Workshop Series...

NUBA offers a full curriculum, highly credentialed staff with local & international performing arts institutes, Broadway credits, television and film resumes and full scholarships. 

Each educator explores new methods to develop focus, concentration, the weaving of creative minds toward solid solutions, pride in accomplishment and an appreciation of the arts. 

Murals, Monologues, Music & Movement

  • Monologues scene development scene study
  • Improvisation 
  • Projection/Outcome
  • Mini-lesson:
    Writing Monologues
    • Theme:
      “MY Carbon Blueprint”
    • Mindful Awareness:
    • Solar Minimum:
  • “Human Kindness & Climate Change”


Theatre Techniques

  • Floor Barre and warm-ups
  • Jazz, Folklore & South African boot dances
  • Repertoire of NUBA Dance Theatre
  • Scene Study


Theatre Production

  • Stage presence-purpose, Musical Phrasing
  • Rehearsal and Performance
  • Timing Rhythms & Syncopation.
  • Stage/Dance Etiquette


Louis Raphael Jones

  •  Louis Jones is a concert and commercial dance artist, a seasoned musician, vocalist, actor and educator. He is a former member of Ailey II, a former guest artist with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, NUBA Dance Theater, Dzul Dance, and a former principal actor with the African-American Shakespeare Company of San Francisco and the National Black Theatre Inc of Harlem. Louis teaches Dunham based Haitian Dance  and the Dance techniques of Lester Horton,  and Martha Graham. It is my honor to give my very best in excellence to my students so that the torch can be passed effectively. 


Jacqui B. Hairston

  •  Jacqui B Hairston, a 2019 Lincoln Center Master of the Spiritual honoree, resides in Sacramento. As an award-winning ASCAP composer-arranger, pianist, music educator, and vocal coach, she credits The Juilliard School, and Howard and Columbia Universities for her music foundation. Major artists and orchestras perform her music globally. A twice-invited guest conductor at Carnegie Hall, San Francisco CBS Channel 5 labeled her as Preserver of the Negro Spiritual. Internationally renowned soprano Kathleen Battle currently uses Hairston’s spirituals in her annual Underground Railroad Concerts. A Healing Harvest  is Jacqui’s first “healing music” piano CD. 


Deborah Leftridge

  • Deborah Leftridge, is a Hatha, Kemetic, and Yoga for the Special Child Teacher, Holistic Heath Consultant, Reflexologist and Dancer. Deborah Leftridge came into the Healing Arts first by the way of Dance. Deborah Leftridge Studied Dance at Laney College where she later became a Professional Dancer in Companies such as Balle Saba under the Direction of Linda Johnson, and Nuba Dance Theatre under the Direction of Evelyn Thomas, in Oakland, CA.  


River McGhee

  • River McGhee is a contemporary sculptor and an educator who produces long term, community based projects. These projects are meant to uphold and celebrate as well as to remind and remember the beauty, power, wisdom, and knowledge of the people. Her work is Jungian and involves the combination of symbolic and realistic elements. This is the fifth year of her current project, The Biography Project, in which she, Rtystk Shavers, her class, school families, and other visiting artists collaborate to educate themselves and others by producing biographies and a biography mural each year.

The Dance Captains

Denice Simpson Braga

Denice Simpson Braga

Denice Simpson Braga


  • Denice Simpson Braga -         I started dancing at El Cerrito High School with Jacqueline Burgess.  She started as an apprentice with Dimensions Dance Theater under the Direction of Deborah Vaughan and is currently a Principal Dancer with the company as well as member of the Board of Directors, and teacher for Rites of Passage Program.  As a member of Dimensions she has toured nationally and internationally and is versed in a variety of dance styles including Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary and Traditional African.  She graduated from SFSU with a BA in African American Studies and attended UCLA for her Master's in World Arts and Cultures with an emphasis on Dance Education.  After finishing at UCLA she began studies of Kahiko (traditional) and ‘Auana (contemporary) hula with Hula Halau Namakahonuakapiliwale in Wai’anae, Hi with Kumu Momi Cruz Losano.  She recently attained her 3rd level as Ho'opa'a and continues to work towards Kumu Hula.  She is the hula instructor at Mau Loa Ohana Hula in Antioch under the directorship of Monique Castenada. 

Tracee Henson

Denice Simpson Braga

Denice Simpson Braga


  • Tracee Henson -                          I was introduced to African Haitian, Modern and Jazz dance while attending El Cerrito High and promptly fell in love with dance. I continued my training at Laney College where I studied in Ballet with Dr. Lynette De Fazio and taught Jazz, Tap and Ballet for over 10 years eventually becoming Ballet Mistress at Dr. De Fazio’s private studio Ballet Arts. I have also studied and danced with various local companies and events such as Nuba Dance, Founder/Director Evelyn Thomas; Rara Tou Limen, Founder/Director Portsha Jefferson, Ethnic Dance Festival, Black Choreographer’s Festival; El Wah Movement, Founder/Director Colette Eloi -Ethnic Dance Festival; Art’N’Soul with Bahiya Movement and musicals at Woodminster Amphitheater. I served for 9 years as Praise Dance Director at New Birth Church of California. I am currently teaching with Dimension’s Rites of Passage Program. 

Rashad Pridgen

Denice Simpson Braga

Rashad Pridgen


  • Rashad Pridgen -                      Is a multidisciplinary dance artist and creative director. Rashad is the conceptual creator of the Global Street Dance Project & Masquerade. Video Lab: Record a Global Street Dance w/ Rashad Pridgen, SF Apple Union Square. Masquerade collaborations w/ Sadie Barnette Eagle Creek Saloon w/ the Institute of Contemporary Art of Los Angeles and SFLAB. (Creative Director & Choreographer) Ethos de Masquerade a theatrical version of the GSDMQ8 presented w/ Campo Santos, A.C.T and the Strand Theater SF. A guest artist Pdx Oregon shows 2018, Dying While Black & Brown University tour with Harvard Law School, UMass Amherst, U.C. Davis and Univ of San Francisco, choreographed by Zaccho Dance Theater/ Joanna Haigood (Arts Commission & Institutes) choreographer for Question Bridge: Black Males, premiering at the Oakland Museum. (Guest lecture) Old Way Vogue Stanford University Institute for Diversity, Somatic’s & Street Dance with (ITALIC) Immersion in the Arts Living in Culture Stanford. Rashad  served as an 8yr adjunct faculty member at University of San Francisco, teaching beginning Hip Hop and Global Street Dance in the Performing Arts and Social Justice department. Currently he is the spring 2020 guest lecturer in Contemporary Forms & Culture at UC Santa Cruz.

Laia Ali

This 2 - 4 week workshop series intensive is designed to create a mindset in the awakening of our African American males for the prevention of the Pipeline to Prison. Statistically, a jail cell is being built for every African American youth below grade level. Together we must empower, educate and engage in the arts. Secondly, we have to focus on educating the signs and prevention of Human Trafficking.

We welcome all to participate in this mentorship program for beginning, intermediate and advanced level  for Theater Arts students. The healing process has begun, “We must know our history in order to define our future”. This profound opportunity to be a part of "Heed The Commemoration 400 Years of African American History Commision Act Plan"