Ms. Karisma Jay
True to her name, Brooklyn-native, Ms.Karisma is an honors graduate of Fiorello H. La-Guardia High School of the Performing Arts where she majored in dance. She is a graduate of New York University’s Gallatin School where she studied Performing Arts and Pre-Medicine and is a certificate student of the Mathematics Education Master’s program at City College. Teaching dance since the tender age of 11, she has honed her skills of working with children to develop the confidence and charisma of even the shyest and/or youngest of the students. As a licensed Substitute teacher with NYC Department of Education, she has successfully coached countless students through the audition and interview process to enter specialized and performing arts middle, high schools and colleges.
Ms.Karisma began her intensive dance training, under the direction of Yousouff Koumbassa, while visiting Guinea West Africa for the first time, at the tender age of two. She went on
to become an original member of Mr. Koumbassa's newly formed international dance company, Les Ballets Bagata. She continued her training at Ifetayo and the Professional Center for the Arts where she studied Ballet, Modern, Jazz, and Tap. Upon her acceptance to Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts, as a dance major, she had the privilege of studying under the tutelage of Mary
Barnett, Camille A. Brown, Roger Jeffrey, Kevin Iega Jeff, Penny Frank, Eddie Shellman and Elisa King. Additionally, Karisma trained in the Ailey School
Junior Division and briefly at Dance Theatre of Harlem. Graduating high school as a 16-year-old senior with honors from the esteemed “Fame”school, Ms. Karisma took a year off from school and began training privately in Ballet. She also apprenticed with
Ronald K. Brown/ Evidence. A month into her apprenticeship, Ron Brown hired Ms.Karisma as a member of his company for that year's tour in Mexico. During her time off, she researched universities where her
academic and artistic interests would be deepened and challenged positively. Upon her discovery of NYU’s Gallatin School for Individualized Study, she applied to NYU and NYU, only. After a series of interviews with NYU’s Admission Directors, Ms. Karisma got the “big envelope” and she was accepted.
As a full time student at New York University, she majored in Pre- Med and the Performing Arts. Once Ms. Karisma graduated from NYU, she continued to teach and train, performing various genres of choreography. She was an original member of Asase Yaa, the Adult Dance Captain/ Children's Choreographer for Maimouna Keita, and a featured guest artist with Creative Outlet and Brooklyn Ballet. Professionally, Ms. Karisma is a SAG-Aftra performer and has been featured in programs aired on Netflix, BET, MTV, NBC, and VH1. Her voiceover work can be heard in
major network commercials for artists including Ne-Yo, Miguel and Taio-Cruz. During the 2013-2014 season, Karisma joined the national and international touring company of the longest-running Off Broadway musical, STOMP. Now, she performs with Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature and is on call as one of the Lead performers in STOMP, here in NYC. As a teacher of children and adults, Ms. Karisma strives to be a walking example of how the arts can be so healing and impactful in one's life. She promotes dance as a healing art form and works to develop the confidence and charisma of even the shyest and/or youngest of her students. Ms. Karisma has received a number of Citations from NY City Council and the Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’ office for her work with the youth of the City of New York. She is also the recipient of the Power Women in Business Award, Caribbean Life’s
Impact Award and the 6th Annual New York Stars of Dance Competition Champion. She just recently graduated Summa Cum Laude with her MFA in Dance at Hunter College while
also teaching Dance and Culture at Hunter as an Undergraduate Faculty Member. Currently, she is
teaching West African Dance and other Diasporic Forms at The Juilliard School and worked as a choreographic apprentice with the Broadway show, David Byrne’s American Utopia. She is a Dance Teacher Magazine’s 2021 Dance Teacher Award Recipient and Assemblymember Brian Cunningham's 2023 Woman of Distinction Award Honoree. With an entrepreneurial spirit, creative soul and business mindset, her missionis to lead by example so that everyone who crosses paths with her flourishes AbunDantly. She has been highlighted in The New York Times, Family Circle Magazine, on LifeTime TV and CBS News as a Featured Female Entrepreneur. So far, she has traveled to and/or performed in 49 states, 5 countires and visisted over 40 different countries including Guinea, Senegal, The Gambia, Morocco, Burkina Faso, Cote D’ Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Thailand, Taiwan, and Cuba, just to name a few.