teaching and performance artist whose primarily focus is African Dance. However she is trained in all forms of dance: ballet, tap, modern jazz and interpretive and has taught these various dance styles throughout her career in New York, Hawaii, Arizona and Germany.
Denise started her dance training at Bernice Johnson Dance Studio in Queens NY and started teaching youth classes as early as age 14 in Jamaica, Queens at a studio called Aphrodisiac. She has been hired by New York City’s Parks and Recreation as a recreational specialist. She also landed on position as a tribal dancer in the movie The Believers staring Martin Sheen and Helen Shafer.
Her first major career milestone was being scouted by a prolific choreographer and dancer Ishmael Ivo while teaching at Leslie's Dance and Skate in Manhattan. Ishmael Ivo invited Denise to teach a 6 month residency workshop series in Koln which catapulted her career. In 1986, Denise was hired to tour with Stevie Wonder for his In Square Circle Album. On that tour she discovered Tucson, and made the move shortly after the tour ended. In Tucson, Denise entered the film industry again by being casted in the movie Boys on the Side staring Whoopi Goldberg, Drew Barrymore and Mary-Louise Parker, locally shot in Tumacacori-Carmen.
She was later hired as a wardrobe mistress for the music video production of Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers video Learning to Fly.
In Tucson, Denise has taught various movement and dance classes to all ages at spaces like the Historical Y, Symphony Space, El Rio, Northwest, renamed Donna Liggins Community Center and Armory Park Senior Citizens Center. She worked in Annie Bunker’s Orts Space dance studios from the Historical Y and her final studio on Stone avenue for about 25 years worth of teaching. Her last teaching history before COVID was at Movement Culture for four years.
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