Demetrius Shields is a New York City–based dancer/model, choreographer, educator, art administrator, and writer originally from Detroit, Michigan. He has had the pleasure of performing across the globe, as well as in NYC in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes. Demetrius holds both a B.F.A in Dance Education from the University of the Arts and a MS in Arts Administration from Drexel University. Choreographic works of Demetrius' have been presented at the International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference, the National High School Dance Festival, the Detroit Public Schools Evening of Fine Arts, and the Michigan Youth Arts Festival. Demetrius is also currently the Administrative Associate at New York City dance company, Elisa Monte Dance.
Christine Cox and Matthew Neenan with BalletX dancers at Jacob's Pillow. Photo via Instagram
It takes an excellent leader to run a dance company. But Christine Cox, executive and artistic director of Philadelphia's BalletX, knows that it's not only hard work that distinguishes a leader.
Cox started BalletX with Matthew Neenan in 2005, using fellow Pennsylvania Ballet dancers during their summer layoff to populate a startup contemporary ballet troupe. Fast forward 12 years, and BalletX is opening a new $1 million building next month: The Center for World Premiere Choreography. It will not only serve as a home base for BalletX classes and rehearsals, but will also play host to choreographic residencies and community outreach.
Now the sole director of the company, Cox has learned invaluable lessons along the way. Here are seven tips she shares for new and aspiring directors-to-be.