Jelani Taylor is a dancer, scholar, and choreographer from Virginia Beach, Virginia. He began his dance training at Old Donation School’s Gifted Dance Education Program under the direction of Valerie Winbourne. Jelani would continue to work with Mrs.Winbourne as a performer with her V2W Experience! Dance Theater Company. He graduated from the Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Salem High School and is now a Dance and Choreography Major at Virginia Commonwealth University.
While at VCU Jelani has had the opportunity to perform in works by Melanie Richards, Martha Curtis, Helen Simoneau, Ching-I Chang Bigelow, Scott Putman, and Dr. E. Gaynell Sherrod. He also has had the pleasure to perform outside of VCU in work by Johnnie Cruise Mercer and Rady Nget. He is the recipient of a departmental special recognition award, outstanding service award, two VCUarts undergraduate research grants and VCU’s African American Studies Department’s “Black History in the Making” Award. Jelani’s choreography has been showcased at the International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference (IABD), National Dance Society Conference (NDS), Sans Limite Dance Festival, Dogtown Dance Theatre, and Edward E. Brickell Academy for Advanced Academics and Arts.