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DCDC Dancers

The dynamic professional artists of DCDC

From around the world, united by art!

The DCDC First Company

This group of elite dance artists comes from across the world to bring their spirit and passion for the arts to DCDC. Comprised of professional dance artists, the First Company performs several mainstage shows in Dayton, Ohio, as well as extensive touring across the nation and the world. Each dance artist brings their unique perspective to the stage, blending into one stunning collective of voices where the African-American story continues to be told through dance.

Devin Baker

Indianapolis, Indiana

Devin joined the company in 2013. He trained with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater in Chicago and has performed for Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Seamless Dance Theater, and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, along with various choreographers such as Ray Mercer, Milton Myers, Kevin Iega Jeff, and Nejla Yatkin. This is his eleventh season with DCDC. 




Qarrianne Blayr

Fayetteville, NC

Qarrianne joined DCDC’s first company in 2012 after having performed for two seasons in DCDC2, the company’s pre-professional ensemble. She earned her BFA degree at Howard University, studying under Sherrill Berryman-Johnson, Pat Thomas, Sandra Fortune-Green, Katherine Smith, Akua Kouyate, and Assane Konte. She also studied traditional Jamaican dance at University of West Indies at Mona.

In 2004, Ms. Blayr founded the performing arts group Arts International. 

Of the choreographers she has worked with, Sherrill Berryman-Johnson has been the most influential in helping her become a “moving/thinking vessel.”

Her favorite DCDC repertory piece to perform is The Amen Corner of the dance concert BodyTalk.

Nicolay Dorsett

Sunset, FL

Nicolay Dorsett joined the company as a JB Fellow in 2020 and was promoted to a company member in 2021.  She was born and raised in Sunrise, Florida, and began her dance training at the young age of 7 at Elegant School of Modern Dance. She graduated from the University of South Florida (USF) in the spring of 2020 with a BA in health sciences and a BFA in modern dance performance. During Nicolay’s time at USF, she studied under teachers Bliss Kolmyer, Michael Foley, Andrew Carrol, Andee Scott, and John Parks and performed in works by renowned choreographers, including Vespers by Ulysses Dove and Prowl by Claudia Lavista. In October of 2019, she was selected to be a part of the USF/China Exchange Program to participate in the International Creative Dance Seminar at Beijing Normal University. With her passion for dance, Nicolay hopes to continue performing and growing in her artistry.

Alexandria Flewellen

Columbus, OH

Ms. Flewellen joined DCDC2 in 2016 then promoted to first company in 2017. Alexandria graduated from Wright State University in 2018.

The choreographer who has most influenced her is DCDC alum Dwight Rhoden; "He challenged my usual way of moving and helped me find a different way of thinking about movement."

"I chose to be a dancer because I need to dance, and it is who I am."




Aaron Frisby

Philadelphia, PA

Aaron joined the company in 2020. He started out dancing in hip-hop and acrobatics at the tender age of 7. By the age of 12, Aaron was training in ballet, jazz, and modern at The POINTE! Dance Studio. In 2010, he was accepted into the Philadelphia Creative and Performing Arts High School (CAPA). Aaron attended The Ailey School Summer Intensive; he was fortunate enough to be accepted into the scholarship program at The Ailey School as well. He spent two years as a scholarship student there and was also a part of the student performance group (ASPG). Mr. Frisby learned and performed works choreographed by Alvin Ailey, Kirven Boyd, Ray Mercer, Ronald K. Brown, and many more. Aaron is so grateful to have made it this far in his dance career and is excited to continue dancing with the DCDC family.

Niarra Gooden-Clarke

Toronto, Ontario

Niarra Gooden-Clarke is a talented dancer who joined DCDC in 2021 as a JB Fellow. She was subsequently promoted to a company member in 2022.Gooden-Clarke graduated from Kent State University with a B.A. in Dance and a B.A. in Sociology in the spring of 2022.

Throughout her career, Niarra has worked with and performed pieces by renowned choreographers such as Ray Mercer, Yoshito Sakuraba, Tiffany Rae-Fisher, Gary Abbott, Catherine Meredith, Gregory King, and Avery Walker. She has also learned from acclaimed artists like Kayla Farrish, Juel D. Lane, and Baye&Asa. Niarra has attended summer intensives with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater and Emerge125 and received a full scholarship to attend the BODYTRAFFIC summer program.

While completing her undergraduate degrees, Niarra taught dance classes in various styles to students aged 3-18 at nearby studios. She was also an assistant cheerleading coach at Theodore Roosevelt High School.

Niarra is passionate about retelling and preserving African American history through movement. She believes that the dancing body can effectively express the black experience. Niarra is thrilled to continue her professional career as a movement artist, teacher, and choreographer and enjoys experiencing the expression of other artists through physical movement. 

