Faculty Features: Adult Drop-in Classes with Akosua Akoto

Since age 13, Akosua Akoto has been organizing and teaching adult and children’s workshops throughout the nation. She has served as lead and assistant choreographer for numerous dance organizations. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine from Howard University and is a nationally certified personal trainer through the American Council of Exercise. On the path to earning a doctorate degree in physical therapy, she works as a personal trainer, group exercise instructor and physical therapy technician. Currently, she teaches ASA! and West African adult drop-in classes at Joy of Motion Dance Center. Click here to register for one of Akosua’s classes.

What is your teaching philosophy and/or teaching style?

If just one participant walks away with new information, a smile and a feeling of release, I have done my job as a teacher. Twyla Tharp said, “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” Dancing should not only be a physical experience. It should be an outlet and a means of expression. Yet no trip, journey or general experience should come without new-found knowledge. Whether I am teaching dance fitness or traditional African dance, I find it my responsibility as a dance instructor and as another person with a unique set of experiences, to provide both information and a means of expressing what one may not be able to put to words.

What is your favorite part about teaching class?

My favorite part about teaching class has to be the exchange of energy. Movement is energy. To give and receive energy with others is like having a conversation. You meet new people in class and get to experience how they move – what they really want to say or behave after a 9 to 5 in a more “confined” everyday environment.

What do you hope your students will take away from your class?

After taking my class, I hope my students will take away a better sense of themselves. What they thought they could not do (literally or figuratively), I hope my class brought them some perspective. What burden they thought they could not get away from, I hope my class made their shoulders a little stronger (literally or figuratively).