Company

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Dancer Bios

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Amber J. Merrick

From Baltimore, Maryland, Ms. Merrick began her formal training at the Baltimore School of the Arts. She received additional training from Dance Theatre of Harlem, Miami City Ballet, American Ballet Theater and Palucca Schule Drasden. While studying abroad in 2007, Ms. Merrick performed as a guest artist with Die Theater Chemnnitz in Chemnitz, Germany. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance at Towson University, she went on to perform with Oakland Ballet Company, under the direction of Graham Lustig.
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CLAUDE ALEXANDER, III

A native of Washington, D.C., Claude comes to Dallas Black Dance Theatre after attending Towson University in Towson, Maryland. He received additional training from The Ailey School as a Fellowship student, Parsons Dance and Dallas Black Dance Theatre's Summer Intensive professional trainings on full scholarship. Claude’s previous dance experience includes dancing with Dishibem and Dance RINK, both of Baltimore, Maryland and Eudora Ballet. He has performed works by Alvin Ailey, Elisa Monte, Hope Boykin, Dianne McIntyre, Bridget L. Moore and Christopher L. Huggins. He has also had the opportunity to set works on DBDT, DBDT II, Allegro and the Senior Performing Ensemble.
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DERRICK SMITH

From Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Smith is a graduate of Brenau University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance. He is also a graduate of Florida School of the Arts, where he was a scholarship student completing both an Associate of Science and an Associate of Arts degree in dance performance. He has received additional dance training from The Ailey School, Orlando Ballet School, Atlanta Ballet and Dallas Black Dance Theatre II. Mr. Smith has performed as a soloist with the Gainesville Ballet and Royal Caribbean Celebrity Cruise Line.
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JAMIE THOMPSON

A Dallas native, Katricia received her BFA in Dance with a minor in Business Foundations from the University of North Texas and is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. A graduate from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, she received additional dance training from Dallas Black Dance Academy, Dallas Ballet Center and the International Conference for Blacks in Dance. Notable performances include performing for the King of Ghana and Winnie Mandela. Katricia was a charter member of Dallas Black Dance Theatre II. She is currently serving as the Director of DBDT's Allegro Performing Ensemble and a teacher in Dallas Black Dance Academy.
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KATRICIA EAGLIN

A Dallas native, Katricia received her BFA in Dance with a minor in Business Foundations from the University of North Texas and a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. A graduate from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, she received additional dance training from Dallas Black Dance Academy, Dallas Ballet Center and the International Conference for Blacks in Dance. Notable performances include performing for the King of Ghana and Winnie Mandela. Mrs. Eaglin is the Assistant Rehearsal Director for DBDT, the Director of DBDT's Allegro Performing Ensemble and a teacher in Dallas Black Dance Academy.
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MICHELLE HEBERT

Raised just outside of Detroit, Michigan, Michelle received a BA in Dance Performance from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. She received additional training from Gus Giordanos and Jacob’s Pillow Contemporary Traditions Program as a scholarship student. Ms. Hebert As a professional dancer, she has been a member of Garth Fagan Dance in Rochester, NY, Ballet Creole in Toronto, Canada and as a guest artist with the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica in Kingston. She is a teacher for Spyceland Dancers summer program in St. George, Grenada. Michelle currently teaches ballet and modern techniques in DBDT’s Academy and has previously directed DBDT’s Academy Junior Performing Ensemble. She is currently the director of the Senior Performing Ensemble.
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Keon Nickie

From Arouca, Trinidad and Tobago, Keon began his dance training in his native country before immigrating to the United States to further his education and dance studies. In 2007, Keon graduated with a BFA from Long Island University in Brooklyn. He has studied with The Ailey School, Balance Dance Theatre, Ballet Hispanico, Cheryl Byron and Something Positive, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Eclectic Dance Theatre, and Pure Elements. He has performed works by choreographers Gary Abbott, Cheryl Byron, Kevin Iega Jeff, Lisa Johnson-Willingham, Kevin A. Joseph, Bill T. Jones, Mark Morris, Troy Powell, Pearl Primus, Nathan Trice, Dr. Melissa Vaughan, Lakai Worrel, and Obediah Wright. Keon was a previous member of the second company of Deeply Rooted Productions and DanceWorks Chicago.
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Omoniyi Osoba

Omoniyi began training at Pofahl Dance Studio in Gainesville, FL. In 2002, she received a four year scholarship from Pofahl. She has received summer intensive training from South Carolina Dance Conservatory, The Ailey School, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane. At the University of South Carolina, she made history by being one of twelve dancers in the world to ever perform Martha Graham's Sketches from Chronicle in its entirety. A documentary on the project aired in May 2008. Omoniyi was a member of DBDT II for two years and is an alumnus of Florida International University where she received her BA in Dance Education.
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Kimara Wood

