A native of Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, Akilah began ballet studies at the former Hyde Park School of Ballet. With the inception of the Joffrey Academy of Dance –Official School of the Joffrey Ballet– Akilah entered the Pre-Professional ballet program, advancing through to graduation from the Trainee program in June 2016. She has participated in various summer intensive programs including the Joffrey International Summer Dance Intensive, the Ballet Austin Summer Intensive, and Kaatsbaan Extreme Ballet, where she has performed both classical and contemporary works of such choreographers as Gerald Arpino, Steven Mills, Frederick Ashton, and Margo Sappington. As a member of the Visceral Dance scholarship program, Akilah continued to hone her artistry, studying with Laura Wade and Nick Pupillo. This will be her first season with Chicago Repertory Ballet.