Danika Manso-Brown is a Brooklyn-based dancer, poet, host, and performing artist. Her works are rooted in the idea that art is the tool necessary to forward the dialogue surrounding social injustice and change. Danika is co-founder of Spoken Verb, a Duke University collaborative arts performance group that speaks to and for underrepresented communities. She is also a host for live arts events as well as on TV mini-series Reserved, a talk show that discusses the multi-dimensional experiences women face in navigating their worlds.
Danika's Duke Distinction In Dance senior project centered around the intersection of art, politics, pop culture, and social justice issues. Her solo performance, ALL EYEZ ON ME, was an exploration of the music, poetry, and politics of rapper Tupac Shakur through original dance, spoken word, and video.
As the daughter of a fine artist and a musician, Danika's pursuit to develop her artistic crafts was supported early on. Her childhood dance training at Ballet Arts Studio, Ballet Hispanico, and NYSSSA led her to LaGuardia Performing Arts High School in Manhattan. Later on, she received her B.A. in Dance and Sociology from Duke University in North Carolina and returned to NY following graduation. Danika has performed in projects with afro-modern company Souloworks/Andrea E. Woods & Dancers and is currently a member of The Dance Cartel. She is also a teaching-artist for children and young adults throughout NYC.
During DEMAN weekend 2015, Danika Manso-Brown, a Brooklyn-based dancer / performance artist / teacher and Duke University Dance Program alumna, taught a masterclass and talk-back. Danika shared dance themes based on her project Women At Werk, which examines body politics, the politics of twerking, and the glorification of stripper culture. The class included a contemporary modern dance warm-up and Women At Werk phrase work. In addition, Danika performed a short solo and discussed how her experiences in the Duke Dance Program facilitated the transition into life as a professional dancer with NYC based company, The Dance Cartel, while balancing a career that juggles performance, creation, and teaching.