"We Inspire. Nurture. & Empower."

Welcome to our Community

A Standing Ovation to Dr. Zakaraya & Naomi Diouf!

For over 25 years, our West African Dance classes have been taught by Dr. Zakara and Naomi Diouf who recently retired from the District. Their outstanding contribution to the Bay Area and commitment to student success is evidenced by their longevity with the Dance Department. Everyone in the community knew they could find “Mama” and “Papa” on Thursday and Friday evenings in our D-100 dance studio. Sadly, Laney’s surprise Spring 2020 recognition dance concert was curtailed due to the pandemic shut down. And while we sorely miss Mama and Papa’s presence, their dedication to the arts continue to shine as evidenced by their recent award~The 2020 National Heritage Fellowship of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Congratulations Dr. Zakaraya and Naomi Diouf! 

“Culture bearers and artists from Senegal and Liberia respectively, Dr. Zakarya Diouf and Naomi Gedo Diouf have contributed to the practice and performance of West African dance, drum, and culture in African diasporic communities for more than four decades. Zakarya and Naomi, affectionately known as Papa Zak and Mama Naomi in their community, established the Diamano Coura West African Dance Company in the Bay Area in 1975….read more..”Photo: Dr. Diouf’s West African dance class performing on stage.

Stay tuned for our upcoming Laney Legacy Dance Faculty web page where you can learn more about the beautiful dance educators who devoted their time to spread their knowledge of dance with our students.


Current Dance Faculty (click name for links to bios/faculty projects)

Jacqueline Burgess, M.A.


Phillip Agyapong, M.A.

West African Dance returns Spring 2021! The department welcomes our newest Dance teacher, Phillip Agyapong: Traditional Ghanaian dance; Afro-pop. Students performed Ghanaian dance in the 2019 Fall dance concert.


Andrea Lee, Ed.D.-Department Chair of Dance

We, Dance Teachers

“…intentionally use the term “teacher” because this term represents the relationship we value with our students who contribute greatly to our learning and teaching process.

…believe that teaching is a creative process rooted in a relationship built upon expressing and sharing ideas and a willingness to engage critically in the analysis of what and how we teach, and what and how we learn from each other.

 …have unique ways of delivering dance education which is shaped by our lived experiences and by those who unrelentlessly passed on their knowledge of the dance discipline.

…DANCE, LEARN and TEACH WITH PURPOSE- a purpose that is uniquely crafted and demonstrated so that our students are exposed to culturally responsive dance pedagogy and diverse teaching methodologies.

…embrace the understanding that students and teachers grow together.”