February 18, 2020

Introducing the 2020 Dance Theatre of Harlem at CityDance Summer Intensive Faculty

We are thrilled to welcome the Company members of Dance Theatre of Harlem, as well as Dance Theatre of Harlem Choreographer-In-Residence Robert Garland and CityDance faculty member Keith Thomas, for the annual DTH at CityDance Summer Intensive, June 15 through 26, 2020. They will join CityDance faculty members Diana Amalfitano, Sarah J. Ewing, Robert J. Priore, Monique Walker and Founding Artistic Director Lorraine Spiegler at the intensive. This year the intensive will be online as an impact of COVID-19.

Dance Theatre of Harlem at CityDance Summer Intensive

Orientation Day: Monday, June 15 (4-8pm)
Intensive Dates: Tuesday, June 16 - Saturday, June 20; Monday, June 22 - Friday, June 26 (9am-5pm).
Ages: 8 - 20
Online Fee: $700

Learn more about our Summer Intensives, see the full summer schedule and find out how to audition here. 

Meet the Dance Theatre of Harlem Faculty Artists

Robert Garland 

Robert Garland was a member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem Company achieving the rank of principal dancer. After creating a work for the DTH School Ensemble, Arthur Mitchell invited Robert Garland to create a work for The Dance Theatre of Harlem Company and appointed him the organization’s first Resident Choreographer. He was also Director of the Professional Training Program of the DTH school, and the organization’s webmaster. In addition to choreographing several ballets for DTH, Mr. Garland has also created works for New York City Ballet, Britain’s Royal Ballet, Oakland Ballet and many others. His commercial work has included music videos, commercials and short films, including the children’s television show Sesame Street, a Nike commercial featuring New York Yankee Derek Jeter, the NAACP Image Awards, a short film for designer Donna Karan, and the “Charmin Cha-Cha” for Proctor and Gamble. Mr. Garland holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Juilliard School in New York City. Mr. Garland is currently the Dance Theatre of Harlem School Director as well.

Keith Thomas
Keith Lamelle Thomas is a graduate of The Baltimore School for The Arts. After graduating, Mr. Thomas received a full scholarship to Dance Theater of Harlem. He worked his way up the ranks to become a principal dancer. Mr. Thomas then went on to have a wonderful career on Broadway and film, performing in such shows and movies as Ragtime, Red Shoes, Jellys' Last Jam, Harlem Song and Black and Blue, Malcolm X Stompin at the Savoy and The Producers. Mr. Thomas was an adjunct professor at Towson University, director of their Children's dance division, and he's had the pleasure of teaching, choreographing, assisting and consulting many seasoned and up-and-coming artists. Mr. Thomas is currently part of the CityDance faculty.

Meet the Dance Theatre of Harlem Company Members

Derek Brockington 
Born: Chicago, IL. Training: Grand Rapids Ballet School, Interlochen Arts Academy, Ballet West and Pennsylvania Ballet Summer Intensives. Professional Experience: Dance Theatre of Harlem (second season), Cincinnati Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet.  Repertoire includes works by George Balanchine, Anabelle Lopez Ochoa, and Kirk Peterson.

Kouadio Davis
Born: Oneonta, NY.  Training: Holbrook-Wade School of Dance, Fokine Ballet, New York State Summer School of the Arts with Daniel Ulbricht, NYCB. Carolyn Adams.  Alvin Ailey, Nutmeg Ballet, Charlotte Ballet, Alonzo King Lines, French Academie of Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Springboard Danse Montreal. 2019 Graduate of Ellison Ballet. Awards: Youth America Grand Prix in 2017 and 2018, where he and his partner won second and then first place in the contemporary Pas de Deux category. Professional Experience: Dance Theatre of Harlem (first season).

Da'Von Doane 
Born:  Salisbury, MD. Training: Salisbury Studio of Dance (now Salisbury Dance Academy), Betty Webster, Tatiana Akinfieva-Smith, and Elena Manakhova, Atlantic Contemporary Ballet Theatre, Eastern Shore Ballet Theatre, Kirov Academy of Ballet, and Atlantic Contemporary Ballet Theatre. Named 2014 Dance Magazines one of “25 to Watch”.  Professional experience: Dance Theatre of Harlem (eighth season), Claudia Schreier & Company, Ballet Noir and Classical Contemporary Ballet Theater. Repertoire includes works by George Balanchine, Christopher Huggins, Arthur Mitchell, Billy Wilson and Donald Byrd. Da’Von is a rising Choreographer.

