Dance School Information

 The Ujima Center for Dance Arts focuses on the development of youth through dance and the performing arts 

Dance Class Schedule:

We are currently taking registration for the 2019 to 2020 dance season through April 1st 2020

Classes are held every Saturday:

9:45am Break Dance 7 to 18yr.old

10:45am Beginner Ballet 4 to 6 yr. old

12:15pm  Beginner Tumbling/Acrobatics 4 to 9 yr. old

1:15pm African Dance all ages and levels

2:15pm Modern/Ballet Dance 7 to 15 yr. old

3:15pm Hip Hop dance 7 to 15 yr. old

4:15 Jazz Dance for children ages 7 and up


Cost: $12 per class 

$50 per month for one class a week

$65 per month for two classes a week

$80 per month for unlimited classes

*Recital and performance opportunities for students

*Registration is free

*We are located at 1646 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia


About Teachers


Teacher Biography: Aliya Anderson

Aliya started dancing at age 7 at Soliloquy In Motion where she studied ballet,hip hop, jazz and tap. At age 12 she joined Soliloquy In Motion Dance Company. While performing with the company she performed at many different events including The International Blacks In Dance. Aliya also attended Allens Lane Art Center and trained in Pointe and hip hop. She also has a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance from Temple University. She has taught at many different youth programs here in Philly, such as School of Dance Arts and currently The Ujima Center for Dance Arts.

Aliya dances professionally with the Chocolate Ballerina Dance Company and Ujima Dance Theatre. She teaches the hip hop , African, and acrobatics class at the Ujima Center for Dance.


About The Founder of Ujima Dance Theatre and Dance School

Artistic Director of Ujima Dance Theatre: Shana El (Dance Teacher, Choreographer), has been involved in the dance arts since age 11 in 1982. She began her training at Philadanco, then to the Philadanco Training Program, The Creative and Performing Arts High School as a dance major and the University Of The Arts where she studied dance under top professors; Shana continued her studies in dance with Dunham Technique under the instruction of Carmen Butler and Obrafo Kwabena Akyeampong between 2014 to 2017 and performed Damballah choreographed by Obrafo in 2017. She was awarded as an artist and choreographer for the CEC New Edge Mix Performance Series in 1994 and 2014. She has performed and presented work at the Painted Bride Art Center, Conwell Dance Theater, The Philadelphia Arts Bank, Penn’s Landing, The Venice Island Performing Arts Center and much more. Shana is a faculty member of 18 years with the Bowman School of Dance in Cherry Hill New Jersey where she teaches intermediate advanced modern dance and jazz, and former instructor at the Monarch School of Dance where she taught Contemporary/Modern Dance and was selected in February 2017 to instruct a master modern dance class. She has taught at many different dance schools and youth programs in Philadelphia and New Jersey. She also taught adult dance classes at Philadelphia Fight in Partnership with Kathangah Dance Company, in downtown Philadelphia. In 2015 and 2016 received a teaching artist residency at Bridgeton High School in N.J. to teach youth modern dance and Dunham Technique.  Shana worked for years as a solo artist and has self produced and choreographed her own productions, such as A Journey through Consciousness, Presented at All The Way Live Restaurant in April 2015, a combination of spoken word and dance. Shana also is a former member of The Requisite Movers, where she choreographed and performed her work Southern Breeze at the Community Education Center's Meeting House Theater in November 2015. Shana recently collaborated with Sister's Laying Down Hands at the Artist bash for the Barnes Foundation in July 2018.  Currently she is the Artistic Director of Ujima Dance Theatre formed in September 2016. Ujima has presented work at the Venice Island Performing Arts Center, The Painted Bride, The CHI Movement Arts Center, and the Community Education Center, Meeting House Theater, The Black Women’s Arts Festival, The Outlet Dance Project, The SoLow Fest 2019 and The Dancers Artist Showcase 2019 where Ujima Dance Theatre received rave reviews from The Broad Street Review and The Philadelphia Dance Journal. She is retired from performing as often and is focused more on teaching and choreography. Ms. Shana teaches the modern dance, ballet and jazz dance classes at the Ujima Center for Dance.

The Professional Dance Company



Ujima’s Mission Statement

Ujima’s goal is to create movement work about, history, human rights, heritage, cultural preservation, and social change. To focus on creating work based in issues happening in our society as a whole and around the world. Also to collaborate with other artist in dance and other genres, to build a sense of an artistic community and opportunity. Ujima Dance Theatre is a professional dance company founded by Artistic Director Shana El in September 2016.  Ujima Has performed at the Venice Island Performing Arts Center, The Chi Movement Arts Center, The Painted Bride, Etc Performance Series, The Barnes Foundation, Sound Space Performing Arts Artist Residency here in Philadelphia, The Black Women's Arts Festival , and the Outlet Dance Project


Our professional dance company is available to perform at

Artist Residences, Concerts, Weddings, Banquets, Galas, and any other special events. Call us today.


All of our instructors at Ujima Center for Dance Arts are experienced professionals that have worked in the business or are currently dancing professionally with different performing arts organizations.

Contact Us

Ujima Dance Theatre/The Ujima Center For Dance Arts

1646 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia Pa 19130

(267) 882-3799

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