I am a social entrepreneur, Artistic Director of Afiwi Groove School, cultural-arts Ambassador and dancer who migrated to Canada from Jamaica at 14 years old. During my teenage years, African dance was my escape to deal with anxiety, depression and low self-esteem, which were the outcomes of being exposed to extreme violence and poverty at a young age. When I turned 21 years old, I was formally trained by renowned artists, which included, but were not limited to, Albena de Assis, B’memba Bungora, Ngoma Drum and Dance Ensemble and Vivine Scarlett. I also trained and performed locally and internationally in Cuba, Haiti, Guyana, Ghana and Trinidad & Tobago.

I attended York University in Toronto where I earned a Bachelors of Arts in International Development Studies with a focus on Social and Cultural Development

I have had the privilege of working with organizations such as B.A.N.D; promoting the TD “Then and Now” Black History Month series and the Scotia Bank Contact Photography Festival. During the summer of 2008, I worked as a Program Assistant at the Harbourfront Centre for the Performing Arts.

Afiwi Groove School was born out of my love for African and Caribbean arts and culture and my passion to share this vibrant heritage with the world.

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Sanaaj was presented with a Certificate of Congratulations from Whitby MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes, on behalf of the House of Commons and Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau. Her mission was to create a studio that promoted cultural dance programs for underserved groups and other individuals living in Ajax and the Durham Region. Afiwi Groove School has now been operating in Ajax for 5 years.