Ayesha Jaco


Founder & Artistic Director

Ayesha is a Youth Development Advocate/Program Manager, Dancer and Poet. Ayesha holds a Bachelor of Science in Dance and Mass Communication from Illinois State University and a Masters of Arts Management (Arts in Youth and Community Development) from Columbia College Chicago. She has taught Afri-can, Modern Jazz and Hip-hop dance to over 200 youth throughout Chicago. She is the founder and master teacher for Move Me Soul, an After School Matters Advanced Dance Apprenticeship Program. She develops and implements youth programming for the Lupe Fiasco Foundation where she serves as the Director. She received her dance training under the auspices of this program for 7 years. She studied with Homer Bryant, The Joel Hall Summer Dancer Scholarship Program, Mercedes Ellington, Nicole Stuart, Diane Holda, Najwa Dance Corps, Muntu Dance Theatre and the Illinois State Dance Theater.

In 2008, her poem “Baba Says Cool For Though” was also featured on the 2008 season of So You Think You Can Dance. In 2007, she taught Brad Pitt a few hip-hop moves in preparation for his role in Burn After Reading. In 2006, she choreographed Lupe Fiasco’s I Gotcha Video. Her most important artistic contributions take place when she is giving back in communities that are similar to one she grew up in. Ayesha has led Move Me Soul from a club program to a leading dance youth company for the Westside and City at large.