Lindsey Donnell 
Born:  Midland, TX. Training: A Petite Dance Studio, Midland Festival Ballet under Susan Clark. Education: cum laude graduate of Butler University, degree in Dance Arts Administration and Journalism. Professional Experience: Dance Theatre of Harlem (eighth season), Nashville Ballet (trainee). Repertoire includes works by Robert Garland, Nacho Duato, Ulysses Dove, George Balanchine, Donald Byrd, Elena Kunikova and Dianne McIntyre.

Yinet Fernandez
Born: Mariano’ La Habana, Cuba. Training: Provincial School of the Arts, National School of Ballet, Ballet Nacional de Cuba.  Professional experience: Dance Theatre of Harlem (third season), Connecticut Ballet, Ballet Nacional de Cuba. Repertoire includes: Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Giselle, Coppélia, La Fille mal gardée, Don Quixote and works by George Balanchine, Robert Garland, Christopher Wheeldon, Darrell Grand Moultrie and Dianne McIntyre.

Alicia Mae Holloway 
Born:  Morgantown, WV. Training: School of American Ballet with Suki Schorer, Suzy Pilarre, Darci Kistler, Kay Mazzo, and Jock Soto. Early training with  Kat and Company Studio, Morgantown Dance Studio with Desiree Witt, Lauren Stone, Marilyn Pipes, Eunice Kim, and Robert Steele. Professional experience: Dance Theatre of Harlem (fifth season) and Suzanne Farrell Ballet (apprentice) Repertoire includes works by George Balanchine, Dianne McIntyre, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Claudia Schreier, Ulysses Dove, Nacho Duato Robert Garland, and Arthur Mitchell.

Alexandra Hutchinson 
Born: Wilmington, DE. Training: The Washington School of Ballet, Wilmington Academy of Dance, Summer intensives with Alvin Ailey, Alonzo King, Carolina Ballet, Ballet Chicago, and Nashville Ballet. Education: Bachelor of Science in Ballet, Indiana University.  Professional Experience: Dance Theatre of Harlem (second season), Nashville Ballet.  Repertoire includes: Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Western Symphony, Swan Lake, Concerto Barocco and Giselle.

Dustin James
Born: New Orleans, LA. Training: Houston School for the Performing Arts, Houston Ballet.
Professional Experience: Dance Theatre of Harlem (forth season), Sumin Ballet, BalletMet Columbus, Sierra Nevada Ballet, Midland Festival Ballet.  Repertoire includes works by Anabelle Lopez Ochoa, Michael Sumin, Stanton Welch, Jiri Killian, Helen Pickett, Dwight Rhoden, Ma Cong, Ulysses Dove and Robert Garland.

Choong Hoon Lee
Born: Seoul, South Korea. Training: Korean National University of Arts and School of American Ballet. Early experience: semi-finalist, Varna International Ballet Competition, Gwanju International Competition (gold medal in Pas de Deux). Professional experience: Dance Theatre of Harlem (fifth season), Mariinsky Ballet, Korean National Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and New York Theatre Ballet. Repertoire includes works by Robert Garland and Ulysses Dove, and soloist roles in Othello, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Cinderella, Spartacus, Paquita, Le Corsaire, and Giselle.

Daphne Lee 
Rahway, NJ. Training: Rahway Dance Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem School.  Education: BFA in Dance, Fordham University. Professional Experience: Dance Theatre of Harlem, Collage Dance Collective, Oakland Ballet, Alvin Ailey II, Black Iris Project. Repertoire includes works by Jessica Lang, Benoit Swan-Pouffer, Darrell Grand Moultrie, among others. Daphne is currently an MFA candidate at Hollins University.

Christopher Charles McDaniel
Born: East Harlem, NY.  Training: Dance Theatre of Harlem School, LaGuardia School of Performing Arts, Ballet Academy East, Boston Ballet, Jacob’s Pillow. Professional Experience: Dance Theatre of Harlem (third season), Ballet San Antonio, Los Angeles Ballet. Repertoire includes works by Robert Garland, Ulysses Dove, Darryl Grand Moultrie, Colleen Neary, Thordal Christensen, George Balanchine, Jiri Kylian, Gerald Arpino, Christopher Stowell and Kitty McNamee. Christopher is an accomplished ballet teacher and DTH Social Media Manager.

