Dance Company » Dancers & Staff
Lula Washington - Lula is the founder and artistic director of Lula Washington Dance Theatre. She is the main choreographer for LWDT. Her voice and vision give the Company its unique style and focus. Lula also established the dance company's inner city-based school in South Los Angeles. There, Lula grooms many of her own dancers, starting them at age 3. She established the organization's Youth Dance Ensemble which gives performance opportunities to gifted young inner city dancers. Lula choreographed movement for the films "Avatar" and "The Little Mermaid". She graduated from UCLA with a Masters degree in dance, after first being denied admission because of a late start in dance. Lula has won scores of awards and accolades including the first-ever Minerva Award, given by Maria Shriver at California's first Women's Conference. Oprah Winfrey and 12,000 women were on hand for the event. Lula has taken her company across the United States dozens of times, and to "Russia, China, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain, Kosovo, Canada, and Mexico.
Tamica Washington-Miller - Tamica is the Associate Director of Lula Washington Dance Theatre. She is the daughter of founders Lula and Erwin Washington. Tamica grew up in the dance company from childhood. She was a student, member of the Youth Dance Ensemble, an apprentice and then a Company Member. She has choreographed half a dozen works for the touring company and is well known as a soloist and leading dancer in such works as "We Wore The Mask"; "Ode To The Sixties"; "Tasting Muddy Waters"; Angelitos Negros" and other works. Tamica danced as a motion-capture artist in the James Cameron film, Avatar. She was the motion body for "Mo'aat" queen of the Na'vi tribe. Tamica has also choreographed for the "Moesha" television series and for "The Parkers". She manages various programs for Lula Washington Dance Theatre including the Summer Intensive; the Dance All Day event for Taste of Soul; and the LWDT partnership with Dorsey High School. Tamica choreographs the annual Kappa Alpha Kappa fraternity's Kappa League presentation; and she helps mount the annual Youth Recital and Kwanzaa festival.
Bernard Brown has been with Lula since elementary school. He grew up in the LWDT studio and danced in the Youth Dance Ensemble and as an apprentice before entering the dance company. Bernard teaches in the LWDT School and runs rehearsals for Lula when she is out of the studio. Bernard is also the liaison between Lula and her dancers. He has set choreography on LWDT's students and on LWDT apprentice dancers. He previously danced with Shapiro and Smith during a break from LWDT.
Christopher Fishburne joined Lula Washington in 2011 after moving to Los Angeles from New York where he studied at the Alvin Ailey School and at Dance Theatre of Harlem, among others.
Micah Moch – Micah joined the Lula Washington Dance Theatre school at age 6. He grew up at the LWDT studio and danced in the Youth Dance Ensemble before joining the Company. Micah performed in the film Avatar under Lula’s choreography and he was named one of the “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine. Micah danced with LWDT in numerous tours including Russia 2010; China, Brazil, Mexico and Kosovo.
Philip Levi Marsman
Philip Levi Marsman joined the Lula Washington Dance Theatre for its 12-city tour in Russia in 2012. He was featured in the solo role in Lula Washington's "Healers". Levi joined LWDT again in Spring 2013 for our 10-city Mid-Atlantic tour. Levi is a former member of the Ailey II Company.
Mary Runkle – Mary Runkle spent two years as an apprentice with the Lula Washington Dance Theatre before joining the company officially in 2010. Mary toured to Russia with Lula Washington in 2010 and 2012. She also danced with the company in many of its national tours and in its trips to China and Brazil.
Rachel McSween – Rachel joined Lula Washington Dance Theatre in Winter 2012 in Lula Washington’s Ballet/African dance solo for the Kwanzaa celebration. Rachel previously daced wth Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Ballet Hispanico, Complexions, and the Alvin Ailey II Company.
Queala Clancy began working with Lula Washington Dance Theatre in 2007 as a guest artist during breaks from her core job with Dayton Contemporary Dance Theatre. Following a period of time dancing in Las Vegas, Queala joined LWDT full time. She teaches in the LWDT school and assists in teaching and coaching company members. She dances solo leading roles for “We Wore The Mask”, “Love Is…”and other works.
