Professional Dancers 2022

Danielle Aikens-Holland

Danielle Aikens-Holland has been dancing for 39 years and has performed numerous leading roles in The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Les Sylphides, La Bayadere, The Sleeping Beauty, and Beauty and the Beast. In 2002, she turned her love for dance to teaching, and founded Elevate Performing Arts Center (previously Northeast Georgia School of Music and Dance), which has allowed her to share her passion for music and dance and have a positive impact on hundreds of students over the last 16 years. She is proud that Elevate is the charter member of More Than Just Great Dancing affiliated studios for the state of Georgia. Danielle is thrilled to be taking part in Dancing for a Cause again this year!

Erin Burch

Erin is a native of Durham, North Carolina and has been dancing professionally in Atlanta, Georgia since 2013. She has trained in Atlanta, Denver, and Rochester under the tutelage of Southern Ballet Theatre, Anthony Burrell Center for Dance, Garth Fagan Dance, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and more. Erin’s training has consisted of jazz, hip hop, ballet, contemporary, lyrical, Horton, West African, and Latin social dancing. She has had the pleasure to be a part of companies such as Advocate Arts Contemporary, City Gate Dance Theater, Gotta Dance Contemporary, Komanse Dance Theater and Notnebia.

Alaina Cardiges

Alaina has been dancing for more than 18 years. She has trained in various styles, including hip hop, ballet, tap, jazz, and contemporary. She has also taught dance for over 5 years for ages 6 and older. She is grateful to be able to perform around the Atlanta area and is excited to be back for another year at Dancing for a Cause! She had so much fun at this event in 2019 and loves being able to share her passion for dance with the people in our community.

Deanna Cudjoe

Deanna Cudjoe is a dancer, singer, and actress originally from Atlanta, Georgia. She began her pre-professional ballet training at age 10 and is now a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a BFA in Classical Ballet and a minor in Arts Entrepreneurship. With more than 10 years of classical ballet, contemporary, and musical theater dance training, Deanna hopes to continue bringing her passion and individuality to positions in Concert Dance, Theater, and TV/Film. Some of her recent accomplishments include starring in Garen Scribner’s Swan Lake: Cancelled, debuting the role of “Coffee” in UNCSA’s first ever virtual Nutcracker and co-starring in a UNCSA fourth-year film titled JAZMIN. With a love for the stage, Deanna looks forward to broadening her path and continuing to evolve her craft wherever she goes.

Avery Gillham

Avery Gillham has been dancing since he was 7 years old training at Great Gig Dance company. He attended Kennesaw State University where he received a BA in Dance and studied abroad in Israel with the Batsheva dance company. Throughout college, Avery performed in professional theater shows with the Atlanta Lyric and City Springs Theatre. In 2021 he started performing in commercials, TV shows, movies, and live performances. Some of his performances include CMT Awards with Walker Hayes, Disney Plus’ Hawkeye (Rogers The Musical as Hawkeye), and Netflix’s Senior Year.

Morgan Harrell

Morgan Faithe Harrell is a graduate from Kennesaw State University with her Bachelor of Arts in Dance. As founder of her dance company Faithe’sthetics, her wide range of gifts is touching the globe. She has choreographed for artists such as Matty B l and is also the coordinating producer for the upcoming McDonald’s commercial “Arches”. Teaching is also her passion and works with Ballet after Dark, a program that started as a short film produced by Queen Latifah and founded by Tyde Courtney Edwards. You will also catch her in upcoming movie projects such as one she finished choreographed by the legendary Debbie Allen.

David Hector

David Hector has almost 15 years of experience in the dance industry. He’s opened up for Boys 2 Men, performed at the Universoul Circus, Tampa Bay Rays, the IIFA awards, and more. In 2012 David broke his neck doing gymnastics and the following year recovered, enabling him to teach and perform in India. In 2015 he spent 9 months touring with Epic Assemblies, traveling, and sharing his story through the arts. David currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia, and since then has been doing countless music video and industry work including American Soul, Big Boi, Super Bowl LIII, and much more. He danced for the Atlanta Hawks and is the captain of the Atlanta Braves Dance Team (ATL Breakers). His goal is to spread hope and inspiration through dance whatever way possible.

Aaron James

Aaron James, a creative director, choreographer, dancer, and actor, has been active in the professional entertainment industry for just over 15 years. He got his big break as he was a participant on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew in 2010 with his crew Royal Flush that he created along with his younger brother Jared James. Exposure from placing in the Top 8 on America’s Best Dance Crew propelled him into a full-fledged professional dancing career that gradually led to many other opportunities in the entertainment world. Aaron has graced the stage with many big names such as Pharrell, Little Big Town, Baby Keem, T- Pain, Jacob Latimore and more. Aaron has choreographed for many artists such as Jack Harlow and Lecrae just to name a few, as well as balancing an emerging acting career. You can find Aaron in many movies, television series & commercials currently airing on many major networks and streaming platforms. Aaron continues to expand his career as an emerging leader in Atlanta’s quickly expanding entertainment industry and loves being able to share what he learns with many young performers who wish to follow in similar footsteps.

Danielle Perez

Danielle Perez is a native of Miami where she attended Miami, Florida’s New World School of the Arts for high school. At the age of 19, Danielle was accepted as a dancer into The Juilliard School and graduated with her BFA in 2021. Danielle has performed works by many choreographers such as Bryan Arias, Ohad Naharin, Andrea Miller, Martha Graham, Jennifer Archibald, and Francesca Harper. She has also had many opportunities to perform in different places all around the world and has also participated to perform for fundraisers such as The Susan G. Komen walk for Breast Cancer and, EDIN, an Atlanta based organization dedicated to education and insight on eating disorders. In 2022 of January, Danielle became a part of XCEL’s Talent Agency in Atlanta, Georgia and has been working as a professional dancer/actress/model since. Danielle has recently been working as a dancing double on TV show Doom Patrol on HBO MAX. Danielle is constantly working, dancing, teaching, and traveling and is excited to see where her journey continues to take her.

Derrick Smith

Derrick is a graduate of Brenau University, where he received his B.F.A. in Dance. He has received additional dance training through Florida School of the Arts, The Ailey School Summer Intensive Program, Orlando Ballet School, Merce Cunningham Intensive and Atlanta Ballet. He served as a principal dancer with Gainesville Ballet Company for 8 years under Artistic Director Diane Callahan. Derrick was a member of Encore! under the direction of Allyne Gartrell before joining Dallas Black Dance Theatre as a first company member in 2010. Since leaving DBDT, Derrick has danced for Celebrity Cruises and Holland America Cruise Lines. There he served as dance captain and held many lead roles in the cast performances. Derrick Smith is also the founder of the Shiloh Dance Company at Shiloh High School, in Snellville GA. He continues to guest perform, teach master classes, choreograph, and judge competitions. Derrick’s heart and soul is always filled with the love of dance, and he continues to live out his passion for the performing arts.