Our Crew

Nkeiruka Oruche: Co-Founder, Lead Facilitator
Nkeiruka is a Nigerian of Igbo descent who lives and plays with her family in Oakland. She is a dancer, musician, performer and educator specializing in street dance and music styles from Africa and her Diaspora. With over 15 years of experience, her goal is to use art as a way for people to lead healthy lives and create positive change in their community. She has worked with youth and adults of all ages and backgrounds. Her passion for the performing arts, social justice, community building and youth development have found her working and/or participating with organizations such as Loco Bloco, Dance Mission Theater, Performing Arts Workshop, Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco, Youth Speaks and the Brass Liberation Orchestra. Currently, Nkeiruka is working with Afro Urban Society, a group that works to foster and preserve the resiliency, interconnection and existence of people of African descent in global urban settings through art performance and social engagement. She is also a Co-Founder and Facilitator of BoomShake, a multicultural music and dance program for all ages. Find out more about her on her website.

Nkeiruka is responsible for the artistic and program development (adult, tyke tunes, community events), marketing & communications and fundraising/development endeavors at BoomShake.

Sarah Norr: Co-Founder, Lead Facilitator
Sarah is a musician and community organizer who's lived in the Bay Area since age six. She began studying piano at age 7 and guitar at 15; has played a variety of percussion instruments for the past ten years; and has recently been experimenting with chromatic harmonica. These days Sarah can often be found leading chants on the picket line with hotel and restaurant workers; playing drums on the streets for social justice; teaching percussion workshops; leading sing-a-longs; and rocking out with her nephews and other kids of all ages.
Sarah is responsible for the artistic, program development (adult, kid, community organization) finance and operations, and equipment maintenance at BoomShake.

Monica Hastings-Smith: Lead Facilitator
I am an Oakland native and the product of a long line of fine music and dance teachers throughout the Bay Area, and I continue to be the student of many musical influences. As a drummer/percussionist, I am proud to be a student with 20 years of service and learning, having studied with Mestre Carlos Aceituno & Fogo Na Roupa, in Afro-Brazilian/Afro Bloco style. I currently study/teach/lead drum with SambaFunk! Carnaval Explosion where the focus is the culture and sounds of African-rooted Carnaval and street celebration. A physical and spiritual wellness dialogue is the gateway for bringing people into this artistic expression.

Respect, focus and big fun are the foundations of my teaching! Drumming is a personal journey, a bridge from here to there and back! The current and historic experiences of the African Diaspora are my constant musical companions. I am a member of several bands that play a variety of styles for a variety of audiences, serving as a songwriter, arranger, rhythm guitarist, lead singer, percussionist and all around merry-maker. I am the proud Mom of 3 adult children who continue to inspire me. I am a loyal community member that consistently shows up in the streets, at festivals, on stage, in the parks, at celebrations to make music, joy and healing vibrations. I look forward to using tradition and invention to create new sounds and medicine with you. Bless!

Nicole Zapata: Program Assistant
Bio Coming

Tossie Long: Community Singing Facilitator
Tossie Long is a San Francisco native, vocalist, actress, dancer; simply put, she is a performing artist. Tossie does not perform simply for the sake of performing, but rather, to challenge herself and to experiment with how far she can push her perceived limits.

Regina 'Califa' Calloway: Advisor, Facilitator
Regina Califa yields an impressive 25 year history of training and expertise in performance, choreography and production steeped in West and Central African Dance-Drumming traditions; She maintains a duo role in her community, curating African Diaspora cultural forums while working in concert conducting field research work.

As a Youth, her on-the-ground training in Community Service was entrenched with historical movements of protests to ritual street processions, empowering her to connect with shared missions “beyond”.  A cultural kinship availed her the unique opportunity to participate in Carnaval 1994, with leading Bloco Afros, Ilê Aiyê and Olodum in Salvador da Bahia, Brasil. Deeply impacted, she’s cultivated this experience creating a model for Community Arts-building furthered upon the Bay Area Carnaval scene – her vested works best exemplified through a 17-year tenure of Fogo Na Roupa legacy, pioneered by the late Mestre Carlos Aceituno, extending to co-collaborative initiatives with the leadership of Loco Bloco, Latin Dance Grooves, Samba Funk as well as the Women’s/Global Street Drumming wing of Boom Shake Music.

A highly sought after Professional Teaching Artist and Cultural Trust agent, Miss Califa’s agency Nzo Califa Dance Works serves as a Dance/Drum mediumship-service, brilliantly weaving sacred knowledge through Cultural Arts programming of visionary leadership and powerful social change. // @nzoCALIFA
Our Collaborators
  • Studio Grand
  • Lotus Bloom Family Resource Center
  • Abundant Beginnings
  • Solespace
  • Rice & Beans Cooperative
  • Manzanita SEED Elementary After-School Program
  • The Flight Deck