Dance Training The Rock School for Dance Education Edna Lee Dance Studio
Joined the Company 2012
Favorite Ballet Don Quixote
One defining moment: Winning the Youth Grand Prix Award at YAGP in 2008.
Derek began dancing at the Edna Lee Dance Studio in Maryland, where he remained until 2009. He continued his training at The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia until 2012.During his years of training, Derek earned many different awards, including the Youth Grand Prix Award in 2008, the Junior Gold Medal in 2010, and the Senior Gold Medal in 2012 at Youth America Grand Prix. Derek was also awarded the Junior Bronze Medal at the USA International Ballet Competition in 2010.
Derek joined the company in 2012, and in January 2014, he was named one of “25 to Watch” in Dance Magazine. Since joining the company, Derek has had the privilege of performing many different roles, such as the Dream God in Stanton Welch’s La Bayadere; Gopak in Ben Stevenson’s The Nutcracker; and the Djinn (Genie) in David Bintley’s Aladdin. Derek has also danced roles in Stanton Welch’s Clear, Madame Butterfly, Marie, Of Blessed Memory, Maninyas, and Swan Lake; Julia Adam’s Ketubah; Trey McIntyre’s Peter Pan; Ronald Hyne’s Merry Widow; Christopher Bruce’s Intimate Pages; Hans Van Manen’s Solo; Jiří Kylián’s Sechs Tanze; and William Forsythe’s In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated. Derek has been a part of multiple world premieres as well, including Edwaard Liang’s Murmuration; Melissa Hough’s …the third kind [is] useless; and Stanton Welch’s The Rite of Spring, Sons de l'âme (Sounds of the Soul),Paquita, and The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.
Press: “Dunn never fails to galvanize our attention with his tight technical chops and strong stage presence.” – Nancy Wozny, Arts and Culture Texas
“Corps member Derek Dunn in particular is a commanding presence on stage, and the lines he generates from his mid-height frame are as precise as an instrument of measurement.” – Adam Castañeda, Houston Press
“The opening section of the show… was another highlight, largely due to an exceptional performance by Dunn. He reminded me of what I imagine Nijinsky might have looked like. Dunn soared across the stage with broad, expansive movements, executed multiple turns with extraordinary ease and showed lovely fluidity in the upper body. I found him quite thrilling with a charisma that matched that of Lang Lang. As a result, a powerful and emotive connection was set up between dancer and pianist.” – Michelle Potter (michellepotter.org)