Elana Denise Anderson, PhD is an artist, educator, life-long student, and scholar. She holds a Standard Professional I and an Advanced Professional Educator Certificate from the State of Maryland, a B.A. in African American Studies with minors in both English Literature and French from Chicago State University, an M.A. and Ph.D. in African Studies concentrating in Language, Literature, and the Arts, and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from Howard University in Washington, D.C. Dr. Anderson is a member of the African Studies Association, the American Guild for Musical Artists (AGMA), the International Association for Blacks in Dance, the National Dance Education Organization, and a lifetime member of the National Council for Negro Women. In addition to serving as the Associate Director of the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press in Washington, D.C. since 2011, she serves on the faculties of Eleanor Roosevelt High School’s Department of Fine Arts in Greenbelt, MD as the Founding Director of the dance program, Dance Dimensions of Forestville, MD, the Taratibu Youth Association of Mount Rainier, MD, the VIVA School of Washington, D.C., and MODAS Dance of Albuquerque, NM, and San José, Costa Rica.
Extensive training in a variety of disciplines has enabled Dr. Anderson to collaborate with choreographers the world over, including Jawole Willa Jo Zollar of Urban Bush Women, Louis Johnson, Arthur Eugene Hill, Lloyd Whitmore, Eleo Pomare, Gary Abbott, Kevin Iega Jeff, Felipe Oyarzun of Chile and Lliane Loots of Durban, South Africa. Dr. Anderson’s career in dance has spanned thirty plus years, and includes work in concert stage, commercial stage, opera, television, and film. She has traveled extensively, having performed, and taught on four continents and in the Caribbean. Her life’s work is the enlightenment of other lives through art.
Dr. Anderson uses the dynamics of the modern dance technique of Lester Horton to inspire students of all proficiencies to move beyond self-imposed limitations. An instructor of classical and contemporary ballet as well, Anderson has taught master classes, lectured, performed, and choreographed for many organizations. They include Flatfoot Dance Company of Durban, South Africa, LINES Contemporary Ballet of San Francisco, CA, Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center, Dance Center at Columbia College, Lou Conte Dance Studio, and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater of Chicago, IL, MODAS Dance of Albuquerque, NM, the VIVA School, D.C. Youth Ensemble, Joy of Motion Dance Center, Georgetown University Dance Company, DC Contemporary Dance Theater and Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., Purelements of Brooklyn, NY, Dance Dimensions of Forestville, MD, Taratibu Youth Association of Mt. Rainier, MD and the Morton Street Dance Center and Full Circle Dance Company of Baltimore, MD.
Through her work in dance and academia, Dr. Anderson is proficient in artistic/rehearsal/stage direction, history, cultural criticism, and curriculum development; narration, residency programming, scriptwriting and project management are a supplement to her instructional and leadership abilities. Her future goals and current research interests include the founding and development of the service organization Artists/Architects of Kheperu, Dance History, Dance Pedagogy, Education, Entrepreneurship, International Studies, and Publishing.