DBDT: Encore! Dancers
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Originally from Acapulco Guerrero Mexico, Eduardo has lived in Dallas since his early teens. A graduate of Sunset High School, Eduardo received his Associate in Arts degree from Mountain View College where he was a member of the MVC dance company. He began his dance training with Ballet Folklorico Hispano de Dallas, under the direction of Guadalupe and Manuel Godinez. He later went on to train in ballet and modern with professors John Merrifield and Estela Tejeda. He has also trained at Etgen-Atkinson School of Ballet (Dallas Met) where he performed in their production of Coppelia in 2011 and at Contemporary Ballet Dallas. Mr. Castrejon was a scholarship recipient for the 2014 Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Summer Intensive Professional Dance Workshop. This is his third season with DBDT: Encore! (formerly Dallas Black Dance Theatre II).
Lailah Duke is a 2015 graduate of Howard University with a degree in Dance. Originally from San Francisco, California, Lailah owes her first experiences in dance to Destined 2 Dance Studio and Performing Arts of Oakland, CA. Lailah has had the privilege to perform several works by Lion King Cast member Ray Mercer, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s company member Hope Boykin, Arch Choreo 40’s founder Jennifer Archibald, former Philadanco company member Maverick Lemons, and a multitude of other esteemed artists. This is Lailah’s second season as a member of DBDT: Encore!.
A native of Madison, WI, Imani began her dance training under the direction of Jean Adams at the Monona Academy of Dance and the Madison Professional Dance Center’s pre-professional company. She has received scholarships from The Anthony Quinn Foundation, Dance Chicago, a Producer’s Society Scholarship, and the Rahm Emanuel Scholarship to attend the River North Dance Chicago workshops. Imani was selected for the Chicago-area cast of Memoria by Alvin Ailey, performing with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Ms. English is a 2014 graduate and Valedictorian of Chicago High School for the Arts, she has performed repertoire from DanceWorks Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Muntu Dance Theater, and Joffrey Ballet. Imani joined DanceWorks Chicago in 2014, touring internationally performing works by renowned choreographers Brian Enos, Harrison McEldowney, Christian Denice, casebolt and smith, Kristofer Storey, Christian Spuck, Demis Volpi, James Gregg and Joshua Manculich among others. This will be Imani’s first season with DBDT: Encore!
Herman Houston III
A Dallas native, Herman Houston III graduated from the Dallas Can Academy and attended the American Music and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in Los Angeles, CA. He has performed with Happy Nia Dance Theatre and was a past member of Bloom, Dallas Black Dance Academy’s Performing Ensemble. Herman has attended the Complexions Contemporary Intensive, as well as, numerous Dallas Black Dance Theatre Summer Intensives and the Academy Summer Enrichment. This marks Herman’s fourth season with DBDT: Encore!.
A native of Ft. Washington, MD, Sierra Noelle Jones is a 2015 honors graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA in Dance & Choreography. Ms. Jones graduated high school from Baltimore School for the Arts in Baltimore City, MD (2011). Prior to high school Sierra studied with Donna’s Dance Company, The Dance Institute of Washington, and The Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Pre-Professional Residency program. Sierra also received additional training from summer programs such as Philadanco as a D/2 member, The Ailey School, Atlanta Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, The Virginia School for the Arts, and The Dance Institute of Washington. She has also performed under many choreographers through VCU such as Dr. E. Gaynell Sherrod, Christian von Howard, Martha Curtis, Melanie Richards, Autumn Proctor Waddell, and Nathan Trice. Sierra is a certified Zumba Instructor and this marks Sierra’s second season with DBDT: Encore!.
Xavier Mack is a 2016 graduate of the University of Maryland Baltimore County with a B.A. in Modern Languages & Linguistics. Prior to becoming a dancer, he trained as a competitive gymnast and received several awards in U.S. national, regional, and state competitions. Xavier attributes his dance training to Divine Dance Institute, in Capitol Heights, Maryland under the direction of Amanda F. Standard. He has received scholarships to attend summer intensives at The Dance Theatre of Harlem and Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Xavier has also had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as Kevin Jeff, Lesole Maine, Freddie Moore, Kapila Palihawandana, and Roger C. Jeffery. This marks his 1st season with DBDT: Encore!
A Dallas native, Xavier graduated from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and is currently a senior Modern Dance Performance major at the University of Oklahoma. His repertoire as a performer includes works by choreographers Alvin Ailey, José Limón, Jessica Lang, Dwight Rhoden, Kevin Iega Jeff, and Sonia Dawkins. As a choreographer he was chosen for the 2015 and 2016 Young Choreographers Showcase at the University of Oklahoma where he was awarded the Scott Salmon Modern Dance Choreography Award. Santafield has previously performed with Contemporary Dance Oklahoma and this is his first season with DBDT: Encore!.
Christen Ashley Williams
Assistant to Director
Christen Ashley is a recent BFA recipient from Howard University. She has had the opportunity to work with Zane Booker, Kathy Smith, Hope Boykin, Assane Konte, Ray Mercer, Kim Bears-Bailey, and others. She has also had the privilege to perform works choreographed by Dr. Sherill Berryman-Johnson, Pearl Primus, and Ronald K. Brown. She has toured with the Howard University Dance Ensemble to Dallas, Philadelphia and Toronto, Canada. Christen was the assistant choreographer for the Howard University Theatre Arts production of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf. Recently, Christen has performed with Alfre Woodard at the Lincoln Memorial for Constitution Day, and was grateful for the opportunity to perform at two Inaugural Celebration’s for the re-election of President Barack Obama. Christen has also performed with Anthony Hamilton on TV1’s A Christmas Special. This is Christens third season with DBDT: Encore!.
Photography by: Brian Guilliaux