2022 40 Under 40 Honoree: Ayisha Morgan-Lee
“I’d like to leave a legacy with the students that we’ve touched to be able to say they had the opportunity to learn and study about themselves as Black girls and boys.”
AYISHA MORGAN-LEE (39)
Founder, CEO and Artistic Director, Hill Dance Academy Theatre
When Ayisha Morgan-Lee was growing up and attending dance classes, there were no other students who looked like her.
“I was usually the only Black student in class,” she says. “My whole world opened up to all that was out there when I went to Howard University.”
During her time in college, Morgan-Lee knew she wanted to return home and open a Black dance academy where students could see other students and teachers who look like them. This led her to found Hill Dance Academy Theatre in 2005 when she was 21. Last year, she moved the academy into a 29,000-square-foot, three-building campus in the Hill District to provide a permanent home for Black dancers in Pittsburgh.
“I’d like to leave a legacy with the students that we’ve touched to be able to say they had the opportunity to learn and study about themselves as Black girls and boys and learned to be better human beings because of the arts.”