Verb Ballets is pleased to welcome Nakiasha Moore-Dunson to the newly created position of Company Manager for the 2019-20 season. In this new role she will assist Dr. Margaret Carlson, Producing Artistic Director, in coordinating business administration and development while managing the artists. “With the move into our new Center for Dance the increase in business necessitates the need to develop administrative capacity. Moore-Dunson’s experience and enthusiastic attitude will help drive Verb Ballets forward. I am pleased to welcome Nakiasha to Verb Ballets in her new capacity,” says Carlson.
Nakiasha currently serves as the new company manager for Verb Ballets. Growing up in Akron, Ohio she danced with several studios and schools in the area. In 2010, she earned a B.A in Psychology and French from Washington and Jefferson College. “Kiasha” spent nearly a decade as a choreographer for musical theatre and choral productions for Hoover High School in North Canton, Ohio. She is currently working towards earning her master’s degree in Arts Administration from the University of Akron which she hopes to obtain by the end of the year. Nakiasha believes remaining curious as a life-long learner will always lead to positive results. She has non ironic love for movie musicals and can often be found spending time with her family.
Interview with Nakiasha Moore-Dunson
What road led you to your current position?
I would have to say my journey to company manager has been a life split between the creative and the administrative. A resident of Akron, Ohio, I grew up dancing at various studios and schools in the area. I loved the creative process but I was not interested in a professional performance career. In 2010 I earned my bachelor’s degree in Psychology and French from Washington & Jefferson College while occasionally taking dance classes back home. Afterwards, I spent 9 years as a choreographer for North Canton’s Hoover High School while working as a verbatim hearing reporter. “My kids” helped me realize how much I wanted to spend the rest of my life working in and helping connect people to the Arts. I found the UA Arts Admin graduate program where I also served as a summer intern with DanceCleveland for their Summer Dance Festival and as well as a grant writer and audience engagement fellow with the National Center for Choreography at the University of Akron.
In addition to working at Verb you are finishing up your masters in arts administration at the University of Akron. What are you doing your thesis on?
My thesis is titled “Arts Engagement and the African American community in Summit County. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has become an important topic within the Arts and Culture field and the topic came from wanting to understand how organizations interact with this community and how the African American community engages with the arts as a whole on a local level. Every locality has its own unique history, culture and challenges and is deserving of study in my opinion.
What drew you to the opportunity to work with Verb Ballets?
I spoke to Dr. Carlson for an informational interview I did as a part of my colloquium in the arts course for college. My task was to speak with an executive/artistic director of an arts organization to understand their career path and how they manage their organizations. When I heard the position was available, I sent my resume and I was lucky enough to get the job. Dr. Carlson is a great administrator and I wanted to work closely with someone for whom I could learn as an administrator just entering the field.
What are you looking forward to most in your job?
I am most excited to help support Verb Ballets expanding efforts in reaching out to the surrounding community in its new location! I am also looking to learning as much as I can from everyone so that I may be an asset to the organization.
What project or choreographer are you looking forward to working with this season?
I have been fascinated with two projects actually: The Cleveland Havana Ballet Project and Moving Connections.
In addition to working at Verb you are finishing up your masters in arts administration at the University of Akron. What are you doing your thesis on? You have a background in musicals and choral. Are you also a singer?
I’m actually not a singer. You wouldn’t want to hear me sing 🙂 Choreographing came about as one of those happy accidents. Extra help was needed for large production of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat and I fell in love with it. It allowed me to be creative and learn new skills through teaching and being a part of a production team. However, the most rewarding part was seeing kids gain self-confidence through dance.