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aboutus

Mzuri Dance facilitates culture sharing and skill sharing projects with a focus on creative expression, the immersive process to mount a performance and the opportunity for all participants to engage in new experiences to drive change and create empowering shifts and pathways for underrepresented women artists, young people and migrant artists in Melbourne Australia.

 

Championing all women in our community and supporting their health, well being and inspiration to move their bodies for creative expression and empowerment is at the heart of Mzuri Dance and what we do week by week. Those women who are in a position to pay for classes are paying forward another woman or young person who is not as advantaged and therefore supports Mzuri Dance's mission to become sustainable in its arts practice for marginalised communities to access the arts and move toward a more socially equitable future for our world.
 

Suzie collabrating with artists : Ayel Akot -Mou, Students from Mzuri Fitzroy Dance Group, Mari Bagnath, Tariro Manatsa,  Batsi Mongoma, Caitlin Griffiths, Sally Coldham, Randy Boroquaye + King Bell + Soukous Ba Congo. 

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Meet  founding Director,
Suzie Watts

Mzuri Dance embodies all that I love to learn, practice and share. I come home to myself and feel connected to mother earth in the music, the dance, through my love of teaching and performing African music and dance. We can all learn so much from the indigenous knowledge keepers if we can listen.

I am learning from the ancient cultures that the healing of trauma is through the body, and the arts has a gigantic role to play in the necessary change required in human behaviour to reverse and heal planet earth and her inhabitants.

Meet
Leading Artist  
Ayel Akot

I believe in strong leadership and social skills and the ability to be flexible, energetic, creative and take initiative where appropriate.

I have empathy with, and an ability to gain the co-operation and assistance of a range of people, in particular young people and am so passionate about connecting with them through exciting cultural arts projects that convey a message or explore an idea.

 

I also love teaching the children with Suzie each week at my own community in Atherton Gardens Fitzroy. They have so many idea's and are really needing to dance again after the year of Covid and being in lockdown in the towers. 
 

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Mzuri
back Story

Listening to my heart. 
some anecdote's from Suzie's early life
leading to Mzuri Dance

Music and dance has been at my heart since I could walk and talk. Mum took me to see The Australian Ballet at the Palais Theatre, I was 3 years old and it was like a thunderbolt. My first dance and song composition was in year 2 and by year 3 I was choreographing the year 4's. I found dance making a great way to connect with people in my primary school years and I eventually relied on it at Secondary too. I was completely obsessed with Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, ( 6 days a week training after school) and eventually Michael Jackson. ‘Sweet Feet’ was my breakdance name at the City Square and our crew was 'The Chewy Sisters'. I joined the traditional Peruvian dance of Victoria because my bestie was Peruvian Australian and I experienced my first cross cultural African dance training with a cotton-fields slave song and dance that translated “well my arse is bigger than yours”. I was then invited to join Sambole Traditional African Ballet Company by Patrice Lamumba and our first performance was at St Kilda Festival. I had won 1st and then 2nd place the following year in a Dance Australia Ballet Teacher workshop choreography competition in the city of Melbourne and was very much an aspiring choreographer by my late teens. If you are still with me and interested to know more of my story, see down the page. 

Testimonials

Leaves Falling

"Suzie Mzuri is an excellent proponent and practitioner of dance. I have known her for at least twenty five years and have always been very impressed with her work ethic. Suzie has also traveled to Tanzania, South Africa and Botswana in pursuit of extending her dance and musical skills. To top it all Suzie is also a very good teacher in her field.”

Valanga Khoza

Author,  Artist & Musician

(KHOZA ENTERTAINMENT)

Leaves Falling

"Suzie from Mzuri dance makes magic happen.  Her performance work is a powerful and a positive outlet for creative expression which transcends barriers to participation such as  language,  age,  culture  and gender and truly empowers and motivates. She engages skilfully as a dance performer and as a workshop tutor she communicates openly with all ages and all skill levels.  Her style is energised, inclusive, warm and  fun! Suzie brings an uplifting feeling to all that she does leading to creative, physical and emotional wellbeing"

Jill Morgan AM

Former CEO Multicultural Arts Victoria and Kulcha Multicultural Arts WA. Board Member ECCV & FECCA.

Leaves Falling

"Suzie's classes are super fun and her passion for dance is infectious. Underlying all that she understands different body types and is a highly experienced teacher so you know you're in good hands while you do a class that gets you moving and fit but feels like a joyful party."

Mzuri Student

Mzuri Story continued

From Tanzania to Mzuri girl band + babies
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Starting Out

Teaching + Gigs

Mzuri Girls +  Afrovival

Jill Morgan AM

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