Department of Dance


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Clydean Parker

Clydean (Makeda Kumasi) parker


Clydean (Makeda Kumasi) Parker is Founder / Artistic Director of The Umoja Ensemble of the Inland Empire (UEIE) and Co-founder of WE 3 PRODUCTIONS. UEIE is a performance group that “edutains” audiences through an African art aesthetic which includes traditional and contemporary African dance, music and oratorical techniques.

As a spoken word artist, Parker’s features include performances at the Ford Amphitheater in Hollywood and the Ogdensburg Theater in New York, as well as television appearances on BET's “Fly Poet” and MTV's “Starting Over”. As a West African dancer, she performed with two prominent Southern California African dance companies, Abalaye, an Orange County Arts Group, and Niancho Eniyale African Performers. She also appeared on season one of “So You Think You Can Dance?” television competition.

Her interests in dance include traditional African and popular dances of African origin from Belize, Central America. She has studied various other dance styles including Jazz, Modern, Belly Dance, African Caribbean dances and Hip Hop, and she often performs Praise Dance. In 2014, she received a Professional Development Grant from the University of California, Riverside to study West African Dance in Senegal. From her experience, Parker has written two books, 12 Days in Senegal; An Artist’s Journey, which is a journal of her sabbatical, as well as I See Hip Hop Afrika, a poetry/picture book.

Parker has received numerous awards and recognitions, including California Art Scholar in Dance; Phyllis E Williams’ Writer’s Grant; Top Spoken Word Artist Los Angeles; Black Business Expo Urban Idol Competition; California State University, Fullerton African American Faculty and Staff Association Scholarship; University of Southern California Black Alumni Association Scholarship; Ida Mae Holland Playwright Scholarship; as well as a University of California, Riverside Dance Department Brithinee Fellowship.

Parker holds a Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting from the University of Southern California, a Master of Education from the University of Phoenix, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from California State University, Fullerton. She teaches West African movement practice classes at the University of California, Riverside.

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General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Department of Dance
121 Arts Building

Tel: (951) 827-3944
Fax: (951) 827-4651

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