Sanford Placide 
Born: Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Training: Ballet Etudes of South Florida, Manhattan Youth Ballet, The French Académie of Ballet, Nadege Hottier, American Ballet Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Ballet Austin, Ballet Hispanico, Lines Ballet, and Miami City Ballet.
Professional Experience: Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alberta Ballet in Canada, Ballet West, Charlotte Ballet (formerly NCDT), Ballet Etudes of South Florida, Vorhees Ballet Theatre, Ballet Des Amériques, Fjkdance, Collage Dance Collective, Black Iris Dance Project, Boca Ballet Theatre, Ballet Northwest, Traverse City Dance Project and Accent Dance. Special Honors: In commemoration of Haitian Flag Day 2018, Sanford partnered with the Consulate General of Haiti in New York to organize and produce UNI, an art collective where he premiered the riveting ballet MAGA. In 2019, Sanford produced Sans-Souci, the second staging in the UNI series and was honored by the Consulate General of Haiti in New York for his work in preserving Haitian culture  Repertoire includes works by George Balanchine, Nacho Duato, Glenn Tetley, Desmond Richardson, Robert Garland, Mark Diamond, Yukicchi Hattori, Wen Wei Wang, Aszure

Anthony Santos 
Born: New York, NY. Training: Alvin Ailey School, North Carolina School of the Arts. Professional experience: Dance Theatre of Harlem (third season), Zest Collective, and Caitlin Trainor Dance. Repertoire includes works by Darrell Grand Moultrie, Robert Garland and Nacho Duato.

Dylan Santos 
Born:  São Paulo, Brazil. Training: Centro de Artes Pavilhao D under Ricardo Scheir and Harid Conservatory. Professional experience: Dance Theatre of Harlem (sixth season), Houston Ballet trainee, Orlando Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Chicago, and Paris Opera Ballet. Repertoire includes works by George Balanchine, Nacho Duato, Robert Garland, and Ulysses Dove, and Marius Petipa.

Crystal Serrano 
Born: Denver, CO. Training: Pacific Northwest Ballet, School of American Ballet, Olympic Ballet Theatre. Professional experience: Dance Theatre of Harlem (third season), Ballet San Antonio, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Sacramento Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet.  Repertoire includes: Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Peter Pan, Firebird, Donizetti Variations, Cinderella, The Four Temperaments, Allegro Brillante, The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Serenade, and Swan Lake and works by Robert Garland, Christopher Wheeldon and Darrell Grand Moultrie.

Ingrid Silva
Born: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Training: Projeto Dan-cando Para Nao Dancar, Escola de Danca Maria Olenewa, and Centro de Movimento Debora Colker. Education: Universidade da Cidade. Professional experience: Dance Theatre of Harlem (eighth season), Grupo Corpo (apprentice), Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble, Dancado Para Nao Dancar, Armitage Gone! Dance, and the Francesca Harper Project. Repertoire includes works by Arthur Mitchell, Donald Byrd, George Balanchine, Dianne McIntyre, John Alleyne, Darrel Grand Moultrie, Francesca Harper, Robert Garland, David Fernandez, Carol Armitage, Deborah Colker and Rodrigo Pederneiras.

Amanda Smith
Born: Orange County, CA. Training: Charlotte Ballet, SUNY Purchase, Joffrey Ballet School, Anaheim Ballet, Pointe of Grace, Ballet Pacifica.  Professional Experience: Dance Theatre of Harlem (third season), Charlotte Ballet, New York Theatre Ballet, Black Iris Project.  Repertoire includes works by George Balanchine, Mark Diamond, Sasha James, Dwight Rhoden, Alonzo King, Jiri Killian, Dianne McIntyre and Helen Pickett.

Stephanie Rae Williams
Born:  Salt Lake City, Utah. Training: Dallas Dance Academy with Lyndette Galen and Fiona Fairrie, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Springboard Danse Montreal, The Juilliard School, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, and Houston Ballet Academy. Professional experience: Dance Theatre of Harlem (10th season), The Francesca Harper Project, ARC Dance Seattle, Complexions Contemporary Dance Company, Ballet Black, and Texas Ballet Theatre. Special Awards: The Dallas Dance Council’s 2017 Natalie Skelton Award, 2013 Dance Magazine “On the Rise”, 2006 National Foundation for the Arts Award, 2006 Youth America Grand Prix finalist, Oprah Winfrey Fellowship recipient at the Ailey School, 2004 Texas Commission on the Arts Young Master. Repertoire includes works by Arthur Mitchell, Donald Byrd, George Balanchine, John Alleyne, Dianne McIntyre, Darrel Grand Moultrie, Francesca Harper, Liam Scarlett, Robert Garland, and David Fernandez.

