Cassandra Phifer

PhiferCassandra Phifer, native New Yorker, and citizen of the world.  She is a founding member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem who began her professional career at age fourteen, while attending Professional Children’s School.  Her initial studies were at the Harlem School of the Arts, where she was the first student and inspiration for the school itself by the founding director, Dorothy Maynor.  She rose through the ranks of the DTH company to principal dancer and toured with them to more than forty countries around the globe performing in most of the major opera houses in the world. She has participated in many special television broadcasts from Live from Kennedy Center to numerous PBS programs.  Her most notable roles where she received critical acclaim were George Balanchine’s Serenade and Four Temperaments, Valerie Bettis’ Streetcar Named Desire, Lester Horton’s The Beloved, as well as Agnes de Mille’s Fall River Legend.  Her passion and inquisitive nature for the logic and science of dance techniques led her to teaching while performing and in her post-performance career.  She taught master classes as part of the company’s outreach services during their residencies as well as being a moderator/emcee of DTH’s lecture demonstration series and one of the company’s ballet mistresses.  She also conceived and directed the educational outreach services for the company on their momentous tour of South Africa in 1992.  She has taught guest residencies throughout the Netherlands, Sweden and Austria and continues to teach master classes both nationally and internationally.  In 1990-1994, she helped write and create the Chance to Dance program in London in collaboration with the Royal Ballet.  In 1994 she joined the faculty of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and in 1998 joined the faculty of Marymount Manhattan College.  Among her other teaching credits are Sarah Lawrence College, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and Ballet Hispanico.  In 2012 she was asked by the State Department to develop and teach a guest residency in the country of Turkmenistan.  Cassandra holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from SUNY/Empire College and a Master of Arts in Theoretical Dance from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.  She also holds New York State Certification and license in Performing Arts/classical ballet.  She is currently on faculty at LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and the Performing Arts. 

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