The Ghana Dance Ensemble (National Dance Company) was first established at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana under the directorship the Late Emeritus Prof. J.H. Nketia. The first of such an institution in the country it was endorsed by the first President of the Republic of Ghana in 1962. . The company moved to the National Theatre in 1992The initial Ensemble was trained and developed by the Late Emeritus Prof. Mawere Opoku as its first Artistic Director. Mawere Opoku’s choreographed pieces and arrangements of traditional dances remain the standard repertoire of the Ensemble. The late Prof. Francis Nii Yartey served as its second Director from 1976 until 2006.
In addition to the standard repertoire, Nii Yartey embarked on the development of his own concept of the African Dance Theatre creating extended works that explore not only the existing forms but also the polyvalent features of performance in African societies within the framework of Dance Drama, an approach that has become the hallmark of the National Dance Company.
The repertoire of the group includes traditional performances from all sixteen regions in Ghana, contemporary dance pieces, dance drama and dances from all West African countries. The company often works with guest artists and choreographers on a variety of ways including workshops and performances. In addition to the above they also offer workshops and classes in dance
Other directors for the company are David Amoo (2006 – 2013) Mr. Nii-Tete Yartey (2013-2018.
Stephany Ursula Yamoah (2018 to present).