Professional Dancers 2023
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.
Aaron James, a creative director, choreographer, dancer, and actor, has been active in the professional entertainment industry for just over 16 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 Aikens-Holland has been dancing for 40 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 17 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!
Hannah Dalton has been dancing for 7 years. She started her training at Elevate Performing Arts Center, and recently graduated with a minor in dance from Kennesaw State University. Her training includes Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, and Latin Ballroom. She has performed in numerous shows including The Nutcracker. Hannah was the winner of Nicole Kirkland’s Puma Sponsored Dance Competition and was recently in a dance film with 4Sight Productions. She is excited to be working with Dancing for a Cause and bringing her flair to the dance floor.