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Read through the biographies of speakers and panelists in the Addressing Racialization in Ballet Symposium. 

Alix Laurent

Alix Laurent is the executive director of L’École supérieure de ballet du Québec since the year 2006. An experienced manager for the past thirty years, he is recognized for his unifying leadership, dedication and transparency. 

Ashleigh Powell

Ashleigh Powell is teacher in the Professional Ballet Academic Program at Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS). As Head of Community Dance Programs, Ashleigh works with partner across the education, community programming and sport sectors to bring the widespread benefits of dance to all Canadians.

Bengt Jörgen

In January 2019 Bengt Jörgen was appointed a Member (C.M.) of the Order of Canada by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, for his commitment to promoting ballet in Canada as a choreographer and artistic director.

Brandye Lee

Brandye Lee is a cum laude alumna of Smith College (Economics & Afro-American Studies), and received her formal dance training as a scholarship student at Jones-Haywood School of Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem and The Ailey School.

Damien Johnson

Damien Johnson is originally from Dallas, Texas. He received his early dance training from Kitty Carter, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and The Etkin-Atkinson School of Ballet. Johnson went on to study at The Rock School and The School of American Ballet, the official school of The New York City Ballet.

Dionne D. Figgins

Dionne D. Figgins began her career as a member of the Dance Theatre of  Harlem, under the direction of Arthur Mitchell, dancing lead roles in Serenade, Four Temperaments, Agon, and Concerto Barocco, all by George Balanchine. She has also appeared as a guest artist with Complexions Contemporary Ballet.  
Dionne D.Figgins

Gideon Arthurs

Gideon Arthurs is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Theatre School of Canada, the country's leading theatre training organization.  Working with the dynamic NTS team, he has helped put in place initiatives that have sought to create a more diverse, inclusive and open institution, including community focussed programs that reach over 8000 people in 350+ communities.  

John Alleyne

Born in Barbados, John immigrated to Canada with his family in 1965. He was accepted to the professional ballet program, joining NBS in 1971 as the first Black Canadian student at the School.

John Dalrymple

John Dalrymple is the Executive Director at Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS). John joined NBS in 2010, holding increasingly senior positions, including Associate Director of Annual Giving and Director of Strategic Initiatives.

Judy Tyrus

Judy Tyrus, cofounder, and CEO of ChromaDiverse, Inc. is the 2021 recipient of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Diversity Award, which recognized outstanding contributions in advancing diversity within the archives profession, SAA, or the archival record.