Shayla Alayre Caldwell is a native of New Haven, Connecticut. She began dancing at a very young age with mother, dance teacher and mentor, Shari Caldwell. She became heavily influenced by traditional West African dance after being introduced to Guinean culture by Aly Tatchol Camara. She was further introduced to various styles of dance and a plethora of choreographers, performing artists as well as the importance of composition while attending the Educational Center for the Arts and Earl Mosley's Institute of the Arts in CT. She was accepted into the B.F.A program at Virginia Commonwealth University and studied briefly before landing a dream position as performing artist in Ronald K. Brown/ Evidence, A Dance Company in 2011. She was honored to be promoted to assistant rehearsal director after six years. It was a pleasure for her to find a balance between concert theater and commercial work as she landed gigs touring and teaching hip hop styles. A few highlights of her dance career include representing the USA at the International Festival of Ballet held in Cali, Colombia, performing at the infamous Joyce Theater, Fire Island, Delacorte Theater in Central Park, The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and being featured in the New York Times courtesy of RKB/ Evidence. She has also taught and assisted dance classes at various theaters, performing art schools and universities as community outreach and fitness awareness. She is currently an adjunct professor at NYU’s TIsch School of the Arts teaching hip hop, modern contemporary fused with traditional West African styles. She has recently returned to Evidence, after a hiatus, as rehearsal director and guest artist.
photo by: Ayodele Casel