DBDT Dancers

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Claude Alexander III

A native of Washington D.C, Claude comes to Dallas Black Dance Theatre after attending Towson University. He began his training with Spirit Wings Dance Co. and additionally with The Ailey School, Parsons Dance and DBDT’s Professional Summer Intensive on full scholarship. Claude has had the opportunity to guest perform with Dishibem and Dance RINK, both of Baltimore, Maryland. Notably, Claude performed in the 2017 Command Performance Gala by TITAS Presents. This is his 9th season.

Hana Delong

Hana Delong, an Orlando native studied dance at the Dr. Phillips High School Dance Magnet and the Orlando Ballet. She received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from Adelphi University and was a scholarship student at the Ailey School. She has performed with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Memoria and Revelations Cast of 50 and has performed pieces by choreographers such as Ulysses Dove, Matthew Rushing, Margo Sappington, Tiffany Rea-Fisher, and Ray Mercer. She was a member of DBDT: Encore! and this is her fourth season with the company.

Lailah Duke

San Francisco native Lailah Duke is a 2015 graduate of Howard University where she holds a BFA in Dance Arts. She owes her first experiences in dance to Destined 2 Dance Studio and Performing Arts of Oakland, CA. She has had the privilege to perform several works by many esteemed artists, notably, principal dancer, and mentor, Hope Boykin, of The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Lailah has had the opportunity to perform alongside legendary Operatic Soprano, Kathleen Battle, at the Winspear Opera House (Dallas, Texas) in 2018. She was a 2-year member of DBDT: Encore! where she was able to guest with the main company in various works, and is now overjoyed to be in her second season with Dallas Black Dance Theatre.

Kayah Franklin

A native of Sacramento, California, Kayah received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from Howard University in Washington, D.C. In addition to performing original works by artists including Hope Boykin, Ulysses Dove and Twyla Tharp, she has performed in Fly! The Musical (Dallas Theater Center), Jay Cameron’s Fame: A Stage Play and spent two seasons with DBDT: Encore!. Kayah spent five seasons directing the Academy’s Junior Performing Ensemble and currently teaches dance and fitness throughout the DFW Metroplex while pursuing a Masters of Business Administration at Southern Methodist University. Kayah celebrates her fifth season with DBDT.

Sierra Noelle Jones

Sierra Noelle Jones, from Fort Washington, MD is a 2015 honors graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University where she earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance & Choreography. She graduated from Baltimore School for the Arts (2011) and received her training through Donna’s Dance A Company, The Dance Institute of Washington, and Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Pre-Professional Residency program. Sierra is an instructor for the Dallas Black Dance Academy & Royale Ballet Dance Academy. She performed two seasons with DBDT: Encore!, and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Sierra is ecstatic to be entering her 2nd season with DBDT.

Xavier Mack

Xavier Mack graduated from University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) in Baltimore, Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Language & Linguistics. Before dance, he trained in gymnastics and received national and regional awards. Xavier received his dance training from Divine Dance Institute, in Capitol Heights, Maryland. He received scholarships from Dance Theatre of Harlem and Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Xavier has worked with Kevin Iega Jeff, Freddie Moore, Levi Marsman, and Christopher L. Huggins. He is a former member of DBDT: Encore! This is Xavier’s second season with Dallas Black Dance Theatre.

Charles Michael Patterson

Born and raised in Trinidad & Tobago, Charles moved to the United States at age ten. He began his dance training at the Boston Arts Academy and Jeannette Neill studio. Charles received his BFA in Ballet Pedagogy from The Boston Conservatory on full scholarship. During his time at the conservatory he worked with numerous choreographers such as Dwight Rhoden, Doug Varone and Darrell Moultrie. Mr. Patterson has been awarded scholarships to summer intensives such as American Ballet Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and The Juilliard School. Charles accepted his first company contract dancing with Complexions Contemporary Ballet as an apprentice. This is Charles’s first season performing with Dallas Black Dance Theatre. 

Zion Pradier

A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, Zion is an alumni of The Certificate Program at The Ailey School in New York City, New York. He received additional training from Dance Theatre of Harlem as a Merit Scholarship student, Complexions Contemporary Ballet Winter Intensive, and The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre as a scholarship student in the Collegiate Program. He has performed works such as Sinatra Suite by Twyla Tharp, Awassa Astrige/Ostrich by Asadata Dafora, Revelations by Alvin Ailey, Matthew Rushing, Arthur Mitchell, Ray Mercer, and Juel D. Lane. This is Zion’s third season with Dallas Black Dance Theatre.

Sean J. Smith

A proud Canadian, Sean trained with Goh Ballet Academy, Ballet British Columbia’s Mentor Program and The Ailey School. He has performed with Bruce Wood Dance Project, Rhythmic Souls Tap Company and African American Repertory Theater. Sean has performed with Dallas Theater Center in The Wiz (2011) and Hairspray (2018). Sean has taught the Lester Horton technique for Ailey Athletic Boys (AAB), Dallas Black Dance Academy, and Southern Methodist University. Sean has choreographed two works for Dallas Black Dance Theatre: Monologues (2013) and Interpretations (2017) and one work for DBDT: Encore!, Dollhouse (2015). This is Sean’s 9th season with DBDT.

De'Anthony Vaughan

Born in Kansas City, MO, De’Anthony was drawn into dance by his grandmother at the age of three. She ran a performing arts school and introduced him to all forms of dance. He attended Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey and the Kansas City Ballet School. He continued his training in New York City at The Ailey School on scholarship. Prior to joining Dallas Black Dance Theatre, he was a member of the Von Howard Project. This is Mr. Vaughan’s fifth season with the company.

Renee Walters

Renee started her dance journey training in a variety of styles, but would go on to train more seriously through her studies at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts as well as her time at Houston Ballet’s Pre-Professional program. Renee graduated from University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelor’s in Human Behavior and Intercultural Communications in May 2018. During the latter part of her college years, Renee danced with 6 O’Clock Dance Theatre and was a founding member of Zion Dance Project. Renee is thrilled to be joining the main company this season. 

Jasmine White-Killins

A native of Cincinnati, OH, Jasmine began her dance training at the Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Arts. In addition to earning her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University and minor in Arts Management, Jasmine has studied on scholarship at The Ailey School, Martha Graham School, Cincinnati Ballet Academy and other intensives across the country. Jasmine performed two seasons with DBDT: Encore! and is an instructor at both Dallas Black Dance Academy & Texas Ballet Theater. She is currently the director of the Senior Performing Ensemble within DBDA. This is Jasmine’s fourth season with DBDT.

McKinley Willis

Ms. Willis is a Dallas native, and began her training with the Dallas Black Dance Academy and Özsoy’s School of Ballet. She is a graduate of Booker T. Washington HSPVA, and in the midst of her time there she received the Texas Commission on the Arts Young Masters scholarship. In 2015 she received her BFA in Modern Dance Performance with a minor in Health and Exercise Science from the University of Oklahoma. She made her debut with the Bruce Wood Dance Project in 2011 as an apprentice and again as a performing member in 2015. This is her fourth season with Dallas Black Dance Theatre.

Photography by: Brian Guilliaux