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 and B.Moore Dance. Notably, Claude performed in the Command Performance Gala presented by TITAS in 2017. This is his 8th 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 worked with choreographers Matthew Rushing, Margo Sappington, Tiffany Rae-Fisher and Ray Mercer. She was a member of DBDT: Encore! and this is her third season with the company.

Lailah Duke

Lailah Duke is a 2015 graduate of Howard University where she holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance Arts. Originally from San Francisco, California, she owes her first experiences in dance to Destined 2 Dance Studio and Performing Arts of Oakland. 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 Theatre. For two years, Lailah was a member of DBDT: Encore! under Nycole Ray where she was able to guest with the main company in works by Garfield Lemonius, Tiffany Rea-Fisher and Bridget L. Moore. She is overjoyed to be in her first year 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 DC. In addition to performing original works by artists including Hope Boykin, Milton Myers 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 fourth season with DBDT.

Sierra Noelle Jones

Sierra Noelle Jones of Fort Washington, MD is a 2015 honors graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, earning a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance & Choreography. She graduated from Baltimore School for the Arts (2011) and began her early training with Donna’s Dance A Company, The Dance Institute of Washington, and The Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Pre-Professional Residency program. Sierra performed two seasons with DBDT: Encore!, is Zumba Fitness certified, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. This marks her first season with the main company.

Xavier Mack

Xavier Mack graduated from University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) in Baltimore, Maryland with a Bachelors 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 first season 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 Revelations, and Blues Suite by Alvin Ailey Sinatra Suite by Twyla Tharp, and other works by Ulysses Dove, Matthew Rushing and Arthur Mitchell. This is Zion’s second season with Dallas Black Dance Theatre.

Xavier Santafield

Dallas native, Xavier graduated from Booker T. Washington High School of the Performing and Visual Arts (BTWHSPVA) and began his studies in Modern Dance Performance at the University of Oklahoma (OU). His repertoire as a performer includes works by choreographers Alvin Ailey, José Limón, Dwight Rhoden, and Kevin Iega Jeff. As a choreographer, he was chosen for 2016 Young Choreographers Showcase at OU where he was awarded the Scott Salmon Modern Dance Choreography Award. Santafield has previously performed with Contemporary Dance Oklahoma and DBDT: Encore! This is his first season with main company.

Sean J. Smith

A proud Canadian, Sean trained with Goh Ballet Academy, Ballet British Columbia and The Ailey School. He has performed with Bruce Wood Dance Project, Rhythmic Souls Tap Company and African American Repertory Theater. Sean has performed works choreographed by Alvin Ailey, Judith Jamison, Donald McKayle, Robert Battle, and Matthew Rushing among many others. Sean has taught the Lester Horton technique for Ailey Athletic Boys (AAB), Dallas Black Dance Academy, and Southern Methodist University. Sean has choreographed works for Dallas Black Dance Theatre and DBDT: Encore!. This is Sean’s 8th 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 fourth season with the company.

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.

McKinley Willis

Ms. Willis began training with the Dallas Black Dance Academy and later received additional training at Özsoy’s School of Ballet. She is a 2011 graduate of Booker T. Washington High School of the Performing and Visual Arts and a 2015 graduate of the University of Oklahoma. In 2010, McKinley received the Texas Commission on the Arts Young Masters scholarship. 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 third season with Dallas Black Dance Theatre.

Photography by: The Dallas Dance Project