HERstory in Black: Akua Delfish and Onika Powell
Best friends Akua Delfish and Onika Powell are the co-founders of Scarborough dance company D’Lyfe
In honour of Black History month, CBC brings you stories from HERstory in Black, a Toronto-based digital photo series profiling 150 black women from the GTA and other parts of Ontario by How She Hustles, a network of 5,000 diverse women.
Who: Onika Powell and Akua Delfish
What they do: They are the co-founders of Scarborough dance company D'Lyfe also known as Dance, Let Your Feet Explore.
What inspired you to open your dance studio?
Akua Delfish: There just wasn't a space for us. So, for me, I really wanted to see Caribbean dance be on the competitive level for dance competitions, as well as be pushed into arenas where normally we're not invited to perform because we're not seen as prestigious enough.
Onika Powell: For me, it's always been a dream to have a place where [black youth] could fit in, but also have a place where others could come learn about Caribbean folk and the things that Akua and I have grown up on.
What do you hope people take away from the photos of women featured in HERstory in Black?
Akua Delfish: I hope that when women see us, especially in that group image of 150 women, I hope they see community... because as much as D'Lyfe is powered by Onika and I, it's not us alone.
Onika Powell: It's a village; it's definitely a village.