Nycole Ray ~ Artful Dancewear Teacher Scholarship
A Detroit native, Nycole Ray graduated from The California Institute of the Arts with a Bachelors of fine Arts in dance. She received additional training at the California State Summer School of the Arts, Wayne State University, and as an exchange student at the London Contemporary Dance School in England. Nycole has performed with Walt Disney World Entertainment, Christopher and Friends directed by Christopher Huggins, the Lula Washington Dance Theater, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II and the Zadonu African Dance Company. She has worked with noted choreographers such as Donald Mckayle, Diane McIntyre, Christopher Huggins, Alonzo King, Donald Bird and Camille Brown. She has also taught and set choreography on Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dallas Black Dance Theatre II, and the Milwaukee Dance Connection. Ms. Ray was a featured choreographer for the Tenth annual Choreographers Choice Series in Dallas; and her work premiered in Vienna’s 2003 International Black Dance Festival. She accompanied Dr. Chuck Davis, as an invited guest, during his annual pilgrimage to Africa, and is a Masters of fine Arts candidate and has been a teaching Assistant at Texas Woman’s University. She is very involved in the community as an individual and as a member of Delta Sigma Theta. She is a community outreach instructor and the director of Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Summer Intensive program. Nycole is the past director of Bloom, Dallas Black Dance Academy’s Performing Ensemble, and now serves as the Director for Dallas Black Dance Theatre II. This marks her thirteenth season with the Dallas Black Dance Theatre.
Nycole plans to attend the 28th Annual Dunham International Seminar at the Southern Illinois University this summer, participating in both the Certification and technique programs. This will enable her to gain the requirements needed to complete Dunham Technique teacher certification. Her continued education will help to maintain a professional standard for the teaching of Dunham Technique in the Dallas Black Dance Academy curriculum.
I received the Artful Dance Wear Teacher Scholarship this past spring to attend
the 28th Annual Dunham Technique Seminar and Certification Workshop this summer
in East St. Louis, IL.
The Certification Workshop gave me the opportunity to learn more, in depth,
about Ms. Katherine Dunham with like minded students on the path of becoming a
Dunham certified instructor. The four day workshop consisted of twenty
eight hours focusing on the history and life of Katherine Dunham and her dance
technique. The Master instructors educated our small group of seven on the
achievements of her scholarly work including her research papers and footage of
her anthropological studies, and the books she had written. The history of her
dance companies, her dance technique, and most importantly, her theories and
philosophies where a main focus in the workshop. The workshop is also the venue
in which students who are in the process of becoming certified instructors are
interviewed for the program, given feedback on their teaching of the technique,
and receive instruction in the technique.
The Dunham Technique Seminar was a blast! Students nationwide and abroad
attended the program. We took two Dunham classes and a world dance class each
day. We would alternate days with a repertory classes, percussion classes, and
lectures. At the end of the seminar, each class did a demonstration of some of
the things that each class focused on.
I felt privileged and honored to have the opportunity to be in the company of
Marie Christine Dunham-Pratt, the daughter of Kathrine Dunham and John Pratt.
She traveled from Italy to help continue legacy of the Katherine Dunham and the
I would like to thank the Dance Council of North Texas for selecting me to
receive the scholarship to continue my studies, and to Artful Dance Wear for
making this scholarship available.
This opportunity has helped me get closer to achieving my goal of becoming a
certified Dunham instructor.
~ Nycole Ray