Choreographer & Teaching Artist
Like a whirling force of nature, Dele Husbands devotes her daily existence to teaching West African and African American dance and history, extending her beloved culture. On a typical day, she arises at 7am, after three hours of sleep, leaves her home in New Jersey for a day of instruction that takes her to Harlem, Brooklyn, Bronx, and back to Jersey, getting to her home office at 1am.
Consistent principles invigorate Ms. Husbands’ efforts as a teaching artist. “Most of the young people I teach are African-American and Latino. Dance is a tool to remind them of their cultural traditions,” she explains. “I am centered in unconditional love for my people and the work. When I’m on stage, or in front of young people, I know that I’m in the center of my being.”
She began choreographing dances by spirit in high school and college, and studied formally at the renowned Clark Center in NYC after earning an M.A. from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She met dancer/choreographer Abdel Salaam in 1980, and was extremely impressed with his fervor for dance, history and heritage. They formed the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre Company in 1981. In performances and workshops the world over their creative arts are used for social and cultural good through movements and compositions reflecting a synthesis of the African diaspora.
In 1982 she carried the company’s mission to Nigeria, where she had been in residence since 1977. While there, Husbands hosted and produced a weekly series entitled “The Forces of Nature” until 1984, when she returned to the states and began managing the company. Besides managing and dancing with Forces of Nature, Husbands has also performed with the Chuck Davis Dance Company and the University of Calabar Dancers of Nigeria, among others.
She is a member of the dance faculty at the Ruth Williams Dance Foundation, and serves as a teaching artist for Community Works, the Caribbean Cultural Center, the New York Foundation of the Arts, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. “Movement is the universal language,” Husbands says. “Dance is Spirit and Love. I love my students into transformation and healing.”