Ayesha Jaco is a Chicago based Philanthropist, Educator and Choreographer. Ayesha is the founder and Artistic Director of Move Me Soul, an internationally traveled youth dance company headquartered on Chicago’s West Side. Ayesha’s disciplinary focus is a fusion of contemporary Modern, Jazz, West African and Hip Hop dance.
Ayesha is an 2018 Chicago Dancemakers Lab Artist. Her premiere work the “Chississippi Mixtape” featuring Damon Locks was featured at Links Hall in celebration of its 40th year. Ayesha has been featured in Hype Magazine South Africa, Splash Chicago and the Chicago Reader for her artistic prowess and youth work. She was recently awarded The Chicago African Americans in Philanthropy Social Justice Award for her commitment to Chicago communities.
Ayesha’s commitment to Arts in Youth & Community Development has led her to curate artist residencies with the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago Park District, Jacob Carruthers for Inner City Studies and the American Rhythm Center. In 2019, Ayesha began a Rebuild Foundation Dance Fellowship and presented a myriad of community conversations, works in progress & documentary screenings at the Stony Island Arts Bank & Dorchester Artist Collaborative.
Ayesha holds a Bachelor of Science in Dance and Mass Communication from Illinois State University and a Masters of Arts Management (Arts in Youth and Community Development) from Columbia College Chicago.
My practice employs the meaning of Sankofa, a word from the Akan Tribe in Ghana. my process of creation always begins with a reflection and meditation of the best way to portray choreographic stories that highlight the struggle and resiliency of humanity. I examine music and ideologies of those who have come before me. This exploration always provide a missing piece to puzzle that I am trying to solve while seeking to chart a new course using movement as a vehicle of transformation.
All photos are by David C. Sampson