Our group came to life in 2012 under the visionary direction of Esie Mensah, one of the top professional dancers and choreographers in Canada. The Black Stars is a coalition of afro-influenced dancers committed to becoming nowadays leader group of AfroFusion Dance. Their pallet of skills combines more than 7 African dance styles including Azonto, Kuduro and Ndombolo that they talently showcase as one flawless artistic expression.
While staying true to the art of African dance, every single dancer involved in this project doesn’t dream about what this dance represent today but what it will be tomorrow. Each of their previous individual experiences alongside renowned artists such as Janelle Monae, Nelly Furtado, Flo Rida, Jully Black and appearances in popular shows like So You Think You Can Dance Canada complete the puzzle of a bigger picture. The Black Stars tend to set the highest climax you can refer to when it comes to AfroFusion Dance.
Our group sincerely believes in the power of diversity. Being a cosmopolitan ensemble remembers them how important it is to learn from each other in order to be a better person and dancer. Therefore, they proudly defend the idea that any human being can embrace the African culture. From dropin classes to workshops, they weekly share their knowledge and strengthen the recognition of AfroFusion internationally.
Esie Mensah is one of the top professional dancers and choreographers in Canada. She continues to be one of the most sought after dancers in the industry and has built an extensive resume that includes appearances in Coca Cola’s “Freestyle” commercial, Walt Disney film “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam” and Shawn Desman's movie Alive. Esie has danced for Jannelle Monae, Marian’s Trench, Nelly Furtado, Estee Lauder, Flo Rida, Jully Black, Fashion Cares, Deborah Cox, Anjulie, Cascada and more. Choreographed a music video for SYTYCDC judge Blake McGrath for his new hit song “Heaven”! Performed on stage with the hit South African musical Umoja and spent 4 months in China performing on live television. Esie is a member of Lua Shayenne and Co, co-director of Artists in Motion and director of The Black Stars. The Black Stars are an Afrofusion company that mixes traditional styles with contemporary movement to create a unique and powerful dynamic at a professional level.
“Follow the lead of innovation in order to bring dance to a complete definition of an artistic expression”...This is what Greg’s vision of dance has become throughout the years. His relationship with dance started in Africa. He was only 5 when he had to leave his hometown, Paris, France to go to Brazzaville, Congo...
6 years later, it was time for him to get back home and grow as a dancer by opening his mind to different styles. Battles after battles, performances after performances, Hip Hop dance appeared to be pairing perfectly with his afro influences.
Therefore, Greg introduces you to the popular mix of traditional afro and contemporary Hip Hop dances that are influencing nowadays entertainment industry internationally. He will make you travel throughout Africa with his high energy choreographies inspired by the most famous Afro Street dances such as Azonto (Ghana), Coupé Décalé (Ivory Coast), Afrohouse, Kuduro (Angola), Ndombolo (Congo) or make you revisit your 1, 2 Step with his largely influenced European Hip Hop New style. His talent could be spotted on various events such World of Dance 2011 or Black Canadian Awards 2014 and alongside different artists such as Audio PlayGround, Meaghan Smith and more.
For somebody who truly thinks that dance is meant to be shared, teaching was a significant accomplishment. Lately, renowned Schools like OIP Dance Studio or City Dance Corps trusted his vision by scheduling weekly Hip Hop and Afro Street classes. The wide range of dance techniques included in his creations perfectly meet the joviality of the latest popular tunes !!
Percy Anane- Dwumfour is a street hip-hop, self-taught dancer, whose passion for dance started from a very young age. A shy, quiet, reserved child, it wasn’t until he joined his high school dance team, did he decide to share his talent with the world. He and his friends later started their own dance crew “Chaotic Crew” where he developed and even greater passion, not only for dancing but for choreography as well. At 21 years old, and fairly inexperienced in the professional dance world, he recently joined a professional dance company “Artists in Motion” and Traditional African dance company “Lua Shayenne & Co”, where he has trained with the likes of Shameka Blake, Esie Mensah, Hollywood Jade, Allison, Bradely, and Lua Shayenne .With his passion, drive and commitment to dance, Percy is building his resume and career as a professional dancer.
3 time FULL DANCE SCHOLARSHIP recipient at OIP Dance Centre (Toronto ON) and was recently in The Motivating Excellence (IntensiveProgram) series with world renowned Choreographer Rhapsody James. Edz was exposed to dance at an early age by his two oldest brothers. He can remember the days when they would make him watch 1984's Breakin' while jamming out in the basement. His main foundations are hip hop and dancehall/ragga with traces of jazz, salsa and Afro dance foundation within his dancing belt.
Edz has over 6 years of teaching experience at various dance studios and have experience in various comps such as O.U.C.H Ontario University for (Toronto 2nd place winners 2011), Dance wars (Ottawa 2008), Jack of all Styles (Ottawa, Judge) and training (OIP Company 3 year Full Scholarship Recipient) and BDC (NYC) . Dancehall KING Ottawa ( 2nd place). His teaching style is very different from studio dance teachers. He focuses on the history/foundations/technique before hitting the choreography aspect of the dance style.
He's always looking to branch out and share his love of dance with anybody who seeks to learn and grow.
His unique style of hip hop incorporates traces of jazz, contemporary, salsa, and Afro dance.
Edz has worked with some of the most renowned hip hop choreographers and performers in the Canadian Music scene including Danny Davalos, Latoya Robinson and Esie Mensah.
Nasary “Nas” Volkoveski believes very strongly in the idea that dance has no colour or race but should be only judged by the talent that is presented before your eyes and heart to enjoy. Nasary is a professional urban street performer that incorporates Hiphop, Dancehall and Afro into his unique style of movement. He began dancing 6 years ago with the goal to try something new and incorporate his strong passion for music. At the age of 16, Nasary began training at the Tha Spot Competitive Dance Studio which introduced him to Hip hop Choreography. Two years later, he had joined a company called Nexx Level where he began to build his performance skills on stages like Choreographers Ball, St Lawrence Centre for the Performing Arts and numerous events scattered across Canada. His determination and drive landed him a position as an Assistant Choreographer for the company Tone Williams Project where they competed on BET 106&Park (New York) and World of Dance (Montreal).
In 2012, Nasary decided to expand his horizons within the dance world by freelancing his talents into the Corporate Performance sector. He became one of TD Banks Professional Dancers for the company DLM, contributing and performing at Festival for the past 2 years. While being a part of DLM, he was introduced to a recording artist Vita Chambers, where he later had the absolute privilege of Touring to Thailand and Japan.
In the past couple of years, Nasary did not expect for his dance career to take off as it has but these life changing experiences have introduced him to incredible individuals and companies that he remains very close to such as Artists in Motion and of course Black Stars Toronto. He continues to build his performance skills by pushing boundaries not only within himself but others around him. One day he hopes to break all stereotypes around how someone should express themselves through the art of movement to the standards of society.