Meet the CityDance Faculty Members

Lorraine Spiegler
Founding Artistic Director, CityDance School & Conservatory
Lorraine Spiegler’s professional dance career spans over 35 years as an educator, director and choreographer and embodies innovation in dance education at the national and international levels. Her work is deeply rooted in the global network/reality of multi-cultural expression and perspectives through myth, legend, lore, language and history. Strongly focused on training and performance excellence in individual dancers with an eye on identifying and nurturing talent and quality - Ms. Spiegler's mission is to recognize and promote individuals’ dance gifts while igniting future generations of dance professionals who will contribute to new directions and themselves innovate in the broader dance field.

Ms. Spiegler holds a B.A. date in Dance cum laude (1979) and two Masters (1991) in Dance History and Arts Management from American University, where she also served as a Dance Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Performing Arts. In 2003, she garnered the American University Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Dance Field.

Early in her career, Ms. Spiegler traveled to the Caribbean to teach in The St. Croix School of the Arts. She later served as an NEA artist-in-residence for the Caribbean Dance Company and School and in 1982 became the Artistic Director of Theatre Dance School and Company for which she also created an international exchange program with Bennington College and a scholarship program for talented Caribbean dancers to attend the prestigious July Program.

In 1991, Mary Day invited Ms. Spiegler to return to her alma mater, The Washington Ballet (TWB), as a full-time faculty member. In 1999 Spiegler became TWB’s first Director of Education and Outreach and co-founder of The Washington Ballet’s DanceDC Program with Septime Webre. Spiegler also created the “Dancing with Words" curriculum. There she also developed and co-directed “Cultural Partnerships for At-Risk Children and Youth Program: Dancing Toward Literacy” funded by the US Dept of Education for 50, 7th graders in Anacostia, connecting directly to TWB’s programming at the ARC.

Commissioned twice by the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) in partnership with the Kennedy Center as the Dance Director/Choreographer for “Music that Moves”  Program (in 1999, 2003), Ms. Spiegler worked in artistic collaboration with the NSO conductors towards the  realization of a classical music and dance program that highlighted qualities of classical music while showcasing  DC area talents from: The Washington Ballet’s Young Dancers and professional company, The Kirov Ballet Academy and Duke Ellington School for the Arts.

Ms. Spiegler’s international and intercultural dance exchange projects have taken her to the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America. Ms. Spiegler's Brazilian/American exchange work has been extensive. She created and implemented a new bi-lingual dance and language project based on her methodology “Dancing Toward Literacy” for the Escola Americana in Rio de Janeiro (EARJ), has served as a choreographer-in-residence for Richard Cragun’s Ballet De Anima, as a Cultural Specialist/Artist-in-residence funded by the US Consulate in Rio for Dalal Achcar’s Compania Jovem do Rio De Janeiro (also taking the company to dance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC) and co-creating with Goucher College Dance Department in Maryland an international study abroad course for American students: “History and Practice of Brazilian Dance” connected to her other work in Rio de Janeiro with Escola de Samba Mangueira, Focus Cia de Danca, The Folk Dance Company of UFRJ,  Faculdade Angel Vianna and Cia Deborah Colker.

Ms. Spiegler is the recipient of the 2013 Metro Dance DC Award for "Excellence in Education" for her role in the founding and development of CityDance Conservatory - work that began in 2007-2008. Under her leadership and direction, CityDance School & Conservatory based at the Strathmore Music Center in North Bethesda has become one of the region’s most prestigious centers for pre-professional dance training. Conservatory Dancers continue to be recognized by various honors and accolades including awards at WBC, Vienna international Competition (Fanny Elssler), NYCDA and finalist placements at YOUNG ARTS and Prix de Lausanne. From 2010 through to the present, CityDance has had an impressive presence at YAGP, including individual awards in classical and contemporary, ensemble and pas de deux, Hope, Grand Prix and Outstanding Teacher. Our dancers have also won medals at YAGP International Finals in NYC and secured invitations to the YAGP Gala in Mexico. Ms. Spiegler also coaches and choreographs for the YAGP dancers.

