Waverly T. Lucas

Joffrey Ballet School

Mr. Lucas attended Marygrove College in Detroit, Michigan, where he conceived the concept and name for Ballethnic Dance Company. After careers with the Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Atlanta Ballet, he joined The Heartstrings National Tour.    Mr. Lucas created more than 40 ballets, including four full-length ballets. “Urban Nutcracker”, “The Leopard Tale”, “A Jazzy Sleeping Beauty” and” Flyin’ West …the ballet” based off the Pearl Cleage play, and an Opera: “Aida” for the Atlanta Opera. After co-founding BDC with his wife Nena Gilreath in 1990.  Mr. Lucas’ choreography and projects consists of the 1996 Olympic Arts Festival, 1997 Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Concert Series, the National Black Arts Festival, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Outreach Program, Dance Africa (Brooklyn Academy of Music and Chicago Theater 2001), the Danseur Development Project, (a dance-training program for young males) and, he is the creator of Ballethnicize, an evolving dance/fitness discipline that combines African dance styles with classical ballet. His international experience consists of performing and/or teaching in USSR, West Africa, South America, and the West Indies. Performed, taught, and choreographed works for the University of Georgia as Artist in Residence. His awards include Princess Grace Scholarship, McPheeter’s Medallion Award, National Choreographers Award, TBS Trumpet Award as Dancer/Choreographer, *2006 Lexus Leaders of the Arts by Georgia Public Broadcasting, and *2007 Charles Loridans Award (*with wife, Nena). He completed his M.A. in Ethnochoreology at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance of the University of Limerick in Ireland in September 2020. He choreographed two works during the shut-in from the COVID 19 Pandemic, “Opposites Attract and Distract: From Bare Feet to Pointe Shoes” a multimedia dance and drumming project, and “Jazzing: Memoirs in Jazz” a collaboration with The Bremen Museum based on the photos of Photojournalist Herb Snitzer of the great Black Jazz musicians. Both will be presented as part of Ballethnic’s 2021/2022 season.