Ronald West – Creative Director / Choreographer / Dancer
Ronald West is a graduate of the North Carolina State University / College of Design / School of Architecture and received a Bachelor’s Degree in 2007 for Environmental Design in Architecture. Ronald was mentored and trained under Kirstie Spadie of the North Carolina Dance Institute on a full scholarship while attending the College of Design. He has studied and danced as a company member of the Black Box Dance Theater lead by Artistic Curator, Michelle Pearson; an adjunct company member at the Dance Exchange in Washington D.C. lead by artistic director, Cassie Meador; and has studied at ‘The PULSE’ student and teacher workshops in Atlanta and New York. A natural study, Ronald began assisting six months into his training and went on to teach by the end of his first year. He continues to define and explore a vast range of movement in his classes, in which cutting edge contemporary, hip hop and jazz styles are explored, while his professional work pushes social boundaries with avant garde ideology and uses language, both verbal and nonverbal, to connect to each dancer and audience member. His work has been dubbed “lexi-ography” conceptually, while the movement is progressively athletic, compelling and innovative. To add, he has danced professionally in Modern Dance works, both locally and nationally, under choreographers Diego Carrasco Schoch, Kate Davis, Courtney Greer, Justin Tornow, Killian Manning and Michelle Pearson. He has had works featured and selected in the North Carolina Dance Festival, the Durham Independent Dance Artists premiere season, the North Carolina State University, the upcoming independent documentary, Earth Caster, about the life of Thomas Sayre and has partnered with the North Carolina Symphony. Internationally and most recently Ronald traveled with two colleagues in April 2016 to China to work as a diplomat of the U.S. State Department with an overarching theme of disabilities advocacy to truly use dance as a universal language and test the powers of connection with dancers, special needs children and everyday citizens. He has become one of North Carolina’s most sought after choreographers and master teachers within the University System, dance studio circuit, public and private school systems and he continues to broaden his palette by branching into the commercial music video scene, including choreography for vocalist: Jean Morisson, musician: Sean Magee, the band: Citizen Shade and most recently adding Rupaul’s Drag Race All-Star: Ginger Minj for her debut album.
Beyond choreographing for the previously mentioned, in 2011, Ronald founded BLACK IRISH. BLACK IRISH is focused on the generation of innovative movement, visual design and conceptual content, while utilizing connections with other progressive artists in all genres of the arts, with the simultaneous intent of bringing the dance and greater community together through the love of dance, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or religion. To date, BLACK IRISH has partnered with the band, Citizen Shade; videographer, Michelle Lotker; hand pan musician, Jeremy Lewis; bass guitarist, Ian O’Hare; Jewelry Designer, Rock Kershaw; videographer, Griffin Hart Davis; fashion designer, Kate Erwin; choreographer, Michelle Pearson; videographer, Clark Ivers; and Cellist, Justin Mackey.