work focuses on the development of community-based art. She majored in dance at the State University of New York at Purchase and went on to a stellar career in dance and theater, working with many varied companies and choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, the Joffrey Ballet, Dianne McIntyre’s Sounds In Motion and David Rousseve’s Reality.

In 1994, Aziza founded Def Dance Jam Workshop (DDJW), a non-profit inter-generational performing arts troupe and academic program serving deaf, hearing, and physically or developmentally challenged youths and their families. Aziza expanded her programming and opened a satellite program’s of DDJW sponsored by the American Embassy in Cyprus, Greece, Istanbul, Turkey and Milan, Italy serving the special Needs Community globally. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of The Black Choreographers Project, Inc., an organization providing services to members of the dance community of color who are 50 years and older. Ordained as an Interfaith Minister in 2003, she considers her self an Arts Advocate and uses her creative talents to make a difference in her community.

Aziza has been selected for a SPARC residency at Carter Burden Center. During her SPARC residency, Aziza will develop SIGN~MOVEment for Seniors, an American Sign Language class taught through a variety of Movement Styles and popular music. The class incorporates Yoga, Liturgical, Contemporary and African dance styles, blended with an eclectic selection of Gospel, Jazz, Show Tunes and Pop Music.

Image credit: courtesy of the artist