Darwin Black of Newark, New Jersey started dancing at 16. In 2006, he graduated from Newark Arts High School under Ronnie D. Carney and Kim Richardson, furthering his training under Nancy Turano with the New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble. After training at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater as an Oprah Winfrey Scholarship Fellowship Student, he began his professional career with The Sacramento Ballet, performing ballets by George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Trey McIntyre, and Matthew Neenan, among others. He has also danced with Pascal Rioult Dance Theater, Alaska Dance Theatre, and Lustig Dance Theatre, and toured Europe with Momix. Before joining Spectrum, Darwin performed with TU Dance under Toni-Pierce Sands & Uri Sands, dancing works by Uri Sands, Francesca Harper, Kyle Abraham, Gioconda Barbuto, and Katrin Hall. This is Darwin’s first season with Spectrum Dance Theater.
Chloe Brown is from Seattle, Washington, and trained at Pacific Northwest Ballet School from 20072019. Chloe received additional training at Boston Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and the Royal Danish Ballet. Chloe attended Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet Training Program under Alonzo King and Karah Abiog. In the Training Program, Chloe performed works by Sidra Bell, Erik Wagner, Alonzo King, and Gregory Dawson. Chloe is also the Co-Founder and Director of the Ancient Lakes Dance Festival, an annual contemporary dance performance based in the Pacific Northwest. Chloe is excited to be back performing in her home city. This is Chloe’s first season as an apprentice with Spectrum Dance Theater.
Hutch Hagendorf, originally from Houston, Texas, began dancing at age nine at West University Dance Center under Evelyn Ireton. During high school, he danced with his studio’s competition group Soul Discretion (Artistic Director Kelly Ann Vitacca) and performed with Exclamation Dance Company (Kenneth Epting, Director). He received his BFA in dance at the University of Arizona School of Dance. Workshops include Perry-Mansfield, David Parsons, Alvin Ailey Extension, Paul Taylor, Doug Varone, NW Dance Project Launch, and Axis Connect. After graduating in 2015, he completed two cruise contracts with Royal Caribbean International before moving to New York City in 2017 and working with iKADA Contemporary Dance Company and De Funes Dance. Hutch is in his 4th season with Spectrum Dance Theater, and his first as a teaching artist.
Justine Hannan grew up in Tucson, Arizona and trained at Tucson Dance Academy under Tammy Booth until high school graduation. She spent summers training at Pacific Northwest Ballet, LINES, Hubbard Street, Complexions, Perry-Mansfield, and Juilliard. Justine continued her pre-professional dance training at the University of Arizona School of Dance under directors Melissa Lowe and Jory Hancock and other world-class instructors: Tamara Dyke-Compton, Christopher Compton, Autumn Eckman, Amy Ernst, Elizabeth George, and Hayley Meier. While at UA, she performed works by Paul Taylor, Jessica Lang, Christopher Wheeldon, Jerome Robbins, Larry Keigwin, and George Balanchine. In May 2021, she graduated with her BFA in Dance. Justine is honored and excited for the opportunity to dance in her first season with Spectrum Dance Theater. 
Marte Osiris Madera was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. He graduated with an MFA in Dance from the University of Washington and a BFA in Dance from San Jose State University. Marte has danced professionally with companies across the U.S., including Dance Kaleidoscope, Lustig Dance Theater, Central West Ballet, Oakland Ballet, Menlowe Ballet, Robert Moses Kin, sjDANCEco, and the Margaret Wingrove Dance Company. He has also choreographed and taught dance at various institutions to students of all ages and abilities. This is Marte’s third season with Spectrum Dance Theater.
Kaitlyn Nguyen, from Diamond Bar, California, started dancing at age seven under Janaina Watkins at Fine Arts Academy of Dance. She trained at The Ailey School and received a BFA in Dance and a minor in Management at UC Irvine. During her time at UCI, she had the privilege to dance in Donald McKayle’s Etude Ensemble, performing new works and repertory. She has danced with NYC-area companies including Nimbus Dance Works, iKada Contemporary Dance, and Armitage Gone! Dance, and Southern Californian companies such as Re:borN Dance Interactive and Nouveau Chamber Ballet. Kaitlyn became a mother to Lucile in 2018 and is grateful to be a full-time mom while contributing to Spectrum Dance Theater’s important work. This is her third season with Spectrum Dance Theater. 
Lillie Pincus is originally from Rochester, New York, where she trained in ballet and performed with contemporary fusion company, FuturPointe Dance. She continued her training at Walnut Hill School of the Arts. In 2020, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from USC’s Glorya Kaufman School of Dance under the direction of Jodie Gates and William Forsythe. While in school, she performed works by William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, Barak Marshall, and Rauf “Rubberlegz” Yasit. Since graduating, she has performed with New York State Ballet and in various festivals in Rochester. Lillie is excited to be joining Spectrum Dance Theater this season as an apprentice.

Nile Alicia Ruff was born & raised in Washington D.C.’s “Chocolate City” and began dancing West African Dance with Kankouran West African Dance Company and Coyaba Dance Theatre. Nile attended Jones-Haywood School of Ballet, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, and Point Park University, where they earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Modern Dance. Nile has worked professionally with Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, Attack Theatre, and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. Nile joined Spectrum Dance Theater in March 2021.