Spiegler continues to serve as a Board member for Rio de Janeiro/Maryland Partners of the Americas. She has served as a panelist for many organizations and conferences including the Dance/USA Conference in 2000 in San Francisco, California co-presenter with Septime Webre, Martin Cohen, and Suzanne Callahan: “The Development of the DanceDC Evaluation Plan” and for The Kennedy Center's DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative in Washington, DC in 2001 on the panel for “Arts Partners Beyond the School Day”, where she presented her paper “Problems and Possibilities of After-School Arts Programs”. Ms. Spiegler's publications include Dance Teacher Magazine: “7 Days: Building a Dance Curriculum through Cultural Dialogue.” April 2001, pp. 59-61 on her work in Cuba.

Diana Amalfitano
Diana Amalfitano, a dancer from the Washington, DC area, initially came to CityDance through the after-school DARE Dance Program. After being identified as a talented young student, she became one of the first to graduate the nascent Conservatory program under Lorraine Spiegler in 2011. Diana continued her education, receiving her BFA in Dance Performance with a concentration in Arts Management from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance in 2015. After graduating, Diana joined DC-based Company | E, with whom she has toured nationally and internationally performing, teaching and choreographing.

Diana has been a company member of  Robert J. Priore ’s Dance Company, PrioreDance, since 2015. Performances include: Divided We Stand in 2015 on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center. Casita performing at numbers venues including New York City at the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center for the Dance Gallery Festival in 2016, at Sidney Harman Hall in the Velocity Dance Festival in 2017, at Jacobs Pillow on the Inside Out stage in 2018, and at the Grier School Dance Gala under Jocelyn Hrzic in 2019. Performing Trois in 2017 at the Richmond Dance Festival at the Dogtown Dance Theatre and at CityDance Studio Blackbox Theatre. Priore’s work Cirque de Nuit premiered at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in 2018 and toured to Holguin, Cuba as guests for the Vladimir Malakhov Grad Prix. Diana also performed at the Kennedy Center for the Mark Twain Comedy Award Show which was televised on PBS, dancing alongside comedy stars Abbi Jacobson and Illana Glazer from Broad City in 2018. Diana has been a dancer with S. J. EWING & DANCERS since 2017. She has performed Analog in Detroit at the Detroit City Dance Festival, and at the Dance Metro DC Showcase at Dance Place in 2017. Performing her latest work, Gallery, at the Source Theatre in 2019. Most recently, performing alongside the Maryland Lyric Opera in their production of Thais at the Clarice Theater at UMD in 2020.

Diana is a member of CityDance School & Conservatory Faculty and teaches modern and jazz year round. She also choreographs for the Conservatory and is the Repetiteur, working closely with rehearsing and restaging pieces from internal and guest choreographers, including those of national and international stature - Ronen Koresh, Herve Koubi and Alex Neroal, to name a few.

Diana was recognized for her hard work in the field and was interviewed in a Dance Magazine article (2017) written by Ali Castro called "What it takes to Thrive as a Freelance Dancer - In Any City".

Diana is grateful for the opportunity to dance, and dedicates her performance career to her mother Diane, in honor of her guidance, dedication, support and love.

Sarah J. Ewing
Sarah J. Ewing is an Australian born dancer and choreographer, a CityDance Ignite Artist and the Director of S. J. EWING & DANCERS. Sarah has a close relationship with the School & Conservatory as an esteemed faculty member and choreographer. Ewing often creates new works on Conservatory dancers, which she presents alongside her company's works, and also casts current students and numerous alumni in her professional productions.

In 2019,. Ewing was one of the first artists commissioned by the Kennedy Center to create an original work for its newly expanded campus, the REACH. She also toured a new work, Analog OnSite, to New Zealand's premier alternative arts festival, The Arcade Festival, and toured twice to Detroit. She presented a new full-length work, Gallery, at FlashDC. The work was re-presented by CulturalDC and CityDance at Source Theater in September for Cultural DC's 20th anniversary season. Sarah was selected to choreograph for Maryland Lyric Opera's new production of Thais, which premiered at the Kay Theater at the Clarice Performing Arts Center in January 2020.

