Name: Asali Naima Locke EllisonAsali and Brian on their wedding day

Nationality: African American

GYV Staff/ Participant during: Staff in 1999 and 2003

Education: Bachelor of Arts, Sociology – Hampton University

Occupation: Professional Dancer & Instructor as well as Graphic Designer

Most Interesting Country Visited: Egypt and Turkey

Favorite GYV Memory: Dancing and creating with the “Crazy Sisters of Siochain!” For some reason both years I worked at GYV I was assigned Cabin Siochain and each time the ladies I got to live and work with were always Phenomenal! Oxanna and Ebru were the perfect co-counselor cabin mates I could have ever asked for. The camp experience truly changed and inspired my life!

Volunteer/Civic Engagement since Global Youth Village: Member of S.G.I-USA Buddhist organization that promotes world peace and culture. Board secretary and volunteer for Camp Butterfly, programming volunteer for Teens on the Move and A.M.E.N. (African Male Empowerment Network) in Pittsburgh, resident artist at Johnson Elementary School in Chicago, workshop presenter at Bellevue Hospital day school in New York.

Biography: Asali Locke-Ellison has a knack for motivating others. Although a Pittsburgh, PA native she’s lived in New York, Atlanta, Virginia and Chicago where she’s worked, volunteered and delivered workshops in the corporate, non-profit, education and performing arts sectors. With an analytical brain and creative drive her diverse background has allowed her to present her thesis research topic “How to Overcome Conflict in Black Male and Female Relationships” at the Eastern Sociological Meetings in Baltimore, MD; create and facilitate an after school arts program “The C.A.F.É Club” (Creating Art For Expression) to students at Johnson Elementary school in Chicago; conduct workshops for “Teens on the Move” (a local youth program in Pittsburgh) and work with ARCH Productions (Artists Raising the Consciousness of Humanity) in Atlanta as director to a cast of teens in a touring theatre production to promote awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving. Asali currently serves on the Board of Directors of Camp Butterfly, a Chicago-based organization that promotes advocacy for girls of African descent.

A recent newlywed, in July 2010 Asali got married to her husband Brian whom she met in 2008. Today she is self-employed as a graphic designer, professional dancer and instructor of North African and Middle Eastern dance (aka “Belly dance”) where she performs American Cabaret, Egyptian, Turkish and Whirling (Sufi) dance styles. Not just a soloist, she performs as a duet with her husband a skilled fire/poi dancer and designer. Her goal is to help women and young girls “rediscover how cool it is to be a woman” and to employ the power of dance in a manner that evokes respect and admiration from themselves and others in a healthy and positive way. To learn more about Asali visit www.shimmysoul.com.