MDC Kendall Campus Jubilation Dance Ensemble and MDC/FIU Humanities Edge Presents 2021 Art of Dance: Art, Action and Activism

Miami, Oct. 25, 2021 – Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Kendall Campus Jubilation Dance Ensemble, the Department of Performing Arts and Industries, and MDC/FIU Humanities Edge presents the 2021 Art of Dance: Art, Activism, and Action, Oct. 28-29.   The performance explores the role of the arts as an engaged process of activism. The choreographic works are structured around indigenous feminist perspectives of mental and emotional well-being, reproductive rights, and equal pay for women. This event is free, but registration is required.

The 2021 Art of Dance offers an extraordinary perspective into the world of female empowerment and leadership. This transformative experience is moving, stirring, and embodies the female characteristics of abundance, bravery, and compassion. MDC students, faculty, and staff, Miami-Dade County Public Schools dance professionals, local dance studios, regional colleges and universities are invited to attend.

This year, award-winning choreographer and MDC alumna, Melissa Cobblah-Gutierrez, will present an excerpt of Cu-Black. Commissioned by the Knights New Works, Cu-Black: Invisibility No Further, centers Cobblah-Gutierrez’s personal experience of being an African-Cuban woman in the historical, cultural, philosophical, and political environments of Miami. The program will also feature the work of emerging choreographers Alina Spears, Samantha Montes, Abigail Xochitl, Patricia Garcia, Yasmin Webb, and Kaitlyn Cabera. Join these young artists as they galvanize and embody activism through artistic expression.

The Art of Dance 2021 Schedule of Events

  • Thursday, Oct. 28, 9–10:15 a.m., Contemporary Master Dance class led by Melissa Cobblah-Gutierrez
  • Thursday, Oc., 28, 11 a.m.– 12:15 p.m., Matinee Dance Performance
  • Thursday, Oct.28, 7:30 p.m., The Art of Dance Performance
  • Friday, Oc. 29, 9–10:15 a.m., Afro-fusion Master Dance class led by Melissa Cobblah-Gutierrez
  • Friday, Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m., The Art of Dance Performance

The Art of Dance is coordinated, directed, and produced by MDC Kendall Campus Associate Professor Michelle Grant-Murray, a choreographer, performer, author, and social activist whose work has been presented to audiences around the globe. Currently, she is the Artistic Director of Olujimi Dance Collective, MDC Jubilation Dance Ensemble, Co-Founder of Florida Black Dance Artists Organization, and the Coordinator of Dance at the MDC Kendall Campus. Grant-Murray is also the author of Beyond the Surface: An Inclusive American Dance History. She also serves on the Live Arts Miami Faculty Task Force as the Humanities Edge Faculty Lead, and as a MDC Earth Ethics Council member.

To register, visit

WHAT:             The Art of Dance: Art, Activism, and Action

WHEN:             Thursday, Oct. 28 and Friday, Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE:           MDC Kendall Campus, Pat & Martin Fine Theatre

(Room M113), 11011 SW 104th Street, Miami, Florida 33189

Click here for photos

About Jubilation Dance Ensemble

Jubilation Dance Ensemble (JBE) is a premiere college dance company that performs various genres of dance such as Contemporary Modern, Ballet, Hip-hop, West African, Afro-Cuban and other African Diasporic dance forms. Participants train in diverse styles of dance, present and engage in master classes, workshops, lectures, and panel discussions. Company members collaborate, produce, direct, and explore dance from an experiential, performative, administrative, and theoretical perspective. The company takes part in dance festivals, conferences, and various academic events throughout the country.

About Melissa Cobblah-Gutierrez

Melissa Cobblah-Gutierrez, born in Cuba and raised in Ghana and Cape Verde, moved to the United States at age 14. She began her formal dance training at MDC Kendall Campus at age 18. After graduating with her Associate of Arts from MDC, she continued her dance studies at Florida State University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with Honors receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. During her time at MDC, she began working as a company member with Olujimi Dance Collective in 2016. Cobblah-Gutierrez is a two-time leadership scholarship recipient of the American Dance Festival at Duke University in 2016 and 2018. She has worked and studied under the direction of many recognized artists such as Michelle Grant-Murray, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Nia Love, Sherone Price, A’Keitha Carey, Jorge Luis Morejon, Kehinde Ishangi, Millicent Johnnie, Tiffany Rhynard, Charles Anderson, La Toya Davis-Craig, and Anjali Austin. As a performing artist, she attended The Ann & Weston Hicks Choreography Fellows Program at Jacob’s Pillow in 2019. Cobblah-Gutierrez danced professionally with Urban Bush Woman for two seasons (2019-2021). She also toured internationally as an instructor and performer for the MSC Preziosa 2019 Cruise through the Kieron Sargeant Dance and Performing Arts Agency. She is a co-founder of The WoodShed Online Dance Platform and The Florida Black Dance Artists Organization. Cobblah-Gutierrez was recently selected as a Knight New Work 2020 Winner through the Knight Foundation. Currently, she is a company member of Olujimi Dance Collective and is working as a guest teacher at New World School of the Arts while pursuing her career as a professional choreographer.

About MDC Kendall Campus Performing Arts and Industries Department

In the Performing Arts and Industries Department (PAI), passion for expression takes center stage. Featuring a distinguished faculty, ultra-modern facilities, and ample performance opportunities, PAI guides and develops the artistic, intellectual, and professional growth of its students in music, theater, dance, and music business. The music, theater and dance programs offer unparalleled experiences, connecting classroom activities with current discourses in cultural studies and the performing arts, as well as intellectual enrichment through exposure to visiting artists, scholars, and experts in each respective field.

For more information, please contact Michelle Grant-Murray, Coordinator of Dance, 305-237-2638,