In Memoriam: Kariamu Welsh, Choreographer and Pew Fellow

22 Oct 2021


Pew Fellow Kariamu Welsh.

Pew Fellow Kariamu Welsh passed away on October 12, 2021, at the age of 72.

Welsh developed her own dance technique, called Umfundalai, which incorporated elements of a variety of styles of African dance. “It’s a memory of dancing in your mother’s kitchen when you’re making dinner for Sunday or when you’re dancing around the house,” her colleague C. Kemal Nance, a dance and African American studies professor who teaches the technique, told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Welsh was also a dance scholar, earning her doctorate in dance history from NYU and writing and editing numerous books on Black movement and Afrocentric history. She was a professor at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance for three decades, retiring in 2019.

In addition to her 1996 Pew Fellowship, Welsh received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowship, and three Fulbright Scholarships.

Read more about Welsh in obituaries in The Philadelphia Inquirer and The New York Times.