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President and Artistic Director


As the Artistic Director of Gaudanse Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Imani's ambition is to create a collaborative space for all artists alike while exploring what it means to delve deep into how movement languages bring forth new ideas and translates into what we call dance. The organization originated in New York and currently operates in New York as well as Louisiana to promote and provide access and education in dance and the performing arts.

Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Imani completed her pre-professional training at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) and received a Certificate of Artistry which represents the highest level of artistry by Level IV dance graduates.  She also received the Rose Jackson Moye Award for excellence in dance.  She then attended the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, SUNY where she earned a BFA in 2021 with honors in Dance. During her studies at Purchase College, she was elected as her dance class president and she had the privilege of traveling abroad to study at Amsterdam University of the Arts (Academy of Theater and Dance) in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Upon graduation, she was awarded the Bert Terborgh Dance Award for Leadership and Excellence in Dance by the Purchase College Foundation as well as a recipient of the Minority Scholarship and the Purchase Foundation's Adopt-A-Dancer Scholarship Award. 

Artistic Journey

She started formal dance lessons at three years old with Kai Knight in New Orleans and knew at an early age that she was “born to dance” as she proclaimed to a close family friend at the age of eight.  During her early training, she learned various forms of dance including modern, classical and contemporary ballet, tap, pointe, African and Haitian.  She performed with Kai Knight, Silhouettes and the RRAAM Society (Riverroad African American Museum) African Drum Corp at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually and taught dance classes to the younger students. She also trained through a collaborative community program with the New Orleans Recreation Department / New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA) where she performed roles in the Nutcracker.

She was selected to perform as an apprentice for Magnolia Dance Theatre with Edward Spots, Artistic Director, while in high school.  She was also selected to perform with Chard Gonzales' Chard Gonzales Dance Theatre and was selected for a Dance Apprentice to perform and volunteer with Kesha McKey's KM Dance Project in New Orleans, Louisiana where she had an opportunity to participate in an initiative through the non-profit Dancing Ground’s - Dance for Social Change which is their award-winning arts and advocacy initiative. The program inspires New Orleans youth to use their artistic talents to catalyze positive social change in the community. 







She has trained at The Julliard School, GagaLab, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Vim Vigor, The Ailey School, Springboard X, Dance Theater of Harlem, Orsalina28(Italy), b12 Berlin: Research or Die (Berlin), Point Park University and Joffrey Ballet.


She has performed works by Ohad Naharin, Netta Yerushalmy, Shamel Pitts, Amos Ben-Tal, Jacob Jonas, Akira Yoshida, Rena Butler, Roderick George, Michael Rice, Jennifer Archibald, Nicole Beutler, Loni Landon and Marcella Lewis. 

In 2023, Imani was selected as Dance Captain & Performer for Director Michael Rice's In Her We Trust- She is Glorious", a Live Multimedia Performance Art Production, performed at the United States HIV/AIDS Conference at the Marriott Marquis Washington D.C.

In 2022, Imani was honored to be selected to participate in a performance art residency initiated by TRIBE’s Artistic Director Shamel Pitts, Solace of RED which intertwined different art languages to create one live performance experience.  She performed choreography by Marcella Lewis for Pitt's - Solace of RED - Vol. II - Spectacle of Ritual.  The work-in-progress was shared with audiences at JACK in Brooklyn, New York. As part of the Tribe Dance Collection, in 2023, Imani participated as a Collaborator & Performer in the Solace of Red - Volume IV Art Residency and Works and Process sharing at The Pocantico Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Tarrytown, NY, during a Performance Art Incubator led by Shamel Pitts and designed for emerging artists to collaborate.

Imani also had the opportunity to perform in 2022 with Loni Landon Dance Project at Jacob’s Pillow Summer Dance Festival and in 2021 at Green-Wood Cemetery and four/four Presents | Open Air: Mary Lattimore & Loni Landon - Solace of Surrender. 

In 2018, she performed at the American Dance Guild's Performance Festival in Joniece "JoJo" Boykins' choreographed work, Unseen, Unheard, Forgotten. She performed Roderick George's choreography, "Unprotected Set" with Purchase Dance Company at New York Live Arts for their 2019 Spring season.

