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Ava L. Vinesett, Assistant Professor of the Practice, Dance

Ava L. Vinesett
Contact Info:
Office Location:  2020 Campus Drive
Office Phone:  (919) 660-3354
Email Address: send me a message

Teaching (Spring 2023):

  • DANCE 130.01, AFRICAN DANCE TECH I Synopsis
    Rubenstein 202, TuTh 05:15 PM-06:30 PM
  • DANCE 230.01, AFRICAN DANCE TECH II Synopsis
    Rubenstein 224, MW 05:15 PM-06:30 PM
    Rubenstein 224, MW 07:00 PM-08:15 PM
Office Hours:

By appointment

M.F.A.University of North Carolina - Greensboro1998
B.A.North Carolina Central University1987

Research Interests: Dances of the African Diaspora, Choreography, and Dance Ritual

Current projects: National College Choreography Initiative

Areas of Interest:

Dance and Religion/Ritual
Dances for Possession,Trance, and Healing
Dance Translator


Africa • African diaspora • Choreography • Dance • Dance Ritual

Recent Publications

  1. Vinesett, AL; Whaley, RR; Woods-Giscombe, C; Dennis, P; Johnson, M; Li, Y; Mounzeo, P; Baegne, M; Wilson, KH, Modified African Ngoma Healing Ceremony for Stress Reduction: A Pilot Study., J Altern Complement Med, vol. 23 no. 10 (October, 2017), pp. 800-804 [doi]  [abs]
  2. Vinesett, AL; Price, M; Wilson, KH, Therapeutic Potential of a Drum and Dance Ceremony Based on the African Ngoma Tradition., J Altern Complement Med, vol. 21 no. 8 (August, 2015), pp. 460-465 [doi]  [abs]
  3. Vinesett, AL, First Person: Artists Talk About Their Art, edited by Dowell, FO, Dream/Girl Magazine, vol. 1 (February, 2014), pp. 9-10, Dream/Girl Magazine  [abs]
  4. Vinesett, AL, Motivating by Movement, Archive, Duke Magazine, vol. 90 no. 1 (January, 2004) [html]  [abs]

AVA LAVONNE VINESETT, In 1983 Ava LaVonne Vinesett began a professional dance career as one of the founding members of the internationally acclaimed, Chuck Davis African-American Dance Ensemble. During her tenure with Chuck Davis, Ava served as a principal dancer, the Assistant to the Artistic Director and Educational Coordinator. In her quest to concentrate on the cultural origins and thus the continuous evolution of dances of Africa, she conducts research throughout the United States and abroad. Performance credits include world premieres by Donald McKayle, Ron K. Brown, Assane Konte, Titos Sompa, Abdel Salaam, and Nafissa Shariff. Ava has taught in Munich, West Germany; Alberta, Canada; and throughout the United States. She is the Artistic director of the Duke African Repertory Ensemble, founder of AVA (Artistic Visions of Ach?) a research focused coalition committed to invoking cultural understanding, and celebrating the unified presence of all beings seeking a peaceful existence, Assistant Director of the non-profit organization ZEYBRAH (Zest for Educating Youth Brings Rhythm and Arts to the Humanities), serves as an assessor for the Canada Council, and has received several grants and awards including a Patricia Roberts Harris fellowship, two Emerging Artist awards through the Durham Arts Council, and is the recipient of the 2002 Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award. Ava holds an MFA in dance/choreography from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.