Amaya Krasnitz

African Dance and Jazz Instructor

Amaya was born and raised in Oregon with Jamaican roots. She teaches African dance and Jazz for youth and adults at the Multnomah Arts Center. Amaya started dancing at the age of 4 taking ballet classes. Once she entered middle school, there happened to be a Brazilian culture focused Afro samba dance group at the school. She auditioned and was accepted. From there, her love grew for Brazilian dance. The dance troupe performed at multiple places in Oregon.

After that, Amaya moved on to audition elsewhere in her local area and got in touch with Kukatonon, now known as Sebekan. She studied under a well-known African Dance teacher known as Sekou Walker, and Dana Ingrim. After joining their company, Amaya knew where her heart belonged in the dance world. She loves teaching dance because she gets to embrace her culture and background and share it with others.

In high school, if Amaya wasn’t in class, she was in the dance studio. She spent many lunch days in the dance studio working on creating something new and fun. Dance is a form of art and her dance philosophy is everyone is an artist whether they know it or not. To her, dance takes Amaya to a ‘happy place’ and when she needs to get out of the chaos of the real world, she turns to dance. Amaya’s goal is to create her own Afro Caribbean dance company here in Oregon. She wants people from all age types and all backgrounds to be able to try something new. Amaya feels like African dance is not a normalcy that people are used to, and she would like to change that.