My name is Akasi Mortiga Awogny Francis-Mora and I am the Founder & Creative Director of LuVpEaCeNSOUL MoVeMeNt. I am a healthcare practitioner, creative healing artist, educator, poet, social justice activist, world traveler, and enthusiastic student of life and all its complexities. I have learned to love my passions and live my purpose as a light leader in this life, and it’s time to share my story. Growing up As a young Black woman, and the first generation Filipina and West African American has been quite the adventure, and in my younger years there wasn’t always an understanding of the various outlets and opportunities for wellness that reside within me, around my communities, or that exists within the many ancestral roots, roads traveled, and authentic stories intertwined within my journey. Through many years of self-exploration, navigating creative expression, facing challenges, taking risks, experiencing losses, defeats, failures, learning modalities of holistic healing, overcoming fears, unlearning cycles of oppression, decolonizing spaces by being, speaking, choosing to rest to ensure rejuvenation, and revolutionizing my resistance to systemic trauma, celebrating wins, defining my successes, deciding to Love all of me – I found my voice, proudly started to self-identify, gained the confidence to live my truth, and continue to write and co-create my story of power as / dare to dream and shine as a warrior of light walking her path.
Akasi is a first-generation American, Filipino (Albay, Bicol), and West African (Côte D’Ivoire & Ghana) Black woman that was born and raised in Los Angeles, California where she was introduced to the world of dance and movement through freestyle sessions, crew battles, Soul Train, and Music videos. Since then, she has become a multidisciplinary professional performance artist with several years of study and experience in various styles of movement and performance within the commercial and community dance industries. She performed as a principal dancer for ENVY Dance Company, a professional Hip Hop Dance Company in the Inland Empire, under the direction of mentor Brandon J. Aiken for many years. She last performed in, “Soul to Soul,” the evening-length Dance Concert showcased at the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts in Amarillo, Texas.
Akasi competed as a dancer a part of The MOB, a professional Hip Hop Dance Company in North Hollywood directed by JayChris Moore, performing at Hip Hop International and World of Dance events. As a dancer and creative Director, Akasi has been a part of the empowering Tribe Called SHEROES created by Alexis Mahrie, last performing in “Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil” as featured choreographers at Choreographer’s Carnival, creating the work into a dance film series released to online audiences. SHEROES recently released “Black Parade,” a video production tribute to Black Queens directed by Texas West of DREAM Productions. With Antics Performance directed by Amy Campion, Akasi was a principal dancer and spoken word artist last performing in “Sneaker Suites”, an evening-length production which toured for the Quad City Visiting Artist Residency in Rock Island, Illinois. She was also featured in, “This is Not a Vacation,” a dance film directed by Amy “Catfox” Campion that premiered in 2020. Akasi performed as a principal dancer and spoken word artist for Embodied Arts Dance Company directed by Kristen Holleyman for the 27th Quinzena de Danca de Almada, an International Dance Festival in Lisbon, Portugal. Some of Akasi’s industry and Theater performance highlights include Artists and Brands such as: Major Lazer, Nike NTC, “The REAL” daytime Emmy winning tv show, SEGWAY Minipro, South African Artist Bantu, America’s Got Talent, and “In The Heights” at Broadway at the Gardens.
As a choreographer and creative director, Akasi has made headway premiering creative works nationally and internationally promoting her love of cultures, community, and becoming known for her process of mixing movement styles and art forms. She was selected as a featured artist for BlakTinx Dance Festival Dancing on Edge, sharing “Called to Action,” a visual rooted in social justice and in response to the revolution in 2020. Akasi was also recently invited as a guest choreographer for Riverside Community College Dance Performance 2021 Kinetic Conversations, premiering “We Rise Up, We Get Down,” a collaborative work created with Lindsay Rapport celebrating Black lives and embodying revolutionary radical joy. She showcased “Moving into Me,” a personal narrative and choreographic work, at several dance festivals in Southern California as a featured artist, and her Contemporary/Modern movement piece entitled, “Homeless,” debuted for the BlakTinx Dance Festival at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles, California.
Akasi graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree at Saint Mary’s College of California, completing the Liberal Education for Arts Professionals Program, LEAP, in Fall 2021. She is also a part of the Theta Cohort of Global Dance leaders that completed the Leadership Tools for Dance Leaders Program directed by Dr. Arnel Calvario in the Summer of 2021 and is a Certified Yoga Instructor/Facilitator that successfully completed the People’s Yoga Training Program in the Summer of 2020.
As an Educator and creative healing arts practitioner, Akasi loves to share her passions for expanding the horizons while fusing life experiences, cultural exchange, practices of self-awareness, cultivation of community, and outside of the box approaches, into her creative works, workshop experiences, and classes. She explores the intertwining worlds of Hip Hop, Jazz-funk, Modern, Contemporary, the art of Freestyle, Krump, Dancehall, and Dances of the African Diaspora, sharing her intuitive connection and love for these art forms with every student she encounters. Her hopes are to invigorate her students with the undeniable energy of movement medicine as a holistic healing process, a journey of liberating self through expression, and finding purpose with each intentional step, groove, and move. Akasi has been invited as a Guest Choreographer, Dance Instructor, and Teaching Artist for nonprofit organizations, competition teams, dance companies, performing artist companies such as The Establishment in Austin, Texas, Dance Container Cancun in Cancun, Mexico, The LoneStar Ballet Academy in Amarillo, Texas, Alisa Dance Academy in Austin, Texas, DanceScape Dance Co. in Cancun, Mexico, XSIS Dance Crew in Quezon City, Philippines, Contra Tiempo, DREAM COMPLEX, 4CLAB, Antics Performance and Mount Saint Mary’s University Health & Wellness Program in Los Angeles, California. In 2021, she offered her LuVpEaCeNsOuL MoVeMeNt Workshop Series, “Mind Your Movement,”at the Summer Intensive experience in Amarillo, Texas at the LoneStar Ballet Academy, and was selected as a Resident Artist offering the workshops through Pieter Dance Space as a virtual experience. Her “Grounded Grooves” freestyle flow and improvisational movement focused classes have steadily grown in 2021 and have been integrated into her dance workshops for Professional Performing Artists. As a community organizer Akasi has facilitated events such as Liberacion de La Luna Llena, Mujeres de La Luna Llena, Freestyle Fridays, and Cultural Exchange Residencies, empowering artists to celebrate their power, presence, and share their stories with the world through movement, music, connection, and divine energy.