Zelma Badu-Younge, one of the most charismatic cultural fusion artists, captivates her audience as she steps on stage. This mesmerizing performer is considered one of the most electrifying choreographers, with her high-energy synthesis of West African traditions combined with other world dance forms. Zelma’s passion for dance led her to study at the National Ballet School of Canada (Toronto), l’Academie des Grands Ballet Canadiens (Montreal), Alvin Ailey American Dance Center (New York City), and at the University of Ghana’s School of Performing Arts. She holds a B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance and Choreography (Concordia University), an M.F.A. in Dance Ethnology (York University), and a Ph.D. in Culture and Values in Education (McGill University). Dr. Badu-Younge is a Professor of Dance at Ohio University and Dance Director/Choreographer for Azaguno, a multi-ethnic ensemble focusing on research, preservation, and global form performances.
She has presented scholarly papers, conducted workshops, or performed internationally in North America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia. Zelma is a recipient of the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for choreography (2016 & 2008); multiple awards in Canada, including the prestigious Chalmers Awards for Creativity and Excellence in the Arts, the Laidlaw Foundation, and Canada Council for the Arts Awards for Choreography. She was also nominated for the Dora Mavor Moore Awards, recognizing outstanding works of theatre, dance, and opera in Toronto.