Ella learnt Contemporary Dance at Cotham School, Salsa in clubs, and Samba with Militsa Stojanovic in Bristol. In Leeds she met Latin DJ Lubi Jovanovic and began yoga. In 2004 she travelled to Brazil to learn Afro Brazilian styles and aerial with Circo Picollino and the ABC Trust. She found breaking in 2007 in Birmingham where she met Pearl Chesterman (Birmingham Royal Ballet) who advised her to pursue her dance career!
An award-winning dancer, curator and choreographer, Ella draws from a number of styles and traditions including Afro Cuban, Hip Hop and Aerial dance. She trained at Laban and the London School of Contemporary Dance receiving an MA in Dance. She qualified as a yoga teacher in 2013 with Dr Abby Hoffman. She has also trained in Cuba & Brazil (La Ena- Havana and Funceb- Salvador da Bahia) (via a Winston Churchill Fellowship), and USA (The Graham school, apprenticeship with Angel Ortiz (Salsa on 2) and with Bgirl Rokafella) (via two Lisa Ullman scholarships). Independently she has worked for Russell Maliphant Company, Southpaw, Lea Anderson, the Olympics Opening Ceremony and many more.
In 2011 she began focusing on her choreographic process and so formed Ella Mesma Company: an Afro-Latin and Hip Hop dance theatre company that undoes limiting beliefs by exploring and celebrating identity.
She has been commissioned by leading arts organisations including Sadler’s Wells, Dance City, the National Circus Centre, presenting work in The Place, Breakin’ Convention, Rich Mix. Ella was selected as a future Dance Leader for ABLE in 2013, awarded a Bench fellowship in 2015, was resident company with Casa Latin American Festival in 2016, Associate Dance Artist at Dance City in 2017, and IGNITE Artist at Trinity Centre Bristol in 2017 and her piece Ladylike was nominated for best production with the Lukas awards 2018.
Ella has curated and organised Roots of Rumba in London since 2013, and in 2018 co-Produced a festival called “She Created Her Life” with Tichea Brade. She has also enjoys mentoring, teaching and directing roles and loves public speaking, yoga, art (especially street art) and books.
THANK YOU DANCE MENTORS!
Nia Phillips, Militsa Stojanovic, Lubi Jovanovic, Bobak Walker, De Napoli Clarke, Merville Jones, Helen Wilson, ABC Trust, Wieke Eringa, Circo Picolino, Pearl Chesterman, Jonzi D, Kate Scanlan, Dr Abby Hoffman, Bgirl Rokafella, Kwikstep, Dr Nathalie Teitler, Angel Ortiz, Kev (Renegade), Gavin Vincent, Miguel Gonzalez, Lianett Rodrigues, Gil & Shelley (Pexava), Pawlett Brookes, Fergus Evans, Charlotte Vincent, Peggy Olislaegers, Lea Anderson, Sharon Watson, Neville Campbell…