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Countess V. Winfrey

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Nashville native, Countess V. Winfrey, began her dance training at the age of 11 at Wharton Arts Magnet Middle school and continued her training at Nashville School of the Arts, before pursuing dance as a minor at the University of Memphis. After deciding to continue her dance training post graduation, Countess joined Dayton Contemporary Dance Company’s (DCDD) pre-professional ensemble in 2012, which then led into a professional dance career with DCDC. Countess has danced professionally with DCDC and with ClancyWorks Dance Company based in Washington, D.C. She has had the opportunity to perform internationally in Kazakhstan, China, and Russia (including having performed in two sold out performances at the world famous Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia). She has performed works by Ulysses Dove, Donald McKayle, Ray Mercer, Dwight Rhoden, Ronald K. Brown, Crystal Michelle, Debbie Blunden-Diggs, Kevin Ward, Abby Zbikowski, Adrienne Clancy, and many more. Countess will be entering her sixth season dancing with the professional company and her eighth year with the organization.

Countess has been a teaching artist for eight years. She has experience in teaching dance through arts in education to K-12 students and has taught recreational and master classes in modern, ballet, and contemporary. Countess has had the opportunity to teach regionally, nationally, and internationally. She has also choreographed works on a multitude of students from ages eight to post-college graduates and professionals. Regionally, Countess has set work for DCDC2 and the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company; nationally, she has set work in the Washington, D.C. area for ClancyWorks Dance Company, West Potomac High School in Virginia, and has produced and directed a dance concert entitled “Memories of Walking in Memphis” for the University of Memphis’ Black History Month Program; Internationally, she co-choreographed a piece for an international dance company entitled Kazyna Dance Company (based out of Shymkent, Kazakhstan) in May 2018.

Countess has created the following teaching artist statement: “I believe everyone should have the opportunity to learn how to dance. Being able to participate in the arts is incredibly fundamental to academic development. I began my dance training in my public middle school and continued my training at my high school. Training I received has thoroughly impacted my professional career to this day. I graduated high school at the top of my class and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Memphis. While aiming to be academically sound in my studies, I also danced by way through those eight years. It helped me to establish discipline, increased my critical thinking skills, and opened my mind to all the innovative and creative possibilities out there. I especially enjoy being a teaching artist for arts in education opportunities because I am a living witness as to how much the arts have impacted my life. I am honored to have the skill level, experience, and opportunity to pass my knowledge in dance to the next generation.”

The award of this badge shows that the artist participated in a two-day workshop at the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning that focused on understanding arts integration, domains of youth development, behavior management, academic and fine arts standards, outcomes and indicators, and learning strategies and activities. The earner developed a program plan to apply these concepts in their work with students, earning a score of 75% or greater related to specific scoring criteria.

Grade Levels/Age Groups

  • PreK-Kindergarten
  • Grades 1-3
  • Grades 4-5
  • Grades 6-8
  • Grades 9-12
  • Young Adults
  • Adults
  • Older Adults

Facilities and Resources Required

  • Audio System
  • Electrical Outlets
  • Tables
  • Performance Space
  • Chairs

Organizational Involvement


Upon request