Jeraldyne Blunden Fellowship
Provides the foundation for emergent dance artist to undertake extensive professional and artistic development to emerge as accomplished professionals. Aligned with DCDC’s artistic standards, the JB Fellows operates as its own entity within the organization that supports the mission and vision of DCDC. JB Fellows has its own independent choreographic repertoire and performance based engagements. The ensemble also serves as apprentices to the main company, gaining in-depth knowledge and a higher learning experience.
These budding artists are the cultural ambassadors of the organization by way of collaborative projects, K-12 arts education and university initiatives, and community engagement throughout the Ohio region. .
The JB Fellows merges the vision and the legacy of its Founder Jeraldyne Blunden and the forward thinking of the Artistic Director Debbie Blunden-Diggs that cultivates the next wave of contemporary dance artists to grace the stage.
Heather Cagle is from Toledo, Ohio and received her B.F.A. in Dance at Wright State University May
2019. Along with graduating, she completed her second season with Dayton Contemporary Dance
Company's Preprofessional Ensemble (also known as DCDC2) and is beyond excited to start her
professional career as one of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company's Fellows this 19/20 season. She
has had the pleasure of working with guest choreographers such as Ray Mercer, Dwight Rhoden, Clifford
Williams, Joshua Manculich, Alvin Rangel, and Shannon Bramham to name a few. She has learned more
than anything in dance, that hard work and a love for dance will get one farther than anything else. She
would like to give a special thank you to her friends, family, and teachers for their constant love and
support. She would like to give a special thank you to Shonna Hickman-Matlock for always inspiring her
to believe in her dreams.
Breanna Dorsey (Chicago, IL) earned her BFA in dance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City where
she trained under Gary Abbott, DeeAnna Hiett, and Sabrina Madison-Cannon. Originating from Chicago, she began her training at Studio One Dance Theater and later graduated from Chicago High School for the Arts in 2014. She has performed works by various choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, Gary Abbott, Mona Störling-Enna, Kevin Iega Jeff, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. She is so excited about her first year with DCDC!
Amber Echols is from Chicago, IL who recently received her BFA in Dance Performance from Northern
Illinois University. She has trained with Hyde Park School of Dance, Joffrey Ballet, Dance Theatre of
Harlem, and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater. She is trained in Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Jazz, and Hip Hop.
Last season Amber was a company member with DCDC2 and is now a JB Fellow.
Jordan Garcia began his dance training at Pebblebrook High School. He then went on to graduate from
Wright State University with a BFA in dance. While at Wright State he studied under Gina Walther,
Teressa Wylie McWilliams, Gregory Robinson, and Erin Robbins. He also had the opportunity to learn
pieces from Dwight Rohden, Ray Mercer, Lloyd Culbreath, Shannon Bramham, and Ashley Walton.
This is Jordan’s first year dancing with DCDC as one of the new JB fellows. He is excited to continue
training and growing as an artist with DCDC.
Brianna Rhodes was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. She began her dance training at a young age at Dayton Ballet. Eventually, her love for dance catapulted her into gymnastics and a competition studio during her growing years. Starting her 7th grade year at Stivers School for the Arts, Ms. Rhodes majored in Dance under the direction of DeShona Pepper Robertson. She graduated Stivers in 2015 where she continued her dance training at The Ohio State University. While at The Ohio State University, Ms. Rhodes participated in the American College Dance Association (2017), Brazil Tour Group (2018), International Association of Blacks in Dance (2015, 2018, 2019), and many annual department concerts throughout her
college years. In May 2019, Ms. Rhodes graduated magna cum laude and received her BFA in Dance with distinction. Ms. Rhodes currently serves as a dance educator for many dance studios and as a lead teacher for the Lincoln Summer Art Program. She believes in giving back through dance because art can serve as a vessel for the youth. In the fall of 2019, Ms. Rhodes started her professional dance career as a JB Fellow with DCDC. She credits many educators and choreographers such as DeShona Pepper Robertson,
Crystal Michelle, and Rodney Veal because they continue to strengthen her discipline, artistry, and expression of activism.