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Derrick Paris (he/they) is an LA native and an ever evolving movement and music artist. They graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a BFA in Dance & has had the pleasure of working alongside many artists such as Kate Hutter Mason, Rebecca Lemme, Teresa “Toogie” Barcelo, Genna Moroni and Karen McDonald. Derrick has been a Guest Artist with L.A. Contemporary Dance Company where he has performed work by Spanish choreographer Elías Aguirre and Artistic Director Jamila Glass. Starting in 2007, Derrick began mixing and editing music for local youth dance teams. His recent commercial work includes collaborations with artists such as Fitz & the Tantrums and G Flip. Currently, he creates music for High School, Collegiate and Pro-Sports teams that can be heard internationally at stadiums and arenas. They also work administratively as the Community Programming Director at Stomping Ground L.A. and is the curator of the “VOICES” showcase that highlights local marginalized artists to be able to share their work. In 2015, Derrick was Assistant Choreographer for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of The Special Olympics alongside Debbie Allen. Along with works premiering at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, his stage and screen work has earned local & national recognition. His current focus is rooted in the research of discovering the intersectionality of his upbringing alongside his unearthing as an adult to continue to produce and perform authentically throughout their artistic career.

A R T I S T  S T A T E M E N T

My work as a Movement Artist is indulgent in tandem with my dynamic state as a human. Both intersect, eliminating the binary of one or the other. Through my artmaking in Dance and Choreography, I am constantly reminded of the humanity in everything we do, and it is my goal to always encourage ourselves to enter every room with the essence of who we are at our roots. Community has always been, at the core, the driving force of the work I create. When we are able to comfortably enter spaces and lean on our community, we allow honesty, vulnerability, laughter, and a drop of the shoulders. Conversations provide clarity, and with clarity we can provide ourselves at our fullest. It is all a practice that I am inclined to continue to research in my daily creation. As I navigate to dissect my upbringing, I’ve challenged societal ideologies that have always been exhaustingly persistent, because we live in a world where being ourselves is still too much and yet never enough. My goal is to create spaces for others who have always been undermined by society to have a place to step into their own and I want to continue to encourage all of us to be able to work at our truest state.

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