Michael Battle - When Michael Battle was still in high school in Detroit, he saw the Lula Washington Dance Theatre perform at the International Association of Blacks In Dance Conference. He fell in love with Lula. Michael felt Lula's choreography was different from the work he saw on every other company that year and in the years that followed. So, when Michael graduated high school, he shocked his parents by telling them he was going to Los Angeles to dance with Lula. And he did. Michael started as an apprentice, and within a year, he was dancing with the Company. Michael has featured roles in just about every work in the repertory.
Khilea Douglass returned home to Lula Washington Dance Theatre for its 2012 Russia tour, following six years with the Alvin Ailey first company. She also danced in the Las Vegas production of Lion King. Khilea was part of LWDT’s Russia tour, its Spring Mid-Atlantic tour, among many others. Khilea first joined Lula Washington Dance Theatre in 2007.
Bravita Threatt - Bravita Threatt auditioned for LWDT in 2007 during a company concert in Virginia and was on a plane to Los Angeles a week later. She toured extensively with the company and then joined the Dallas Black Dance Company and then the Las Vegas cast of Lion King. Most recently Bravita danced with LWDT in Russia and in local tour engagements before returning to Lion King on Broadway as a substitute dancer. Ironically, in her two 2013 Lion King engagements, Bravita replaced dancers who had been members of Lula Washington Dance Theatre before Lion King.
Paunika Jones - Paunika is a former member of Dance Theatre of Harlem. She danced with Lula Washington Dance Theatre in Russia in 2012 performing a solo choreographed by DTH Founder Arthur Mitchell and gifted to LWDT. Paunika returned to LWDT for Spring 2013 tours of the company in Northern California and other places.
Alumni / Occasional Guest Performers
Ramon Thielen - Ramon first worked with Lula Washington Dance Theatre in 2005 in Lula's duet, 01997-8 for the company's 25th anniversary concert. He is a former member of Dance Theater of Harlem and the Caracas Ballet in Venezuela. Ramon performed Lula's "Healers" solo at the International Association of Blacks In Dance Conference in Washington, DC in Spring 2013 while the rest of the Company was out on tour. Ramon toured Russia, China and Brazil with Lula Washington Dance Theatre. He has taught at the LWDT Studio, and in 2011 lead an 8-week ballet intensive with a performance of the ballet, Carmen, at the LWDT Studio. It features students, company dancers and ballet students from his home in Venezuela.
Jeremiah Tatum - Jeremiah Tatum grew up at the LWDT studio after Lula gave him a scholarship at 9 years old. Jeremiah went on to become the youngest member ever of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and he also joined the Broadway and touring casts of Lion King, among many other shows. Jeremiah has toured off an on with Lula Washington Dance Theatre since the age of 16. He also teaches at the LWDT School.
Other Company Staff
Erwin Washington - Erwin is the co-founder and Executive Director of Lula Washington Dance Theatre. Erwin is married to Lula. Erwin encouraged Lula to pursue her passion in dance and then supported her in achieving her dream by raising the funds and handling the business aspects of her organization. Erwin has won awards for his fiction writing, his plays, his work as a journalist, and also for work as a tv writer. Erwin has written for Time Magazine, the LA Times, Daily News and numerous other publications. Six of his plays have been produced, and he has sold half a dozen television scripts -- several of which have aired on network television. Erwin h as raised millions in grants for LWDT and he engineered the purchases of LWDT's original and current dance studio properties. Erwin is a graduate of UCLA with a bachelor's degree in Creative Writing and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Screenwriting. He is also a graduate of Stanford University's Executive Certificate Program in Non-Profit Leadership.
Marcus L. Miller – (composer/musician)
Marcus L. Miller - Composer and drummer. Marcus has composed music and played live with LWDT for over a decade, since he married Lula's daughter, Tamica. He leads his own band, Freedom Jazz Movement. Marcus and his band toured 12 cities in China with Lula Washington in 2011. He also toured with the company to Russia (twice), Brazil and Guadalajara, Mexico. Marcus.
Terri James – (Stage Manager)
Michael David Ricks – (Lighting / Technical Director)
Latrice Lovett (Lighting Supervisor)
Kamasi Washington (Musician: Sax)