Najaa Young

Najaa has been a performer and multidisciplinary arts educator for over 25 years. She has taught drama, filmmaking, African dance, Afro-Caribbean/Latino dance, and creative writing for theaters, colleges, and arts programs in Los Angeles, CA, Pittsburgh, PA, and Cleveland, OH. She is a graduate of Chatham University (nee Chatham College) where she received a B.A. in Theater Arts. She also has a M.F.A. in Film Production from Florida State University’s Graduate Conservatory of Motion Picture, Television and Recording Arts. She has written, produced, and directed several feature films, short films, and plays over the last 15 years.

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Arts Disciplines: Theatre/Drama, Media Arts, Dance, Creative Writing, Storytelling

Core Content Curriculum Areas: Theatre/Drama, Technology, Dance

Specialized Content Areas: World Cultures, Character Education, Arts Integration

Grade Levels: Pre-K, K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Adults

Special Populations: At-risk Students, Special Needs Students

Pre-Service Learning and Professional Development: Professional Development for Teaching Artists, Post-Secondary/Pre-Service Learning, Professional Development for K-12 Teachers

Geographic Availability: North Georgia, Metro Atlanta, Middle Georgia, and South Georgia

Program Fees:

  • Performances:
    • African storytelling (30 min.) – $150
  • Workshops:
    • Dance, Drama, and Creative Writing workshops for K-12 – $200 for 1.5 hours
    • Filmmaking workshops begin at $500 for 2 hours
  • Residencies:
    • 10-week drama, dance and creative writing residencies with 2 hours of instruction per week – $2,000
    • Filmmaking residencies begin at $3,500

Artistic Profile:

Najaa has been a performer and multidisciplinary arts educator for over 25 years. She has taught drama, filmmaking, African dance, Afro-Caribbean/Latino dance, and creative writing for theaters, colleges, and arts programs in Los Angeles, CA, Pittsburgh, PA, Cleveland, OH and Atlanta, GA. She is a graduate of Chatham University where she received a B.A. in Theater Arts and has a M.F.A. in Film Production from Florida State University’s Graduate Conservatory of Motion Picture, Television and Recording Arts. She has written, produced, and/or directed several feature length and short films, plays and creative performances for over the last 20 years. She is also a highly sought after arts education consultant and coach to various arts professionals. 

Teaching Experience:

Najaa has a M.F.A. in Film Production from Florida State University’s Graduate Conservatory of Motion Picture, Television and Recording Arts and a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Chatham University. For the last 30 years she has studied African, Afro-Caribbean, and Afro-Latino dance throughout the United States and performed professionally in several African centered dance companies in Cleveland, OH, and Pittsburgh, PA. Najaa is a highly skilled and experienced arts educator with over 25 years experience teaching children and adults African dance as well as dances from the Caribbean and Latin America. Upon graduating from Chatham Univeristy she began teaching drama and creative writing in various school programs around the country and has continued to do so for the last 20 years. For 3 years she has been an adjunct professor of digital media at American Intercontinental University where she teaches production techniques, post production, screenwriting, and directing courses. She also privately offers digital filmmaking workshops and is a script consultant.

Sample Programs:

  • International Dance: Ever want to travel around the world? Well, now’s your chance to dance around the world through rhythm, music, and movement. In this class we will travel to Africa, the Caribbean, South America, and different parts of the United States as we engage our bodies and minds in multicultural fitness and learning. We will learn about the origins of each dance, the reasons people dance (celebration, ritual, holiday, performance, community, etc.), and the music that accompanies each dance. Learn, play and enjoy! The class culminates in a final performance for the school community.
    • Primary Art Form: Dance
    • Content/Curriculum Area: Fine Arts (Dance)
    • Grade Levels: Pre-K-12
    • Number of students per class: 35
    • Program Length: 10 weeks
    • Duration of class: 1 hour, twice a week or 2 hours once a week
    • Facility and Technical Requirements: Large room (classroom, multipurpose room, stage or gymnasium) with a PA system or an outlet
    • Fee Structure: $2,000 per 10-week session (50% to be paid in week 5 and final payment due in week 10)
  • Lights, Camera, Action!: Movies are one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world. Learn how to make your own movie in this workshop. Students will learn basic screenwriting, professional filmmaking terminology, how to think visually, shot design, how to direct actors, basic camera operation, and basic editing techniques. The class culminates with a short film written, directed, and produced by students.
    • Primary Art Form: Digital Filmmaking (Media Arts)
    • Content/Curriculum Area: Media Arts
    • Grade Levels: 4-12
    • Number of students per class: 20
    • Program Length: 10 weeks
    • Duration of class: 2.5 hours once a week
    • Facility and Technical Requirements: Classroom with desks or tables, projector with MAC laptop interface capabilities and a screen
    • Fee Structure: $3,500 per 10-week session (50% to be paid in week 5 and final payment due in week 10)
  • All The World Is A Stage: Performing on the stage or in front of the camera looks easy to most audience members but it is actually a skill.  In this drama workshop students will learn how to use their bodies and voices as an instrument through a series of movement and vocal exercises, the art of improvisation, how to read and interpret a script, how to memorize their lines, and how to get over that dreaded stage fright. The class culminates with a short play performance.
    • Primary Art Form: Drama
    • Content/Curriculum Area: Fine Arts (Drama)
    • Grade Levels: Pre-K-12
    • Number of students per class: 35
    • Program Length: 10 weeks
    • Duration of class: 1 hour, twice a week or 2 hours once a week
    • Facility and Technical Requirements: Large room (classroom, multipurpose room, stage or gymnasium) with a PA system or an outlet
    • Fee Structure: $2,000 per 10-week session (50% to be paid in week 5 and final payment due in week 10)

Sample Lesson Plans/Study Guides:

Program Photos and Videos: