Ballet, Modern, Yoga
DeNaya Wilkerson has a Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree in Dance from Jacksonville University. She is classically trained in ballet/pointe, modern, jazz, and contemporary dance technique. She teaches private and group yoga classes online and in person around Marion county.
DeNaya was born and raised here in Ocala, Florida and began her dancing career at Jeanne Benson-Smith Dance Academy from ages 6-16. She performed various roles in the Marion Performing Ballet Company’s version of The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty ballets. She attended Belleview High School's Dance Program under the direction of Cate Martin which is where her modern dance journey began. Go Rattlers! She was a member of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts and performed with the Diamondback Dance Company all four years.
In 2013, she was the interim director of dance at Belleview High School for Cate Martin while she was on maternity leave. Following that, DeNaya performed with Fuzion Dance Artist which has since rebranded to Sarasota Contemporary Dance Company. In Pennsylvania she performed in a Black dance film by Daphne Pictures titled Freedom Beyond these 4 walls. It has gone on to win awards in both Philadelphia, Pa and Detroit, MI film festivals. Another Philly dance performance titled Poetik Blues featured poetry, live musicians, and stories of Black history. It was featured online in the Atlanta Black Theatre Film Festival in the fall of 2020.
DeNaya is soon to be a RYT 200hr certified yoga instructor. She received training from Costa Yoga School under the direction of Mandy Lawson E-RYT 500, RYCT, YACEP. DeNaya has been teaching yoga for 2 years and practicing it for 9 years. Yoga has played a huge role in healing her injuries, finding peace, managing anxiety and seasonal depression through mindfulness meditation, and it has boosted her overall confidence in herself.
DeNaya states, “I am here to guide my students on whatever personal journey they are on, mental, physical, or spiritual. Everyday our bodies are different so there is no pressure to feel like you have to look good, have the perfect body or even be flexible. I specialize in breathing exercises, meditation, body alignment, posture, balance, core strength, restorative yoga, and self myofascial massage techniques. The space that I have created is one of peace and safety where every human in my community is able to come and just be.”