A native of Sacramento, California, Kayah Alexandra Franklin was inducted into the Horatio Alger Association in 2008 as a National Scholar before attending Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater Arts & Dance with a minor in Print Journalism. While at Howard, Kayah was selected to develop and showcase her choreographic work “3.60” under the tutelage of Camille A. Brown, providing a platform that lead to her choreographing the 2011 choreopoem production of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow is Enuf, directed by LA Williams.
In 2012, Kayah was appointed Dallas Black Dance Academy’s Lead Outreach Instructor and Director of the Junior Performing Ensemble while performing with Encore!, formerly known as DBDT II under the direction of Nycole Ray. In 2014, she joined the professional company Dallas Black Dance Theatre, where she performed leading roles in original works by choreographers such as Matthew Rushing, Twyla Tharp and Christopher Huggins.
Kayah has performed on several musical theater stages, including Dallas Theater Center’s Fly (directed by Jeffrey Seller, choreographed by Andy Blankenbeuhler), Stumptown Stages’ West Side Story (directed by Patrick Nims, choreographed by Christopher Michael Patterson) and Timberlake Playhouse’s Christmas Kaleidoscope (directed by Dan Danielowski, choreographed by Michael Jones).
Kayah’s commercial and television highlights include featured appearances in Season 5 of HBO’s Insecure, as well as campaigns for Ford, Self,, Poo~Pourrii, ClearCorrect, Healthcare.gov, GoodyGoody and Knock. She was featured as an artist traveling between Dallas and Skopje in the documentary Widening The Lens, produced and directed by Macedonian film group Makedox in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy of Cultural Affairs. Kayah can be spotted in the VisitDallas campaign at the DFW International Airport and was featured in Northpark Magazine’s Spring 2019 issue for BVLGARI.
In the spirit of creating a space for progression, Kayah has curated and hosted events throughout the DFW metroplex. Original concepts include Good Intentions, a vegan brunch and fitness event first launched in 2018, as well as The Wined Down, an open mic and wine tasting event in collaboration with Chocolate Secrets. Kayah has been a co-host for the podcast and sketch platform Crazy Ass Dates.
In addition to over 8 years of experience teaching dance in public schools and private institutions, Kayah holds a Group Fitness Certification (AFAA) and Schwinn Cycling Certification. She has served over 900 clients over the years through her fitness classes at FlyWheel Sports, Grit Fitness, EQUINOX and on her own platform hosting social events throughout the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex.
Upcoming projects include the 2022 premiere of her choreographed work "If You're Going" on the Howard University Dance Ensemble, as well as the upcoming film You, iiiii, Everything Else directed by Christine Zivic.
Kayah currently plays Jaelyn Smiles on the AMP World family channel The Smiles Family and serves as a judge for the Starbound National Talent Competition.