Biography

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Susannah “Sukie” Keita is a versatile dance artist who has paired her energy with dance companies and public schools as a performer, choreographer, and educator.  Growing up as a student of Joffrey Ballet principal dancers Charthel Arthur and Robert Estner in Grand Rapids, Michigan, she was also exposed to tap and jazz dance at an early age.  Sukie studied modern dance at the University of Michigan and then trained in New York City as a scholarship student at Steps On Broadway.  An MFA graduate of the University Of Arizona School Of Dance, she has performed with the Grand Rapids Ballet, InSync Dance Theatre, Adrenaline Dance, Treeline Dance Works, and Arizona-based companies O-T-O Dance Theatre, New Articulations, Thom Lewis Dance, Mamaxé Dancers, Flam Chen, Funhouse Movement Theatre, and Zuzi Dance Theatre.  Since 2000, she has studied Katherine Dunham Technique with master and certified instructors including Penny Godboldo, Keith Williams, Rachel Tavernier, Patricia Wilson, Dr. Albirda Rose, and Dr. Halifu Osumare among others.  In 2012, she became certified to teach through the Institute for Dunham Technique Certification.  Sukie has received grants from the Tucson Pima Arts Council and the Arizona Commission on the Arts as a solo dance artist and choreographer, and in 2006, toured Ecuador with aerial and modern-based O-T-O Dance Theatre for the International Festival for Women in Dance.  As director of the Dance Department at Grand Canyon University, Sukie has founded degree programs in dance and dance education.  She was honored with the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award in 2013 and the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award in 2015, and also served as president of the Arizona Dance Education Organization. A veteran K-12 dance educator, her focus is to increase access to dance education for K-12 grade students and to build cultural competencies among future dance educators through a holistic study of dance and the humanities.  She resides in Phoenix, Arizona.