Mobirise

Omi Davis-Smith, MFA, PhD

Artist-Scholar
Dance Educator
Vocalist
Craftsperson

develop own website

About Me

Over 11 years and 13 trips to Africa, Omi has made places like Senegal and Nigeria her second home. Omi is the owner of omi davis co, which is a dance-based organization with a network of artists based in the US and Africa. omi davi co is also a thriving manufacturer of all-natural handmade soap, hair and body care products, most of which are derived from raw materials obtained through Omi's business networks in West Africa.

A multifaceted artist-scholar and business entrepreneur, Omi has worked the majority of her life as a dancer, educator, craftsperson and performer. Omi has accomplished extensive professional dance training in West Africa--most notably in Bamako, Mali and Toubab Dialaw, Senegal at the Ecole des Sables Centre International de Danses Traditionnelles et Contemporaines d’Afrique. She is one of only 16 people in the world to receive certification in the practice and pedagogy of Germaine Acogny’s Modern Dance Technique. Omi earned a PhD in Dance Studies at Temple University, a MFA in Dance at Arizona State University, and she was the first to earn a BA in African American Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. Omi has taught as adjunct instructor at University of Richmond Department of Dance and Theatre and at Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Dance. Her academic research focuses on concepts of embodiment in dance, and she created a theoretical tool to illustrate the intersectionality of politics, history, cultural values and personal agency in the development of dance technique. Always a lover of music, Omi has performed as lead and background vocals with a number of Richmond and Philadelphia-based bands. She is currently based in Richmond, VA and is available for workshops, classes and performances.


omi davis co

omi davis co is the culmination of many years of hard work, training and dreaming. We are committed to building sustainable business endeavors that empower local communities. We organize cultural tours and arts-based workshops that bridge the gap between continents, creating international communities that stay connected long after trips have ended.

omi davis co currently has two main business activities:

(1) We organize and host Dance in Africa: Senegal, which is a two-week annual dance, music and cultural tour workshop in Senegal, West Africa that is open to novice, academic and professional dancers and musicians. In 2019, we partnered with North Carolina A & T to provide a study abroad experience for several dance students. Interested faculty and community members may contact Omi at info@danceinafrica.com or danceinafrica.com. There is also a cultural tour option for people who would like to explore Senegal!

(2) Under our trade name, essentially omi, we create and sell all-natural artisan soaps, body butters, beard care products and haircare products for kinky/curly hair. Our hair care and beard care products are sold at Ellwood Thompson's Natural Market in Richmond, VA, and we sell at local farmer's markets. Check out our online market at essentiallyomi.com .

We also collaborate with the faith-based organization Isese Light Temple, Inc. to bring gently used eyeglasses to rural communities in Nigeria. 

Whether it's dance, music or crafting, it's all the same to me because it comes from spirit. Creativity is a gift from God that cannot be limited, but rather, it must be shared.

Omi Davis

artist-scholar

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