Nathanaël Santiago was born in Puerto Rico and began his ballet studies at age 10 at Ballets de San Juan. In 2006 he studied at Orlando Ballet School and later attended Miami City Ballet School in 2008. He danced with Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico (2009 – 2012), Andanza Contemporary Dance Company (2013 – 2016), and Cleveland’s Verb Ballets (2016 – 2018). During the summer of 2018, he danced for Visceral Dance Chicago and worked as a guest artist with Ballet Memphis from fall 2018 until spring 2019. Nathanaël holds a BA in Modern Languages from the University of Puerto Rico and the University of Coimbra, Portugal. This is Nathanaël’s 3rd season with Spectrum Dance Theater.
Jaclyn Wheatley, from Vancouver, British Columbia, received her early dance training under K.M. Robbins, Rachael Poirier, and Li Yaming. Jaclyn graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University BFA program in 2014. In addition to performing works by Alvin Ailey, Ronald K. Brown, Joshua Beamish, Alex Crozier, Vincent Michael Lopez, Arch Contemporary Ballet, and appearing in aerial dance productions with The Cabiri, Jaclyn has traveled to Central America to participate in dance outreach activities with the JUNTOS Collective. At Spectrum Dance Theater, Jaclyn has performed featured roles in Donald Byrd’s Drastic CutsThe Minstrel Show, and The Harlem Nutcracker, Merce Cunningham’s Crises, and appeared as “Minnie” in West Side Story at The 5th Avenue Theater. This is Jaclyn’s 8th season with Spectrum Dance Theater.
Donald Byrd Headshot by Gabriel Bienczycki

Donald Byrd, a TONY nominated (The Color Purple) and Bessie Award winning (The Minstrel Show) choreographer, became Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater in December 2002. He has created over 100 modern and contemporary dance works for his own groups as well as for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco), Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, Aterballetto, MaggioDanza diFirenze, and Oregon Ballet Theater.

From 1978 – 2002 he was Artistic Director of Donald Byrd/The Group, a critically acclaimed contemporary dance company founded in Los Angeles and later based in New York, that toured extensively, both nationally and internationally. His non-dance company work has been with some of the most prestigious theater and opera companies in the U.S and abroad, including The New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, the former Intiman Theater, Center Stage, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, New York City Opera, Dutch National Opera, and the Israeli Opera. He counts among his numerous collaborators an eclectic mix of distinguished artists including stage director Peter Sellars, writer/actor Anna Deavere Smith, and the late great jazz drummer Max Roach.

The New York Times describes him as “a choreographer with multiple personalities … an unabashed eclectic.” Mr. Byrd is equally at home creating cool, abstract pure dance works such as his 2012 work LOVE set to the complete cello suites of Benjamin Britten and the 2011 Euclidean Space set to the music of Amon Tobin, virtuoso sound designer and influential electronic music artist; to his theatrical narrative driven pieces like the ‘carny’ Petruschka and storefront Miraculous Mandarin, his revisionist versions of iconic early 20th Century ballets. Yet he is also known for creating lovely valentines to 19th Century classical repertory including The Harlem Nutcracker (1996) and The Sleeping Beauty Notebook (2005), as well as imaginative choreographic tributes to jazz legends and composers including In A Different Light (2000) set to the lesser known pieces of Duke Ellington, Burlesque (2002) created to early recordings of Louis Armstrong, and Jazz Train (1998) to commissioned scores by Vernon Reid, Geri Allen, and the late great Max Roach. These works, along with The Harlem Nutcracker with its score by Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn and David Berger, were critical and audience successes and toured extensively.

His many awards and prizes include an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Cornish College of the Arts, The James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award from Artist Trust, Masters of Choreography Award from The Kennedy Center, Fellow at The American Academy of Jerusalem, James Baldwin Fellow of United States Artists, and the Mayor’s Arts Award for his sustained contributions to the City of Seattle. In addition, he has received numerous grants and awards from many national foundations to support his projects and productions including The Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, New England Foundation, Map Fund, Jerome Foundation, Seattle Foundation, and New York Foundation for the Arts, as well as local and national government agencies including 4Culture, City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, and The National Endowment for the Arts.

Mr. Byrd has served as a Seattle Arts Commissioner, sat on many boards including Dance/USA and Dance Theater Workshop (now New York Live Arts), as well as on numerous panels including the National Endowment for the Arts and the Tony nominating committee. He regularly teaches around the country and has been a Cultural Envoy for The U.S. Department of State, and was a fellow at the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue based at Harvard. In 2013 he and Spectrum Dance Theater toured South Asia (Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka) as part of DanceMotion/USA, a joint partnership between the State Department and The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) that presents the best of American dance to international audiences. Recently he returned from a second visit to Bangladesh where he was engaged for a month long collaboration with SHADHONA’ – A Center for the Advancement of South Asian Culture and the US Embassy in Dhaka. Currently, in addition to his work at Spectrum he serves on the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) Diversity Task Force as well as the SDC Journal–Editorial Board of the Peer Review Section.