Sheila Ward Dance

Sheila Ward
Photo Credit: Gabriel Bienczycki


Sheila A. Ward
Richmond, VA 23223
Email Address:


Sheila A. Ward is Co-Director of and performs professionally with Eleone Dance Theatre of Philadelphia, PA. She is presently a tenured Professor in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Exercise Science at Norfolk State University. Integration of her degrees in exercise physiology, epidemiology/public health, and dance serve as the foundation to promote, ‘Health Empowerment through Cultural Awareness,’ the guiding principle from which she conducts scholarly and community activities related to chronic disease prevention and management through exercise and dance.  She has received grant funding, lectured, published, and presented extensively on the community, state, regional, and international levels on the role of physical activity in the lives of African Americans and chronic disease prevention and management through exercise and dance.  She has conducted over 28 dance arts-in-education k-12 residencies throughout the states of Virginia and Delaware, and the City of Philadelphia, PA.  She performed and trained with The Philadelphia Company (Philadanco) and Philadanco II.  At Indiana University, she was a member of the African American Dance Company and the IU Dance Theater.  Dr. Ward was featured in the magazines, Dance Teacher Now (2009), which highlighted multiple careers of dancers and Upscale Magazine (2009), which highlighted the use of African Dance for health.  Currently, she is a Certified Teacher for Umfundalai African Dance Technique and the Katherine Dunham Technique.  She has involved the use of dance to promote health and well-being throughout her career in the realm of empowering health programming and educating persons throughout the lifespan about the rich culture of the African Diaspora.

Educational Background/Training

  • Indiana University, Bloomington, IN  B.S.  Physical Education & Dance
  • Temple University, Philadelphia, PA  M.Ed  Exercise Physiology
  • Temple University, Philadelphia, PA  Ph.D. Exercise Physiology
  • Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA MPH Epidemiology
  • The Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco) and Philadanco II
  • Eleone Dance Theatre
  • Umfundalai African Dance Intensive, Organization of Umfundalai Teachers
  • Institute for Dunham Technique Certification


Hourly - $150-175; Daily – $400-450


For almost two decades, I’ve conducted extended dance residencies in k-12 school settings and worked with a myriad of populations including those with physical, mental, visual, hearing, and emotional impairments. I also work in collegiate and community settings and with arts organizations.  My work with special populations includes hands-on, staff training on incorporating dance for health workshops, research, consultation, and practitioner:  cystic fibrosis, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular, developmental disabilities, emotional disabilities, adult/elderly populations. 

Educational Programs

  • All services, consultation, workshops, residencies, lectures, or coaching, are available and I currently provide them to schools, arts organizations, and community groups.

    General Student Workshops include several topics such as: 
    From Africa to Hip HopResidency
    The Katherine Dunham Technique and Philosophy Residency
    Umfundalai African Dance Technique and Philosophy Residency
    Dance and Dance Science Presentations
    Masterclass and/or Lecture Demonstration with a question and answer period
    “Why We Dance” – a lecture format presentation that explores the social implications of dance in our culture
    “Current Issues Affecting Today’s Dancers” is an open dialogue that discusses such issues as eating disorders, weight management, body image, etc.
    “Life After a Performing Dance Artists” explores careers that complement and supplement dancers during and after their performing dancer careers.

    Teacher Workshops:  Discusses the role of the educator in promoting the arts, incorporating the arts into the curriculum, and nurturing artistic talents.  Other topics may also be developed.

    Pre-Residency Planning includes determining on-site studio/rehearsal time, public activities, and setting residency objectives that meet the needs of the school’s, arts organization’s, or community group’s arts curricula and instruction
    Post-Residencey Evalaution will be determined by the fulfillment of pre-residencyy requirements

    Staff Training Workshops:  Enables staff at senior centers, adult day centers, residential disability facilities to incorporate dance as a physical activity for health and wellness

Additional Information