Day of Dance Storytellers
We are thrilled to have Tyrone Dancing Wolf Ellis Jr., donia salem harhoor, Yamini Pathak, and Gabriel Ramirez sharing stories at this year's festival. Read more about each of them below.
Tyrone “Dancing Wolf” Ellis Jr is a Wolf Clan member of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation of New Jersey. His culture is a very dominant part of the life that he lives on a daily basis. He has practiced many cultural arts, such as rattle making, drum making, singing & drumming, regalia making, beadwork, etc. These many arts have been taught to him by numerous respected elders and knowledge holders amongst the tribe, including well known people such as Chief Mark “Quiet Hawk” Gould, Co-Chief Lewis “Grey Squirrel” Sonny Pierce, late grandmother Lorraine “Rainbow Walker” Gregg, Urie Ridgeway, Will Mosley Sr., and so on.
Ty is tasked with responsibilities by his tribal community through numerous committees, and is a member of most of existing committees within the tribe’s government body. His greatest responsibility is being the tribe’s Annual Pow-Wow and Program Co-Ordinator. This responsibility describes the need to demonstrate the bulk of these arts to the public, educating them and maintaining a healthy relationship between the tribe and surrounding communities while reducing stereotypes and ignorance of Native American Culture. His arts have been demonstrated and performed for a number of organizations and locations. This includes the Annual Pow-Wow at Salem County Fairgrounds, Cohansey Zoo in Bridgeton, the Wheaton Arts Center (including a Residency program at Bridgeton Middle School for children, and performances for veteran at the Folk Life Center), Camden County Fair, West Deptford Library, Gloucester County Historical Society, and so on
He was a recipient of the New Jersey Folk Arts Apprenticeship Grant, working under the tribe’s Chief to learn the creation of both Pow-Wow Drums and Water Drums. He has since then taught and demonstrated this art to the younger generation of tribal youth and their summer camp, as well as children during the residency program hosted by Wheaton Arts.
All of these arts are very important to Ty. They are traditional teaching in which have been passed down for generations, and should continue to be passed. Otherwise, he believes they would lose their already dwindling culture, and it will officially become extinct history. Educating is a crucial part of his existence. More at LRProject.org
donia salem harhoor
donia salem harhoor (they/she) is a Disabled egyptian-american anthophile. Executive Director of The Outlet Dance Project, Founder of the Duniya Collective, they are vice-chair of the Odissi Alliance of North America. An alum of Community of Writers, Open Mouth Poetry Retreat, a RAWI mentorship, & Urban Bush Women’s Summer Leadership Institute, harhoor was Ground For Sculpture’s inaugural Performing Artist in Residence. A Lambda Literary and Root.Wounds.Words. Poetry Fellow, donia's award-winning writing has appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Mizna, The Margins, Swim Pony’s TrailOff project, Anomaly, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Sukoon magazine, among others. A principal dancer and choreographer with Sakshi Productions, an Odissi student of Guru Durga Charan Ranbir, and an herbalist trained under Karen M. Rose, their MFA in Interdisciplinary Art is from Goddard College. More at doniasalemharhoor.com.
Yamini Pathak is the author of poetry chapbooks, Atlas of Lost Places (Milk and Cake Press, 2020) and Breath Fire Water Song (Ghost City Press, 2021). Her poems have appeared in Poetry Northwest, VIDA Review, Waxwing, and Tupelo Quarterly among other places, and have been nominated for Best New Poets. She is a Poet in Schools for the Geraldine Dodge Foundation and serves as poetry editor for Bull City Press. Yamini received her MFA in poetry from Antioch University, LA and has received support from VONA/Voices, Community of Writers and Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. Born in India, she lives with her family in New Jersey.
Gabriel Ramirez is a Queer Afro-Latinx writer, performer and educator. A 2023 Gregory Djanikian Scholar in Poetry at Adroit Journal. Gabriel has received fellowships from Palm Beach Poetry Festival, The Conversation Literary Arts Festival, CantoMundo, Miami Book Fair, a graduate fellow at The Watering Hole, and a participant in the Callaloo Writer’s Workshops. You can find his work in various spaces, including Youtube, and in publications like POETRY Magazine, Muzzle Magazine, Adroit Journal, The Volta, Split This Rock, BOMB, Acentos Review, Up the Staircase Quarterly and others as well as Bettering American Poetry Anthology (Bettering Books 2017) What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump (Northwestern University Press 2019) and The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNEXT (Haymarket Press 2020). More at ramirezpoet.com