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Teachers 2017


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Teachers 2017


The teachers and choreographers of DFTD are hand-picked each year to maintain the highest quality workshop and deliver a captivating dance experience. DFTD 2017
is no exception with an amazing staff of teachers.

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Rena Butler


Rena Butler


Rena Butler hails from Chicago, IL. She has danced with Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, David Dorfman Dance, as a guest artist with Luna Negra Dance Theater, Yara Travieso, Pasos Con Sabor Salsa Dance Company,
for visual artists Carrie Mae Weems and Nick Cave, and Rosie Herrera for iHeart Radio Latin Music Awards.

She has been featured in Dance Magazine, Jordan Matter’s Dancers Among Us, FORMA magazine, Refinery29.com, and The Dance Enthusiast.

She began her studies at The Chicago Academy for the Arts, studied overseas at Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan, and received her BFA from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance.

She has acted as repetiteur for Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, and has taught and held workshops at The Ailey School, SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance in New York, The Chicago Academy for the Arts, NoOne Arthouse in Los Angeles, Contemporary Dance Workshop in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Ailey Camp Chicago, Connecticut College, Ecole Nationale Superieure de Danse de Marseille in France, in New World School of the Arts, Akron University, and Florida State University. 

Her choreographic work has been featured on the School at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s BFA program, The Joffrey Ballet School in New York, in the Young Choreographer's Festival in NYC, The New Orleans Museum of Modern Art in collaboration with world-renown jazz composer, Terrence Blanchard, and CHTV Stories television program in Switzerland. Rena is a dancer, artistic collaborator, and choreographer based in New York. She currently dances for Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Manuel Vignoulle-M/motions.

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Manuel Vignoulle


Manuel Vignoulle


Manuel Vignoulle, formerly of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet (New York) and Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève (Switzerland), has been assistant choreographer for Alvin Ailey (New York), Het Nationale Ballet (Netherland) and State Theatre (South Africa).

He has been commissioned by Ailey II, Whim W’him, Satellite Collective, 10 Hairy Legs, Chicago Repertory Ballet, Periapsis Music & Dance, Peridance Contemporary Dance Company Steps Repertoire Ensemble and others.

Manuel has performed his own work with Manuel Vignoulle - M/motions at Jacob’s Pillow, Fire Island Festival, Bryant Park (New York), Monterrey International Ballet Gala (Mexico), The Dance Gallery, Pushing Progress Showcase Series, WestFest and The Latin Choreographer and in France, Switzerland, Mexico, Brazil and USA.

To see more of his work: manuelvignoulle.com

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Aaron Jackson


Aaron Jackson


Aaron Jackson received his formal training in New York City at the School of American Ballet. He attended a number of summer intensives on full scholarship including Joffrey Ballet School in New York, Pennsylvania Ballet School,
San Francisco Ballet School, and The School of American Ballet where he trained year round. 

Aaron joined The Dance Theatre of Harlem in 2000 where his repertory included performances in China at the Shanghai Dance Festival. In 2001 Jackson joined The Washington Ballet where he danced for eight seasons. While a full time Company member, he began his teaching career at The Washington School of Ballet Summer Intensive and the Jones/Haywood School of Dance. In 2006 he joined the summer faculty of The Berrend Dance Centre/Olney Ballet Theatre where he is currently a teacher, choreographer in residence, and rehearsal assistant. 

His career also includes choreographic projects with The Washington Ballet Studio Company and The Washington Ballet Trainees. He has taught master classes at the Musical Theater Center in Rockville, Maryland and participated in a choreographic project with the Phillips Collection. Aaron Jackson has also established himself as a guest teacher in the U.S. and internationally. Recently he served as guest teacher and choreographer at City Youth Ballet in Johnson City, Tennessee. He has served as a guest instructor at Tanz Akademie and Tanzwerk 101 in Zurich, Switzerland. He has also served as a Guest Teacher at: TAD, Tennessee Association of Dance, Dance Festival 2015.

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James White


James White


James White is a North Carolina native, he received his M.A. of Dance Education at New York University in hopes of creating his own dance convention to help aspiring dancers become their best. 

James has had to opportunity to train in New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta in Modern, Contemporary, Street Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Commercial Dance. He has trained with choreographers such as Luam, Neil Schwartz, Zach Lattimore, and Candace Brown and is currently a Monsters of Hip Hop Show Nominee. 

James' professional credits include BET Blaze the Stage, Sound Syndrome: The Off Broadway Show, the Broadway Dance Center Showcase, NBA Playoff Flash Mob, Frankie Lemmon School Promo Video, and the New York University Faculty and Master's Concert.   He has also had the opportunity to assist choreographers such as Neil Schwartz and Aurelia Michaels for the "For Your Love" Music video by Cess and Unlimited Wireless Flash Mob.