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Nicole D. Oxendine's passion for dance spans over 28 years, a passion that inspired her to dedicate her life to teaching and mentoring. Nicole has successfully taught dance at Hillside High School for ten years and was part-time faculty member at North Carolina Central University, and authors the dance curriculum for the Durham Public School system. She was a principal dancer for Bellan Contemporary Dance Theater as well. Nicole graduated from Hollins University in 2003 with a B.A. in psychology and dance. She received her M.A. in dance/movement therapy from Columbia College Chicago in 2011 and her course of studies was focused on adolescents with developmental disabilities.
Nicole's work in the non-profit sector is extensive, having been a program coordinator for A Long Walk Home in Chicago, a program that uses arts to advocate against sexual violence. She worked in various capacities at the prestigious American Dance Festival. Her charitable work includes founding her own non-profit organization, the Empower Dance Foundation, and she a patron of the local Boys & Girls Club. Nicole continues her philanthropic efforts, serving on the Board of Directors for The Carolina Theater of Durham and North Carolina Arts in Action.
Now, Nicole is a full-time entrepreneur and owner of Empower Dance Studio, a studio based in Durham, NC that nurtures and fosters natural beauty, instills self-confidence, and reinforces positive images of dancers from all backgrounds. Empower has been recognized as Indy's Best of the Triangle 2017, Indy Arts Awards Winner 2017, Durham Magazine Best of Durham 2017-2021, Durham Black Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Award 2018. Nicole was recognized in 2018 by her alma mater Hollins University as "Distinguished Young Alumnae".
In the media, Nicole Oxendine and Empower Dance Studio have been acclaimed as a studio for confidence, sisterhood and power by WRAL; in the Independent Weekly as a studio with an inclusive, diverse vision; in Triangle Today as a studio with a mission to build the confidence and authority of young people through dance; in the Clarion Content as an empowerment advocate and an entrepreneur; and The Durham Voice as the hidden heart of Durham.
Under the direction of Nicole Oxendine, Empower Dance Studio has been in high demand for performances and workshops from Durham Public Schools, Durham Chamber of Commerce, North Carolina Museum of Art, African American Heritage Commission, North Carolina Museum of History, East Durham Children’s Initiative, Austin Lawrence Partners, Duke Performances, and American Tobacco Campus.
Nicole currently consults on community arts engagement for Capital Broadcasting, Rocky Mount Mills and Duke Performances. As the community arts engagement consultant for Rocky Mount Mills, Oxendine is developing the cultural arts landscape in Rocky Mount, Nash, and Edgecombe Counties, specifically as it relates to dance. With Duke Performances, she is expanding on the intersections of cultural recognition and by developing key opportunities for Duke Performances to actively engage the community during the three-part residency of international choreographer Camille A Brown.