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Karla Nweje

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HomeArtistsKarla Nweje

Karla is a choreographer, performer, literary artist, and arts educator. After obtaining teaching credentials, she worked as a NYC high school language arts teacher by day and a performer by night. During this time, she used movement and theater arts techniques to enhance the learning process in her classroom. The positive results she witnessed affirmed her conviction that the arts are vital to the comprehensive development of youth. Through the art of dance, she paints moving portraits that entertain, inform and provoke thought. When so inspired, she merges words with movement to make these portraits all the more vivid.

Karla Nweje holds a BFA in Dance Performance from CUNY at Brooklyn College. As a literary artist, she is a published author and contributing writer to literary publications and writes/presents interactive workshops for youth. Karla has performed and toured with dance and theater companies in NYC, Atlanta, and the Twin Cities. She continues to create and share work through The Samimejon Movement, her group performance initiative. A recipient of Ordway Center’s Excellence in Educational Service Award, Karla is a design team member and teaching artist for its Dance to Learn Program. She is on several teaching artist rosters, including that of COMPAS, and is a regular presenter at arts and education conferences throughout the state of Minnesota and beyond. Through residencies, workshops, professional development and more, Ms. Nweje continues to cultivate partnerships across organizations, programs, and school districts to make quality arts experiences accessible to all learners.

More About the Artist

Learn more about Karla in her June 2020 Artist Spotlight Interview.

Program Offerings

Virtual and Remote Programs

Virtual Residency: Butterfly Life Cycle Dance

In this 4 video series, Karla helps students learn the butterfly life-cycle through creative movement and dance. The stages of butterfly metamorphosis are broken down and explored in each lesson through interpretive movements. Students will build their knowledge in life science and put it all together at the end of the week with a live dance party with the artist. 

Creative Movement for All

Creative Movement for All: Participants will enjoy exploring the art of dance under Karla’s sensitive guidance, while also taking advantage of:

• A tool for enhancing self-expression

• An opportunity for sharing and connecting with others

• A means of addressing several key areas of physical fitness

• A facilitator in integrating mind-body functions.

Sessions are designed for people of varying degrees of physical and cognitive facility, with a focus on gradual layering and repetition of fundamental dance movements and patterns. Periods of guided reflection and social/cultural/historical ‘fun facts’ are incorporated to enrich the dance learning experience.

Residencies

Speaking With or Without Words

In the classroom, my first objective is to establish movement as a basic form of expression through the use of games and fun exercises. I bring that combination to the classroom with one of my residencies, Speaking With and Without Words, which uses movement to prompt the creation of student literary work. As a teaching artist with a background as an academic educator, I feel that I bring a useful perspective to the classroom and to the teamwork of residency planning. The results I have witnessed affirm my conviction that education and the arts are a winning partnership in the healthy, comprehensive development of our youth. In the classroom, my first objective is to establish movement as a basic form of expression through the use of games and fun exercises. This removes dance from the realm of the esoteric and makes it practical and accessible, for we all express ourselves nonverbally all the time.

Creative Movement for Seniors

Participants will enjoy exploring the art of dance under Karla’s sensitive guidance, while also taking advantage of:

  • A tool for enhancing self-expression;
  • An opportunity for sharing and connecting with others;
  • A means of addressing several key areas of physical fitness; and
  • A pathway to integrating mind-body functions.

Sessions are designed for people of varying degrees of physical and cognitive facility, with a focus on the gradual layering and repetition of fundamental dance movements and patterns such as weight shifts, use of breath, coordination, alignment, etc.  All classes in a series follow the same basic progressive format, but each session can also be enjoyed as a standalone experience. Periods of guided reflection and cultural/historical context of dance forms are incorporated to enrich the dance learning experience.

Workshops

Speaking With or Without Words

Speaking With and Without Words uses movement to prompt the creation of student literary work. As a teaching artist with a background as an academic educator, I feel that I bring a useful perspective to the classroom. The results I have witnessed affirm my conviction that education and the arts are a winning partnership in the healthy, comprehensive development of our youth. In the classroom, my first objective is to establish movement as a basic form of expression through the use of games and fun exercises. This removes dance from the realm of the esoteric and makes it practical and accessible, for we all express ourselves non verbally all the time.

Creative Movement for Seniors

Participants will enjoy exploring the art of dance under Karla’s sensitive guidance, while also taking advantage of:

  • A tool for enhancing self-expression;
  • An opportunity for sharing and connecting with others;
  • A means of addressing several key areas of physical fitness; and
  • A pathway to integrating mind-body functions.

Sessions are designed for people of varying degrees of physical and cognitive facility, with a focus on the gradual layering and repetition of fundamental dance movements and patterns such as weight shifts, use of breath, coordination, alignment, etc.  Periods of guided reflection and cultural/historical context of dance forms are incorporated to enrich the dance learning experience.

COMPAS Logo

COMPAS is an arts education nonprofit that puts creativity in the hands of Minnesotans, regardless of their age, background, or skills. Based in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area, COMPAS teaching artists deliver creative experiences and arts programming across Minnesota.

Minnesota State Arts Board LogoLegacy Amendment Logo

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.