Phylise Smith, part-time faculty at Scripps College since 1993, is a specialist in West African dance. She has trained in African dance in Kenya, Senegal, the Gambia, Ghana and South Africa. Smith has taught West African dance as well as world dance, modem and jazz at numerous colleges and universities. Smith is Artistic Director of the African dance group Serakumbili Project which has performed throughout Southern California and in Taiwan. In addition to teaching at Scripps College, Phylise Smith is a Professor of Dance at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California. Ms. Smith has presented her African dance work academically as well and has presented several papers on African dance. Her research focus is African dance as a source of change for social issues that are controversial, such as female circumcision.
West African Dance