Nzinga tull | performer and instructor
Nzinga Tull is a professional performer and instructor of traditional West African dance forms originating primarily from Senegal, Gambia, Mali, and Guinea. She has studied under and performed works by many notable performers and choreographers of traditional West African Dance and African-rooted contemporary forms, including Assane Konte, Melvin Deal, Aboubacar Camara, Sherrill Berryman-Johnson and Ronald K. Brown.
Nzinga began studying dance at age 3 in her hometown, Washington, DC with African Heritage Dancers and Drummers (Melvin Deal, director). She resumed her dance studies while pursuing an undergraduate degree in mathematics at Spelman College (Atlanta, GA), performing with Ayolowa – the student company of Barefoot Ballet (Torkwase Osahene, director). While in Atlanta, Nzinga began her professional dance career by joining Giwayen Mata (Omelika Kuumba, director). She continues to tour and perform with Giwayen Mata today.
Nzinga is currently a principal dancer with the touring Senior Company of KanKouran West African Dance Company (Assane Konte, director). She has performed with KanKouran since 1999, sharing her artistry on stages all over the United States as well as in Turkey and in Trinidad. Nzinga has also taught classes and workshops in West African dance technique and performance for KanKouran adult and children classes and in support of youth wellness and leadership activities in Washington, DC.
In 2013, Nzinga has expanded her artistic reach in joining the One Mic Creative Ecosystem, a collective of Washington, DC-based, independent creatives that supported program development and execution for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Art’s 2014 festival, “One Mic: Hip Hop Worldwide.” Nzinga conceived, produced and directed the One Mic festival’s opening-night production, “Hip Hop in the Pocket.” The production was an exploration and celebration of the artistic kinship and creative exchange between go-go and hip-hop, two musical "play-cousins.”
Nzinga is also a devoted arts advocate and has served on grant review panels for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.