About Ukachi Akalawu
Ukachi Akalawu graduated with BA (Hons) in Dance Theatre from Laban in 1994. She subsequently performed with the Jiving Lindy Hoppers, Ritual Theatre Arts, Ariya Opera, Step Afrika, Stomp, Badejo Arts, and Movement Angol, and also worked in the commercial dance sector. She has taught dance extensively in the UK, Europe and Africa. Ukachi current works as a KS2 teacher and Creative Curriculum Lead in a primary school.
From 2002 - 2004, Ukachi worked at the Independent Theatre Council (ITC) as Training & Membership administrator, and went on to be the national coordinator for ITC's Fast Track training scheme for Black and Asian arts managers and administrators. She then set up ITC's The Next Level - a continuing professional development forum / network for Black and Asian arts managers and administrators. As a freelance administrator/manager, Ukachi has worked with Badejo Arts, DanceAfrica, Ritual Theatre Arts, Collectives Artistes Theatre Company and Semekor Performing Arts. She has also been a Dance Advocate for the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora (ADAD), where her responsibilities included artist representation, event management, and consultation. In 2005 she completed a Masters degree in Arts Management from the University of the Arts, London. From 2006 - 2008, she worked at the National Theatre as Project Manager for INSET (In-service training for teachers), which was a programme of courses for English, Drama and Performing Arts teachers.
In 2005, Ukachi received a Trailblazer fellowship from ADAD, which allowed her to further her research into Sabar dance and music from Senegal. Through this research, she has developed her own particular brand of African dance which she terms Afro-Xplo - a synthesis of movement vocabulary using Sabar and Jazz dance. She teaches Afro-Xplo in a range of venues, and is working to develop African dance forms within various educational capacities. In 2008, Ukachi received a Lisa Ullmann Travelling Scholarship which she used to go and further study West African Performing Arts with the University of the Gambia. Ukachi has a PGCE in Secondary Dance from the University of Bedfordshire, and holds a CYQ Level 3 in Antenatal and Post-natal exercise instruction.