Dance Department

Oluyinka A. Akinjiola


Portland based artist and educator originally from New York State. After receiving her MFA in Dance Choreography & Performance she founded Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater in 2014 with the support of New Expressive Works Artist Residency (Subashini Ganesan) and Performance Works NW’s Alembic Co-Production series(Linda Austin). Rejoice was built as a platform to create Black contemporary dance work with movement foundations from Africa and the African-Diaspora. Her choreography focuses on the complex identities, histories and futures of Black communities.

Oluyinka was an educator and curriculum builder with Portland Public Schools for six years at Harriet Tubman Middle School, Faubion K-8, and Jefferson High School. Prior to PPS, Oluyinka was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Reed College and SUNY The College at Brockport, a three year guest artist for the Sankofa African Drum & Dance Ensemble; her work was featured in the International Association of Blacks in Dance conference (Washington D.C. and Los Angeles),  Carnaval 2014 (Salvador, BA, Brazil), TEDxMtHood, and Newmark Theater among others. Most recently, Oluyinka received the Oregon Dance Education Organization’s teacher of the year award in 2020.