Hassiem Muhammad is a 21-year-old native of Columbia, South Carolina; a graduate of the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities (Drama); and is currently a rising senior at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, pursuing a BFA in Acting. This fall, he will also begin serving as the university’s Student Body President.
Hassiem’s love for movement was sparked at the young age of eight when his father enrolled him in karate classes. A year later, he transferred to Hung Gar Kung-Fu and trained under Sifu Saleem until his transfer to the Governor’s School seven years later. Along the way, Hassiem began his dance training in both Jazz and Hip Hop. At the Governor’s School, Hassiem met Kelly VanLeeuwen and took his first yoga class with her. This is when he truly began to understand the potential that his body had for movement as well as physical story telling. He latched onto Kelly’s guidance and put more hours into his acro, hand balancing, and dance training, and before he knew it, he was home visiting from college teaching hip hop and hand balancing workshops at Maya Movement Arts.
But it doesn’t stop there! Hassiem is also a contemporary dancer, a circus artist/performer, holds all eight weapons certifications from the Society of American Fight Directors in Stage Combat, and has even trained with the likes of the internationally touring PUSH Physical Theatre Company. If it moves -- he is interested!
Hassiem believes that teaching is a gift. To be able to acquire knowledge, formulate your own opinions, and then share it with others is a rare opportunity. He sees teaching as a reciprocal practice, in the sense that as the instructor teaches, he/she is able to learn from the students, and in turn, they both are able to grow.