Join us for two events with Amanda Hoyte, LEAF’s Spark the Arts Artist in Residence for May. On Saturday, May 25, at 3:30 p.m., Amanda will lead a workshop and community conversation. Then, on Thursday, May 30, 7 p.m., Amanda will be the featured performer at Jazz Jam, followed by a Tap Jam. Both events are free and open to the public!

Amanda Hoyte is a proud graduate of both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.S. in psychology, and the University of South Florida with a M.S. in medical (health) sciences, with over 25 years of formal dance training in styles including ballet, tap, and jazz dance, and theatrical and concert stage performance experience that spans 20 years. Amanda has devoted most of her professional dance career to educating individuals of all ages in the art and joy of music through movement and to building a diverse dance community in Western North Carolina.

Amanda joined the theatre arts department faculty at Mars Hill University as the dance program director in 2020. In addition to her instruction and program direction at the university level, Amanda teaches at the primary and secondary levels; she is a resident instructor and jazz and tap choreographer for the competitive dance team at Art of Dance Studio in Flat Rock, NC. Amanda also teaches tap and jazz master classes and choreographs professional productions (recent credits: BLVCK BRILLIANCE: A Celebration of Melanin (2021) and Little Shop of Horrors (2021)).

Throughout her career, she has traveled and performed with professional dance companies on stage in cities across America and developed a love for performing. She continues her performance career regionally, with most recent appearances in music videos for artists including The Get Right Band, Alfred Nomad, and Eleanor Underhill, and on theatrical stages, including the 2021 production of BLVCK BRILLIANCE: A Celebration of Melanin and SART’s 2022 production of The Wedding Singer. She is also very active as a jazz-tap dancer/musician in Asheville’s live music scene and is a leader in the NC Chapter of the Southern Open Rhythm Collective.

Mayani is a Maasai boy from longido Arusha. He went to boarding school at 6 years old and lost his Maasai language and tradition. Since joining the LEAF program, he has learned to sing Maasai songs, practiced the ‘jump’ tradition and wear Maasai shukas (traditional clothing). Mayani is extremely happy and is currently teaching other youth the culture.