Darlisa Wajid-Ali is a dancer, choreographer and teaching artist born and raised in Washington, D.C. Her first performance occurred in her aunt’s living room, performing Bollywood routines for her family. Her stage debut occurred in high school with the Traditional African Music and Dance program under the direction of Mr. Victor Bah. She graduated from Manhattanville College with a B.A. in Dance/Theater. She dances many styles, including Ballet, Modern, Jazz, West African, Bollywood and Contemporary movement. She has trained in India, learning the classical form of Kuchipudi.
While living in NYC, Darlisa premiered her own original choreography, Is Where The Light Enters at Dance New Amsterdam. Darlisa joined the Parijat Desai Dance Company on an international performance tour in India, performing two pivotal works, Make Space and Songs to Live For. Darlisa also spent time dancing with Rocha Dance Theater, premiering Jenny Rocha’s sexy and satirical work Mandorla. She has trained with Andrea Miller of Gallim Dance, Mark Morris Dance Group and The School at Jacob’s Pillow. She has been mentored by Nia Love, Bill Hastings and Peter Pucci.
She draws inspiration for choreography from both her African-American/Indo-Guyanese ancestry and her current social, political and cultural environment. Her mission as a performing artist and choreographer is to expose and revel in the intimate moments of human vulnerability, to investigate humanity’s source of pleasure, healing, and inspiration, and to question what is considered normative behavior within society.
Her motivation to pursue her passion for dance stems from her heartfelt belief dance can heal the soul.
Darlisa lives in Washington DC. She is the current Associate Artistic Director of Afromoda Dance Theater.