In 2023, the National Performance Network selected Imani as a Take Notice Fund Awardee with support by the Ford Foundation. In 2017,  Alonzo King Lines Ballet awarded her a Summer Intensive Scholarship to attend its training program in San Francisco, California. That summer, Alonzo King Lines Ballet again honored Imani by presenting her with its Homer Avila Scholarship Award in honor of the inspirational dance luminary who was also a New Orleans native. One award is presented for a full scholarship to attend their .summer dance intensive which she attended the following summer.  In 2017,  she was also featured in their LinesConnected Blog,  “THE NEXT GENERATION: LINES BALLET SUMMER PROGRAM 2017 SESSION TWO STUDENT SPOTLIGHTS”.  She was also a recipient of the Delta Sigma Theta Artie Award-Rising Star.  

Baryshnikov Arts has selected Imani and visual artist Jakob Vitale for a 2024 Spring Artist Residency where they will be collaborating on a movement and graffiti art work-in-progress.  Each year, up to 20 artists are hosted at Baryshnikov Arts Residencies for creative investigation and work-in-progress showings. 10 artists were selected for 2024.

In 2023, Imani choreographed and directed a dance film on behalf of One Day Dance (Season 4), The Art of Elegance - Vol. 1,  which premiered at JACK in New York.  The film was released to a global virtual audience in December of 2023.  Imani designed the costume and music for this work. 

She also presented her work-in-progress, Mamihlapinatapai, at Arts on Space for the Supper Club Dance event in the East Village of  New York.  Supper Club Dance brings together movement and culinary art in performance as a platform choreographers to showcase their work in collaboration with a chef and building community.

As an individual and on behalf of Gaudanse Inc., Imani has presented her artistic work at the 2021 Battery Dance Festival in New York as a Young Voice in Dance to present "二時二分(2:02)" and returned to perform at the 2022 Battery Dance Festival as an emerging choreographer and received a favorable critical review by CriticalDance for her New York Premier of "Nanibu".  She performed her choreography at the T2 Dance Company's Versatility Festival in Colorado and Utah this same year.  In 2021, she had the opportunity to collaborate with fellow Purchase graduate and emerging choreographer, Caleb Dowden, and perform in Dowden's - As The Sun Set Sets, at the New Ohio Theater as part of the Ice Factory's 2020-2021 Season in New York.

Lucy Kudlinski and Joyce Zhang  [article/interview] (December 7, 2023). “Food for thought: Supper Club Dance brings together movement and culinary art in performance” (Choreographer, Director, Costume Designer, Music Designer: Imani Gaudin for GAUDANSE: Mamihlapinatapai (Work-in-Progress). . Retrieved December 23, 2023.


National Performance Network, FIELD [article] (November 29, 2023). “ANNOUNCING THE 2023 TAKE NOTICE FUND AWARDEES” with support from the Ford Foundation (Imani Gaudin - 2023 Awardee) fb: CLICK HERE . . Retrieved December 23, 2023.



Currently, Imani is performing as a dance artist/collaborator with the development of the third iteration of Kayla Farrish/Decent Structures Art - Put Out the Fire, dear that will tour in 2023-2024. Imani participated in residencies and showings for the work with the company at The Watermill Center in Water Mill, NY, The Joyce Theater - Cocktails & Choreography (NY) and NYU-Tisch Dance (NY).  Upcoming works and process showing will take place at the Guggenheim Museums and Foundations (NY), in conjunction with the Guggenheim's Going Dark...The Contemporary Figure at the Edge of Visibility Exhibition Curated by Ashley James & Uptown Underground Dance Festival and will premier at ODC, San Francisco (CA).

In addition to serving as GAUDANSE INC's Artistic Director, Imani also works as a freelance professional dance artist, performer, choreographer, and instructor.

* Please see reference tab under "Our Artistic Director" for links to additional articles, video and photos.




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7014 13th Avenue
Suite 210

Brooklyn, NY 11228

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