Da'Rius Malone

Chicago, IL

Da'Rius joins the company for his first season in 2022. He began his training under the direction of August Tye at Hyde Park School of Dance. A 2014 graduate of The Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts), he won the award for Scholar-Artist and performed works from DanceWorks Chicago, Muntu Dance Theater, and Joffrey Ballet.

In 2018, he graduated from The Boston conservatory at Berklee with a BFA in Contemporary Dance Performance with an Emphasis in Ballet. 

Mr. Malone has trained with the Kibbutz contemporary Dance Company (Israel), Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, NW Dance Project, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, American Ballet theatre, Ballet Austin, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, and 10 Hairy Legs. Da'Rius has performed works by Doug Varone, Joshua Manculich, Merce Cunningham, Danny Buraczeski, Gabrielle Lamb, Yury Yanowsky, and Akram Khan. 

As a company member with James Sewell Ballet, Da'Rius became the company's first Resident Choreographer in 2021. 

Da'Rius wants to use his dance education and experience as a professional concert dancer to create a platform to make a positive impact in life.

Robert Pulido

Los Angeles, CA

Robert joined the company in 2015 after he graduated from California State University of Fullerton with a BA degree in dance. He performed in the Dance Teacher’s Summit and Capezio A.C.E. Awards and in The Nutcracker under director Lois Ellyn of Nouveau Chamber Ballet.

In 2016, he performed in Donald McKayle’s Rainbow Round My Shoulder at David H. Koch Theatre in Lincoln Center in New York City.

Mr. Pulido was a teacher’s assistant at the Los Angeles Dance Connection, where he trained for 10 years.

The choreographer who has most influenced him is Alvin Rangel, who has worked with DCDC: “His movement flows continuously with a few surprises here and there. He made me use and adapt the floor to my body.”

Elizabeth Ramsey

Toledo, OH

Elizabeth joined the first company in 2015. For three years she performed in DCDC2 and in 2016 she graduated with a BFA degree from Wright State University. Her choreography was chosen to premiere in Wright State’s Spring Dance Concert.

She has studied with the Joffrey Ballet, Complexions, and MIP.

Ms. Ramsey chose her career in dance because dance “creates beautiful minds and bodies and allows great connections and conversations between humans.”

She names Shonna Hickman-Matlock as a choreographer who influenced her because “she made me mentally sharper and she helped my body understand mature movement.”

Quentin Apollovaughn Sledge

Chicago, IL

Quentin joined the company in 2014. He began studying dance with Homer Hans Bryant, a former member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem.

Mr. Sledge graduated summa cum laude from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he earned a degree in business administration with a concentration in management. He also received recognition as a National Society of Collegiate Scholar and was accepted into a training program at Gotta Dance Atlanta under the direction of Daryl Foster and his LIFT company.

In 2016, Mr. Sledge performed in Donald McKayle’s Rainbow Round My Shoulder at David H. Koch Theatre in Lincoln Center in New York City.

He credits DCDC’s Associate Artistic Director, Crystal Michelle, as an important influence on his artistry because “she is an astounding choreographer who has poured her years of knowledge into her work at DCDC in such a short time!”

Sadale Warner

Philadelphia, PA

Sadale Warner joined the company in 2020. Philadelphia native with Caribbean roots, Sadale discovered dance at the age of 3. She took her first dance class at Broadway Bound Dance Academy and trained with the same studio until moving on to college. She started out with tap. As time went on, she ventured on to ballet, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, pointe, and modern. The studio she trained at was a competition studio, so Sadale was able to travel to many competitions year after year, competing in about four different styles of dance.

During high school, Sadale majored in dance at The Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts. After graduating high school, she started her undergrad career at The University of the Arts under the directorship of Donna Faye Butchfield, where she was introduced to different ideas of dance.

Sadale is passionate about expressing herself through movement and sharing the experience with other dancers and the audience. She wants to broaden her creative aspirations with concert and commercial work.

Countess V. Winfrey

Nashville, TN

Countess joined the company in 2014. She began her dance training at Dance with Stacy Dance Studio, where she danced more than five years. She also attended Wharton Arts Magnet School where she majored in dance and art. She later continued her training at Nashville School of the Arts. Attending college at the University of Memphis, Countess graduated magna cum laude with a BS degree in health and human performance and with a minor in dance in 2011.

She has also participated in a variety of dance festivals including the American High School Dance Festival, the American College Dance Festival (2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012), the American Dance Festival, and the David Dorfman Dance Winter Intensive.

After graduating, Countess joined DCDC2 in 2012, where she danced for two years while having the opportunity to perform with the first company in her second year. She has performed works by Paul Taylor, David Dorfman, Rodney A. Brown, Rob Priore, William B. McClellan Jr., and many other choreographers.