September 4, 2014 by Nicole
The Center for Contemporary Dance is pleased to announce that accomplished educator and choreographer Ms. Dawn Branch has been appointed Director of the school’s Modern Dance Program, overseeing the modern and contemporary dance curriculum as well as the modern/contemporary student performance ensemble.
Certified by Dance Educators of America, Ms. Branch is a guest lecturer at colleges across the state and teaches master classes throughout the country. Ms. Branch is a native New Yorker and graduate of the world-renowned LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts. She holds a BA in Media and Communications from State University at Old Westbury. Ms. Branch was a soloist with the Bernice Johnson Dance Company and a scholarship student with the Ailey School, the official school of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She studied under the tutelage of Madame Darvarsh, Penny Frank, Denise Jefferson, Kevin Austin Hunt and Kevin Iega Jeff, Founder and Artistic Director of the Chicago-based Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre and artist-in-residence at Ballet Chicago.
Ms. Branch’s career highlights have included co-choreographing with Michael Peters for “On Stage America,” performing in New York City with Ben Vereen at Avery Fisher Hall and with Diana Ross in Central Park. She was the rehearsal director for The Chocolate Nutcracker (Orlando, FL), the co-Artistic Director of Momentum Arts (Longwood, FL) and performed with Moore Dance Project, the area’s first African-American professional contemporary dance company, founded and operating out of The Center for Contemporary Dance.
In May of 2012, Ms. Branch founded Dawn Branch Works Contemporary Ballet Company, a professional ensemble that emerged out of a project sponsored by The Center for Contemporary Dance. She is also the Founder and President of Dawn Branch Master Dance Series and Performances, a workshop program which gives Central Florida dancers the opportunity to work with master instructors from the New York City area. She is also the director of the NAACP’s local division of the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO), a yearlong achievement program designed to recruit, stimulate, and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students.
Congratulations to Ms Dawn! We’re excited to see the program flourish & grow under your leadership.