This page is dedicated to remembering Atlanta dance artists who have passed. Read below to learn about their contributions to our community and the continuation of their legacies.
This is not a comprehensive list; if you would like to have a person included on the Remembrance Page, please submit their name, birth/death dates, and link to biographical information. Requests can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line Remembrance Page.
Nathan Hites was a dedicated and uplifting teacher, dancer, and mentor in our Atlanta dance community. Nathan was an avid teacher and researcher at Emory University, Kennesaw State University, and the Atlanta Ballet School, and he inspired and encouraged each and every one of his students. Nathan also frequently gave back to his community through his work for United Dance Europe and United Dance America, which serves to make dance accessible for persons with Down’s Syndrome. A well-trained dancer and artist, Nathan’s background includes study at the American Dance Festival, the Boston Ballet, and a Bachelor’s of Arts in both Dance and Theater from the University of New Hampshire. Nathan’s loss is deeply felt by the entirety of the Atlanta arts community, and his memory will continue to live on in the hearts and minds of all those he touched.
Sources: http://dance.emory.edu/faculty-staff/faculty/main/Hites-Nathan.html, https://arts.kennesaw.edu/dance/about/news/posts/nathan_hites.php
Ronnie J. Anderson Jr. was an outstanding dancer, teacher, and choreographer in our Atlanta dance community. Ronnie graduated from the University of Georgia in the Spring of 2018 majoring in Advertising and minoring in Dance. During his time at UGA, Ronnie performed with CADE:NCE Contemporary African Dance Ensemble and CORE Concert Dance Company, while still finding time to serve and inspire his local community. After graduation Ronnie danced with Staibdance, Black Nativity, Dance Canvas, Hayiya Dance Theatre, Covenant Life Cathedral’s Worship & Performing Arts Company, Breaking Walls Dance Company and Ballethnic, and he soon discovered his passion for teaching. He taught at several different studios and companies but was a long-term teacher at the East Athens Educational Dance Center for 8 years until his passing. Ronnie’s passing is felt by the entirety of the Atlanta dance community, but his legacy of light, love, and learning will continue to inspire for years to come.
Sources: UGA Dance Department, https://www.ronniejandersoncreations.com
Kenya Griffin was an inspiring dancer, choreographer, and director in our Atlanta dance community. Kenya graduated from Savannah State University and founded and directed the Amazing Grace Dance Company. Established in 2000, Amazing Grace served the Atlanta dance community and incorporated faith into their performance. Trained at Atlanta Dance Theater, Jacobs School of Dance, and the Ailey School, Kenya strived to create a faith-based company where the dancers’ technique and ability were valued and respected. Through her work, Kenya promoted diversity and connected the Atlanta dance community in a new way. Kenya continued to inspire and create while battling fiercely with cancer, and her incredible legacy will continue through Amazing Grace for years to come.
Sources: https://www.artsatl.org/remembrance-amazing-graces-kenya-griffin-leaves-a-lasting-impact-on-atlanta-dance/, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy9xd90FuwGncaCBR4jRWBQ
Kristel Tedesco was dancer, choreographer, teacher, and mathematician in our Atlanta dance community. After earning her BFA in Dance and BS in dance science from Elon University, Kristel began her professional career dancing for Fuerta Dance Company, T. Lang Dance, and Bluebird Uncaged. She also cofounded Mathematics in Motion, a collective of artists, mathematicians, and scientists collaborating to produce art informed by science. Through Mathematics in Motion, Kristel developed and taught a movement-based curriculum for teaching math to high school students, produced math-based choreography, and received funding for her work from Science in Vivo. Kristel’s legacy continues with The Kristel Rose Tedesco Memorial Scholarship, which provides scholarships for students in The Neighborhood Ballet Youth Company.
Robert Mason was a dancer, choreographer, and cofounder of City Gate Dance Theater alongside his wife, Jenifer Mason. Robert trained with The Atlanta Ballet and The Ailey School before beginning his performance career. He and Jennifer moved to Atlanta in 2011 to open City Gate Dance Theater, a company that highlights community and diversity in dance. His legacy continues in his company, which still operates under the direction of his wife.