ZAKIYA ATKINSON is an educator, interdisciplinary artist and choreographer who is committed to fostering artistic exploration and social change, through education, performance and community engagement. She is the founder and director of Zaman Dance Theatre Collective, the Essex County MetroWest Dance Festival and has facilitated arts outreach in Uganda and the Western Cape of South Africa. Atkinson’s professional credits include concert dance, television, print and educational programming. A Pennsylvania native, she was a four year member of the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleading Team (NFL), performing locally and internationally. Atkinson earned a B.A. in Communications and Theatre from Temple University, M.A. in Dance Education from New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, Certificate in Holocaust & Genocide Education from the College of Saint Elizabeth and holds New Jersey K-12 Teacher Certification in Dance.
Atkinson is the director of a New Jersey high school dance program, where she has implemented a curriculum inclusive of interdisciplinary learning, community engagement and the exploration of social justice issues. She has served on the faculties at William Paterson University, Bronx Community College and the JCC MetroWest Gaelen Center for the Arts. Atkinson has been the recipient of an NEA Learning & Leadership grant, Teacher Fellowship at Bates Dance Festival and a fellowship in the Body Politic Laboratory at Gibney (NYC). She is a member of Dance New Jersey, the National Dance Education Organization and has presented her work at the Teaching the World Forum (Rutgers GSE), NDEO and College of Saint Elizabeth's Holocaust & Genocide Center. Atkinson has been published in Dance Education in Practice and is a doctoral student with the Ed.D. Dance Education Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests include dance as a conduit to social justice education, cross-curricular instruction and sociocultural theories in education.
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