Laina is a performing artist, choreographer, and professor of dance. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Laina holds a BFA in Dance Performance from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, an MFA in Dance Performance & Pedagogy, as well as Certificate of Study in Feminist Methodologies & Sexualities from Arizona State University. Laina comes from a rigorous professional and performing career in dance including intensive study and touring with companies such as Joel Hall Dancers & Center, A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham, The Ailey School/Ailey II, Las Vegas Talent Agency, and more.
Currently serving as Assistant Professor of Dance at Illinois State University, Laina specializes in the teaching and pedagogical advancement of contemporary Modern, Jazz, and African diasporic dance. Laina’s choreography, research methodologies, and theory-based practices are centered around decolonization, dance history, popular culture, and Intersectionality.