Jessica Donley grew up in South Louisiana, a dynamic part of the African Diaspora. She has been dancing social dances such as Cajun, Zydeco, Swing-Out, Hip Hop and the New Orleans Second Line since she could walk. Jessica has studied ballet, modern and jazz techniques as a way to enter the professional dance world, however her passion remains for the more organic movement styles. She is keen on learning as many dance forms and rhythms of the African Diaspora in the Americas and in Africa. She graduated from Louisiana State University in Cultural Anthropology and Dance. She lived and served over two years in the Peace Corps in Esmeraldas, Ecuador.
She formed her own contemporary dance group, Donley Dance Project in 2010 which works have been nominated for 2 New Orleans Classical Arts Awards. Jessica has been devising her own movement technique- Organic Contemporary. She is the co-founder of a dynamic non-profit organization, Dancing Grounds. She has studied and performed with master teachers such as Titos Sompa (Congo) and Seguenon Kone (Cote d’Ivoire), La Mora (Santiago de Cuba) and more. She completed her yoga teacher certification in Costa Rica in 2016. Jessica continues to teach dance and yoga and to create new works of choreography. She is also a Reiki practitioner.