Janet Peck


African Dance

(484) 574-4440

Age Range for Residencies:
Elementary, Middle, Secondary, Adult, Senior Adult

Artist’s Statement: I am Janet Peck: West African dancer, teacher and choreographer. My seeds of dance first sprouted in the early 70s during “Polynesian Potpourri,” the Hatboro YMCA’s first annual water show. A few years, two college degrees, 18 forays to Guinea, West African and one early retirement later, I became clear on what I wanted to be when I grew up! Now, in my fifteenth season as the Artistic Director of the N’Bonye Dance and Drum Ensemble, I am dedicated to my mission: to inspire people to be the most vital individuals they can be by engaging them in the dancing, drumming, singing, and culture of West Africa. My 18 visits to West Africa, my performing experience, my Masters degree in Dance (M. Ed ’88, Temple University) and 22 years as a public school visual arts educator have helped me craft a teaching style that is clear, warm, attentive, and enthusiastic. My classes at Temple have inspired me to broaden my choreography with elements of modern dance, as evidenced in “My Sanctuary,” a piece for African and Modern dance, West African drums, violin, and gospel choir. My annual studies abroad in Guinea, West Africa refresh my knowledge of the dancing and culture, as do my weekly West African dance studies in Philadelphia. My master teachers from the major ballets of Conakry, Guinea, keep my skills honed, my dreams alive and my mission of connecting people to their hearts flourishing. From inner-city school teens to professional dancers, from special needs children and adults to women at spirituality conferences, from college ethno-musicology students to scout troops, my choreography inspires people to be their most vital and alive selves. Even pre-schoolers are transformed as evidenced by this declaration from a very young dance fan at a local day care center when begging his teacher to invite us back: “Janet, you are more fun than Hershey Park!”

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