B I O

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

Above all else, I am an artist. A Queer Black/Mexican dancer and choreographer that indulges myself in my diversified surroundings, allowing my abilities to flourish. When I listen to music, when I see movement, when I talk to my friends and chosen family, I am creating art in my mind - art that flows through my entire being, becoming a part of my soul. I become so eager to show the world how much it means to me that I dive all the way in until I feel that I’ve reached a point of fulfillment. Growing up, I was always taught to leave my problems at the door. Abandon them for a while. I can no longer abandon what’s happening internally, my art is so enriched with inclusivity and I vow to include all of the bits of me into every work that I create and perform in. I’ve spent so long worrying about if I’m good enough, strong enough and passionate enough. Through my constant evolution, I realize that I am all that I need to be, and my art is all that I need it to be because it exceeds being enough. My textures of movement are somewhere between rich and rigid as I love to research personifying the contextualization of human interaction through choreography and story-telling. I will always continue to look for more as I dive deeper into educating myself as it all inspires my dance and art making. Being a Queer Black/Mexican artist allows me to view the world in such a distinct lens, and I will forever be grateful for my identity and what it brings to me every single day. I hope to continue to walk into spaces for the rest of my life and hold the confidence allowing me to create work that dignifies my most authentic self. 

I am Queer. I am Black. I am Mexican. I am a Dancer. I am a Choreographer. I am an Artist.  

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