Dance Faculty and Staff | Coppin State University

Dance Faculty and Staff

Dance Faculty and Staff

The Coppin Institute for Intergenerational Arts program offering dance and holistic healing arts classes for teens, adults and senior citizens and dance performance workshops taught by renowned national and international dance educators who have extensive dance training in their field of expertise.


Vanessa ColesVanessa L. Jackson

Associate Professor, Director (Ballet, Distance Education)

Vanessa Jackson is an Associate Professor and Director of the Coppin State University Dance program. She was the first CAPA (Creative and Performing Artists) Scholar at the University of Maryland College Park and a graduate teaching assistant at Temple University where she received her MFA dance. She has taught at The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, Towson University, University of Maryland at College Park, and directed the dance program at The Community College of Baltimore County for several years prior to coming to Coppin. She also has a MA in Instructional Technology Systems received from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and recently received her 200 hour yoga certification. Vanessa has received several City and State grants for her Kids in Motion Outreach program.

Celia Weiss BambaraCelia Weiss Bambara, Ph. D

Dance Program Coordinator, Assistant Professor of Dance


Ph.D Critical Dance Studies UC Riverside  2008
MA Dance UCLA 2002
BA Anthropology Occidental College 1998

Creative Work and Research Interests:

Practice as Research In Dance, Contemporary Dance/Postmodern, African Diasporic Dance, Gender Theory, Critical Race Theory, Site Specific and Experimental Dance Making, Improvisation/Composition, Yoga and Somatics, Hybrid Methodologies, Dance Film and Photography. 

Dr. Celia Weiss Bambara is a dance artist and scholar as well as a dual citizen of the US and Burkina Faso. She is the artistic director of the CCBdance Project, which was co-founded with Burkina Faso born dance and theater artist, Christian Bambara in 2006. Her choreography, improvisation and/or site- dancework has been shown in the United States, and internationally in the Caribbean, West Africa, and in Europe. This work has been shown at venues including: Dancespace (NYC), Movement Research (NYC), Zacho Studios (SF), Links Hall (CHI), Drucker Center (CHI), Institut Francais in Abidjan, Goethe Institut in Abidjan, Alliance Francaise (CHI), Jane Addams Hull House (CHI), African American Museum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Occidental College, University of Southern California, National Theater in Abidjan (CNAC), INSAAC (National Arts Conservatory in Abidjan), Cannes at the MJC Picaud, Laboragras in Berlin, National Television in Haiti, Trinidad at Alice Yard, in Jamaica at the Caribbean Studies Association, Donko Seko in Mali and at the Belk Theater at UNC Asheville. She is currently working on multi-media works in dance-film, site-dance and photography. Her work has been awarded grants or residencies by the Puffin Foundation, Maryland Arts Council, The Djerassi Foundation, Ragdale Foundation, Ecole Des Sables (Senegal), Donko Seko (Mali), Tanzart (Germany), UCIRA (University of California Institute For Research in the Arts) among others. Her movement research combines the base of Haitian dance with other African forms, modern/contemporary dance, yoga and Klein Mahler technique and Body Mind Centering. Dr. Bambara’s work addresses the intersections of practice as research in contemporary and African diasporic dance. She has published a chapter on contemporary dance making in the works of women choreographers’ who have mentored her or with whom she has collaborated in Port-au-Prince in Susanna Sloat’s 2010 volume on Caribbean Dancemaking. The Journal of Haitian Studies has also published two articles on Haitian dance and articulations of diaspora. The Chicago Artist Resource and Chicago’s Social Justice Journal Area Magazine, have published works that addresses her artistic work through dialogue about improvisational practices, movement research, and social justice. Her current book project addresses over lapping Jewish and African diasporas through questions of improvisation and processes as practices of interculturalism. This practice as research project situates African Contemporary Dance as a geo-political set of practices: research questions and answers that she has negotiated as a dance artist through creating work and dancing with artists in the Caribbean, US and West Africa. Dr, Bambara teaches choreography and improvisation courses, dance studies, dance administration, contemporary technique, yoga, and somatics. She occasionally will teach Haitian traditional dance classes.

Djenane Sainte Juste

Adjunct Faculty

Mary Chase Doll

Adjunct Faculty