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Dancer, Instructor, Choreographer, Tanita Harris-Ligons is a native of Philadelphia. It was there at a very young age that she acquired the love for dance. "I remember playing FAME dance instructor Debbie Allen with my sisters and using the banister along the upstairs hallway in my row home growing up! I knew then I was borne to DANCE!" She attended the Point Breeze Performing Arts Center and studied Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Tap, Hiphop and Drama. In 1992, while attending the University of Pittsburgh, she became a principal dancer with the African Drum & Dance Ensemble (now Shona Sharif Drum & Dance Ensemble). While there she trained with dance masters: Shona Sharif, Kevin "Iega" Jeff, Chuck Davis, Ally Sylla & Assane Konte. In addition, she trained and performed with the Kuntu Repertory Theatre under the direction of Vernell A.Lillie and had the privilege of traveling to Edinburgh, Scotland for the famed Fringe Festival. Upon graduating with a Degree in Africana Studies and a concentration in Community Organizing, Tanita relocated to Orlando, Florida in 1996. Since then she has had the opportunity to expand her training in African dance, culture, language and folklore with Atilah Kadijah Wilson of New York. In 1998, First World Drummers & Dancers founded by Baba John "Silky" Robinson and was a natural home for Tanita to "spread her wings" as a dancer, instructor, choreographer and artistic director. Tanita has been a resident dance instructor with the Winter Park Community Center, Tajiri School of Performing Arts in Sanford, Nap Ford Community School and Central Florida YMCA teaching dance to both children and adults. She has also taught, choreographed and performed for various organizations throughout Central Florida, including the People's Theater 2006 acclaimed debut of Spike Lee's "School Daze." In December 2007, Tanita made her stage directing debut with "African Fables: Lessons From the Motherland" which she choreographed and co-directed with actress/writer Elle Vernee. The year 2007 also marked her return to the Theatre stage as a member of the Just Playin' Performance Troupe. Tanita is currently living in Los Angeles County, California where she is studying West African dance and folklore under Master Dancer Niancho Sanneh, making the First World Drummers & Dancers Performance Ensemble Bi-Coastal! In this capacity, she still serves as the Artistic Consultant and Booking Manager for First World Drummers & Dancers. She is also performing and enhancing her training in choreography with Darcel Wynn former principal dancer and choreographer for the eight year American syndicated television series "Solid Gold". One of Tanita's newest life adventures?? Team In Training TRIATHLETE for Blood Cancer. In March 2009, Tanita completed an Olympic distance triathlon (1 mile swim, 26 mile bike, 6 mile run) and raised $5500 for the Lukemia & Lymphoma Society! She plans on making another go at it in 2010...Good Luck!
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