Her company, S. J. EWING & DANCERS, has presented throughout DC at The Kennedy Center, Dupont Underground, Dance Place, Atlas Performing Arts Center and in site-specific installations at Bread for the City, 2M Apartment Building, Flash nightclub and The Warehouse. The company has toured across the US to Green Space (NYC), Boston Contemporary Dance Festival (MA), White Wave Dance Festival (NYC), Ailey Citigroup Theater (NYC), Your Move JC (NJ), Dance Gallery Festival (TX), CityDance Studio Theater at Strathmore (MD) and twice to the Detroit City Dance Festival (MI). In the 2018-2019 season, the company had residencies in Michigan at Cranbrook School and Lightbox Theater.

Robert J. Priore 
Robert J. Priore is the Choreographer-In-Residence for the CityDance Conservatory program as well as an Ignite Artist. Robert received a BFA in Dance from Point Park University. Since 2010, he has been teaching Contemporary Jazz at the highest levels of the School & Conservatory, and his Choreographer-In-Residence works are directly linked to his mission of creating signature pieces for the Conservatory.

Priore is very proud to be a founding member of 2011 DC-based Company | E, where he has had the honor of dancing works by Ohad Naharin, Andrea Miller, Sharon Eyal, Rachel Erdos, Roni Koresh, Marco Cantalupo and Thomas Noone. In 2015, Robert was a recipient of the John F. Kennedy Center Local Dance Commissioning Project and created a special work, Speak Easy for the artists of Company | E. Speak Easy has been on the road, presented in collaboration with Company | E, in Russia, Azerbaijan, Cuba and most recently in Ukraine.

PrioreDance, Robert’s professional company, was founded in the fall of 2016. In January of 2017, Robert traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he facilitated a workshop at La Fábrica, and set and presented work for local professionals. In April of 2017, Robert traveled to Holguin, Cuba to set an original work on the dancers of CoDanza. He returned to Holguin in the fall with PrioreDance company member, Abby Leithart, to premiere his work Casita with CoDanza at the Vladimir Malakhov Grand Prix, where the piece won the audience choice award. In July of 2018, PrioreDance was chosen to perform Casita at the Inside/Out Program Theatre during the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow Summer Festival. That same fall, Robert and five dancers returned once again to Holguin to present excerpts of Robert’s Cirque De Nuit for the Vladimir Malakhov Grand Prix performance.

In 2016, 2017 and 2018 Robert also was named an outstanding fellow in the arts in his home of the District of Columbia. In November of 2019, Robert presented a new work at the Dance Gallery Festival in New York City, being named one of the three Level-Up commissioned choreographers. From 2016 to 2020, Robert was named an outstanding fellow in his home of the District of Columbia. In tandem, Robert was the recipient of several project grants from 2018 to 2020 to create evening length works for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Most recently, Robert was commissioned to create a work for the Mark Twain Prize Award Ceremony which was nationally televised on PBS in November of 2018. In 2019, Robert was awarded the prestigious Pola Nirenska Award for outstanding contribution to art in the District of Columbia. 

Monique Walker
Originally from Chester, Pennsylvania, Monique Newton Walker has traveled the world as a performer, educator and choreographer. She specializes in Neo-traditional and contemporary African dance and has studied seriously in this specialty since an early age. Monique has refined her powerful teaching techniques throughout her career with many dance masters and established institutions including: Baba Chuck Davis (1998-2004), Philadanco! (1987), The School at Jacob’s Pillow (Summers 2000 and 2004) and Dr. Kariamu Welsh (1996-Present). Based in southern-Maryland, Monique is a 2018-2019 NextLOOK Residency Artist and a certified Master Teacher of Umfundalai contemporary African dance technique. Monique is a teaching faculty member of CityDance DREAM School for Dance as well as the School & Conservatory, where she teaches that technique. Monique has choreographed for Conservatory Concerts and led workshops throughout the institution during staff training and kickoff events. Ms. Walker has also taught her specialty Umfundalai at Drexel University (Spring 2018), North Carolina State University (1999-2003) and The School at Jacob’s Pillow (1999). She is the former Dance Captain and Assistant to the Artistic Director of Baba Chuck Davis' African American Dance Ensemble. Her choreography has also been presented at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival (2009), Dance Place (2007) and the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (2016). Monique continues her mission and leadership of using dance, music and theater as a vehicle for the preservation, promotion and innovation of African Diasporan dance through her work as the Director of Administration for the Organization of Umfundalai Teachers and a choreographer with her project-based performance company, MoDance Works.