Ella Mesma

Slate World Artist (UK)

Ella is a British born dancer and artist of mixed heritage living in Leeds.

She trained at Laban/LSCD (where she now has an MA), but her first love was Salsa, and she began her dance career with Afro Latin & Brazilian styles (touring the UK and internationally with shows and workshops) and breaking (breakdance). Shr also studied yoga with Abby Hoffman (Embodied Dancer Teacher Training) in 2011 (with a Gil Clarke Scholarship) and at the Karam Kriya School in 2018.

Some highlights of her performance experience include touring internationally with the Russell Maliphant Company (The Rodin Project), performing for Lea Anderson (Trying it On: The Chomondeleys), the Olympics Opening Ceremony and the WCMT and AIDF awards which took her to Brazil, Cuba and South Africa.

As the Artistic Director of Ella Mesma Company, who use a diverse range of folkloric dancestyles, inspired by director Ella’s background in Afro-Latin, Breaking and Contemporary dance (termed diaspora dance theatre to communicate this meeting of styles) to allow transformation and activism through art: telling personal and global stories to connect to our truest selves. The company has been commissioned by Sadler’s Wells (Wild Card), Dance City (as Associate Dance Artist 2016-2017) and the National Circus Centre (Papyllon). She has had her work performed at The ICA Festival in South Africa (Papyllon) and at the Women in Dance Leadership Conference in New York (Ladylike). Ladylike was also second place for best production for the Lukas awards (Latin UK Awards) 2018.

As a choreographer, she has been a future Dance Leader (ABLE 2013); a Bench fellow (2015), a Casa Latin American Festival resident artist (2016); Associate Dance Artist (Dance City); and Associate artist at the Trinity Centre in Bristol. She is also the  the creator and curator of Roots of Rumba (a festival created in 2013 to showcase and celebrate artists who work with dances of the African Diaspora) that has toured the UK.

She has been passionately developing her Path For Series mentoring programme this year over at MayaGandaia.com She also enjoys social justice art, poetry, nature and languages.

Ella Mesma