Kahmaria is a Jamaican-Canadian who has chosen to embrace her African ancestry in the form of the rhythmic, culture-rich traditional dances of her ancestors. Her career in dance began with Afro-Caribbean dance in B.C. with The Thelma Gibson Dance Ensemble (1998) and later expanded into traditional African dance with The Eyen Isong Cultural Troupe (1999-2000), whom she toured with for two years.
Kahmaria is an OCT licensed teacher, holds a Fitness Leadership Certificate and is presently completing her MA Education degree at the University of Ottawa. She utilizes her RECE skills to create interactive Afrocentric stories for young children, making stories come alive with traditional African songs, dance, drumming, African history and culturally relevant crafts. She founded the "Under the Palm Tree" (2007) storytelling kiosk with the Caribbean Pavilion for Folkfest (SK), to utilize African dance and Storytelling in the Oral Tradition to teach African history and instill pride for young children of African descent.
Kween Kahmaria is the Owner/ Artistic Director of Onyxstasia Canadian Dance Academy a multifaceted company that markets Afrocentric Fashion, African-Inspired Storytelling and Traditional African Caribbean Dance 4 Fitness classes for adults and children for over 10 years.
Kahmaria has developed the “Teachers Keen on Culture” workshop for pre-service teachers and those employed in the field who want to enhance their curriculum with culturally relevant programming. She equips teachers with African dance history, dance instruction, crafts, songs and game suggestions to enrich their classroom with cultural diversity.
Kahmaria developed the African Princess Dance Troupe for youth and young adults (ages 12 to 21 yrs) in Saskatoon since 2009. The troupe is still active and self-sufficiently performs for many extracurricular events in Saskatchewan. In Ottawa, Kahmaria recently held a position instructing African dance for children (ages 5-10) with the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre for their Girls' Club initiative and they had an opportunity to perform at the Annual Sandy Hill Spring Fair. Kahmaria also instructed and choreographed African dance for the City of Ottawa’s 10-week I Love To Dance Program (2016).