Kimara received his BFA in Dance and Choreography at Virginia Commonwealth University, and has performed at the historical Warner Theatre in Washington DC, where he won a dance scholarship through the Washington Post’s Music and Dance Scholarship Awards, in 2007, hosted by Jim Vance and Jazmine Guy. He appeared on the hit TV show, “So You Think You Can Dance,” making it all the way to Las Vegas in 2009. He has recently studied Brazilian Martial Arts, Capoeira, under Meistre Panao. His future aspirations are to open a studio in Japan, and to create genre of dance combining modern and Hip-hop. Prior to coming to Dallas, he was a member of Strictly Rhythm Dance Center in Alexandria, VA. Last year, Kimara was a member of Dallas Black Dance Theatre II. This is his first season as a proud member of Dallas Black Dance Theatre.
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De’Anthony Vaughn

Born in Kansas City, MO, De’Anthony was drawn into dance by his grandmother at the age of 3. She ran a Performing Arts school and introduced him to all forms of dance. Having a preference for tap dance, it was the staff at the Kansas City Friends of Ailey School that fostered his love for the other dance disciplines. He attended the Ailey School on scholarship. He received additional training from the Kansas City Ballet. Prior to joining Dallas Black Dance Theatre, he was a member of the Von Howard Project. He performed in the production of Anything Goes at the Starlight Theatre. An avid tap dancer, he has earned top honors at several competitive showcases throughout his career.
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Kayah Franklin

A native of Sacramento, California, Kayah received her BFA in Dance Arts from Howard University under the tutelage of Dr. Sherrill Berryman- Johnson and Pat Thomas. Kayah has studied with The Maryland Youth Ballet, The Dance Institute of Washington, Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts and Dallas Black Dance Theatre. She has performed original works by choreographers such as Hope Boykin, Ray Mercer, Baba Chuck Davis and Darrell Moultrie, and also as a guest artist with Kankouran West African Dance Company. Kayah has performed in Fame: A Stage Play (The Life Center, MD) and FLY (Dallas Theater Center, TX). She danced two seasons with Dallas Black Dance Theater II.
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Richard A. Freeman, Jr.
Resident Choreographer

A native of Washington, D.C., Richard began his training with District of Columbia Youth Ensemble and the Washington Ballet. He received additional training from Duke Ellington School of the Arts, as well as Virginia Commonwealth University. He danced professionally with Elisa Monte Dance. Richard has choreographed works for the Atlanta Dance Connection, Texas Ballet Theater School, Dallas Black Dance Theatre and DBDT II. He is the former Assistant Director for DBDT's Bloom Performing Ensemble and currently a teacher in the Dallas Black Dance Academy.
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Sean J. Smith

A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Sean has received training from The Ailey School, Toronto Dance Theatre and Goh Ballet Academy Canada in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has performed works choreographed by Troy Powell, George Balanchine, Twyla Tharpe, Paul Taylor, George Faison, Robert Battle and Judith Jamison. Mr. Smith Sean has previously performed with Ballet Creole and Mascall Dance and as a student with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. As a choreographer, he has presented his works as a student at The Ailey School and as a member of Dallas Black Dance Theatre. He has taught the Dance Technique of Lester Horton for The Ailey Athletic Boys Dance Program, Peridance Capezio Center in New York City and currently Dallas Black Dance Academy.
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Jasmine C. Black

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Ms. Black began her dance career at the age of 10 with Stephanie Powel at Baltimore Dance Tech. She attended the Baltimore School for Arts and graduated from the Carver Center for the Arts High School. As a Maryland All State Dancer, she was named a Distinguished Scholar in 2008. Ms. Black received a Bronze Medal in 2008 from the NAACP Actso Awards. She received a BFA in Dance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas with a minor in Sports Management in 2012. She has received training from The Ailey School, Complexions Summer Intensive, Bates Dance Festival, Dallas Black Dance Theatre and Jacob's Pillow.
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Alyssa Harrington

From Lincoln, Nebraska, Ms. Harrington began her dance career at The Pure Movement Dance Institute and with UNO's The Moving Company where she was accepted as the youngest member in school history. She attended many summer Intensives on full scholarships including Kansas City Ballet, The Ailey School, and Dallas Black Dance where she was a demonstrator for Dudley Williams, and Milton Myers. She attended The Ailey School as a level 1 scholar for two years. During her training in 2011 she received an apprentice position with SD|PrismDance. She was an active performing artist in J.U.S.T.I.C.E League Dance Collective, and SD|PrismDance while performing with Dallas Black Dance II for the 2012-2013 Season.
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Christopher McKenzie, Jr.

Christopher McKenzie, Jr. is from Miami, FL, where he attended school at New World School of the Arts College. He went on to train at The Ailey School and The Martha Graham School, both as a fellowship student. He has worked with Peter London, Scott Rink, Dwana Adiaha Smallwood, Francesca Harper, Bruce Wood, Chung Lin Tseng, Mary Barnett, Troy Powell, Camille A. Brown, Zach Law Ingram, & Bernard H. Gaddis. He was awarded "Dancer of the Year" through Miami Elite, Inc. Mr. McKenzie joined the company in 2008.