Desmond “Dez” Jordan is an artist, dancer, and arts administrator. He is passionate about creating opportunities for people to connect with the arts.
Desmond studied at Ryerson University (Toronto, CA) and earned his BFA in Dance Education. He danced with Radio Disney Artists Kicking Daisies, Debbie Reynolds, and Deborah Cox—and has years of extensive training in Hip Hop. Since then, he has been working in arts administration and management within the Metro DC area.
Desmond’s goal is to step into roles that positively impact the community at large and the organization he serves.
Born in Johnson City, Tennessee, Aaron Jackson began his dance training at the age of ten, with Susan Pace-White at Holloway Dancing School. He attended summer intensives on full scholarship at the Joffrey Ballet School, The School of Pennsylvania Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet School. Mr. Jackson attended the Summer Course at the School of American Ballet (SAB) before enrolling as a full-time student in the Fall 1998. In 2000, Mr. Jackson was invited by Arthur Mitchell to join The Dance Theatre of Harlem and in 2001 he joined The Washington Ballet under Septime Webre. After eight seasons at The Washington Ballet, he joined Company C Contemporary Ballet in San Francisco for two seasons. Mr. Jackson retired from performing in 2010 and returned to Washington D.C.
Throughout his career, Mr. Jackson danced featured roles in many ballets. His repertory included George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck), Serenade, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Allegro Brillante, Rubies, Four Temperaments (First theme and Second theme), Christopher Wheeldon’s There Where She Loved, Choo San Goh’s Unknown Territories, Momentum, and In the Glow of the Night, Paul Taylor’s Piazzolla Caldera, Trey McIntyre’s Rite of Spring, William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Twyla Tharp’s Surfer at the River Styx, Lar Lubovitch’s Cavalcade, Arthur Mitchell’s Firebird, Laveen Naidu’s South African Suite, and Geoffrey Holder’s Dougla.
Mr. Jackson joined the faculty of The Dance Institute of Washington in 2019 and is currently the Head Ballet Instructor for the Pre- Professional Division. He is the 2022/2023 SAB Visiting Faculty Co-Chair and serves on SAB’s Alumni Advisory Committee on Diversity & Inclusion. Mr. Jackson was also a 2017/2018 National Visiting Fellow at SAB.
Jackson began teaching at The Washington School of Ballet in 2010 and was previously on the faculty of the Jones-Haywood Dance School and the Berrend Dance Centre. Jackson has also taught at The Ballet Alliance, Tennessee Association of Dance, City Youth Ballet, Tennessee. Internationally, he has taught at Tanzwerk 101, Tanz Akademie, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Zürich, Musical Factory, Lucerne, and Tanzkompanie des Theaters St. Gallen, St. Gallen.
Marcus Johnson is a native of Washington D.C who has been studying, and training rigorously in professional dance for 12 years. Marcus is trained in Ballet, Modern, African, and Hip Hop and started professionally training at Duke Ellington School of The Arts. Following his tenure at Duke Ellington, Marcus was chosen to tour in China for an international dance conference. He has performed with Sting and Paul Simon, toured in Los Angeles, where he also kept up his training. Marcus has been teaching dance for about 7 years at the Dance Institute of Washington, where he’s had the pleasure of instilling all that he has learned through the years to the next generation. Marcus believes it is very important to be versatile and adaptive in this field –“it enhances your capability as a young dancer”. Marcus is grateful for the experience of inspiring the next generation to come; to mold great, strong and disciplined dancers at the Dance Institute of Washington and to impact and change the lives of children through the Art of Dance. Marcus is also experienced in the ins and outs of programming and stage productions. While he may often teach, you can also find him in meetings working hard alongside of DIW’s Creative Director.
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