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Tackling trauma in Black community through movement is mission of local dance company

Posted at 7:57 AM, May 04, 2023

EUCLID, Ohio — Tackling trauma through movement and helping make Northeast Ohio a better land.

Good Morning Cleveland Anchor Mike Brookbank caught up with a woman who saw a need and jumped in feet first to create a dance company that promotes healing while empowering her community.

This is a big weekend for members of Mojuba.

For the first time, the local non-profit will perform on-stage as part of Dance Works, an initiative by the Cleveland Public Theater to highlight local dance companies.

"Mojuba Dance Collective is an African contemporary dance company here in Cleveland, Ohio, we are newly on the scene," said Errin Weaver, Mojuba executive artistic director.

Mojuba's mission, however, goes well beyond hitting the mark and perfecting movements.

"There's a therapeutic component to moving, a therapeutic component to telling your story,” said Weaver.

Founder Errin Weaver said it's all about creating a spiritually driven space for healing, raising cultural awareness, fostering collective wellness, and helping the Black community tackle its trauma.

"You're talking about enslavement and civil rights all the way through today to Black Lives Matter movement," said Weaver.

Mojuba also addresses the disparity in the dance community through its emerging Black choreographer’s incubator.

"Many of those who are saying and claiming the career as a choreographer are not Black, only about 11%," said Weaver.

Weaver's outreach goes well beyond the theater.

Mojuba is now on the move, hosting dance workshops in local schools and senior centers, like the Rose Center for Aging Well in Euclid.

"I think that the mission of Mojuba, the work that they're doing is very vital and essential to the community in greater Cleveland," said Yolanda Hamilton, DH Consulting.

Hamilton, who provides diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting said this dance company connects people with their ancestral roots.

"It's just really inspiring, it's really inspiring. It's very empowering, bringing us back to where we came from so that we have what we need to move forward.

Hamilton said it provides a sense of community and healing.

“Very healing when you have a sense of identity that brings a pride that brings empowerment and really, that's what community is," said Hamilton.

Senior Theresa Dunn said something like this is desperately needed.

"It's like a healing, like a blessing," said Dunn.

For Dunn, it is a much-needed escape.

"You know, take your mind off of all what's going on in the world today," said Dunn.

The great thing Mike, with his two left feet, learned about Mojuba is anyone can participate.

"So, we are honored to hold space for everybody knowing that dance is for everyone," said Weaver.

Looking to the future, Weaver said she's just getting started.

With a permanent location now in Bedford, this transformative work will continue to grow and strengthen.

"You know, it's really humbling, because I never really thought of it as a difference, I just felt like this is my work, this is my call and this is what I'm here to do," said Weaver.