Renowned choreographer works with Gwinnett dance students

To watch world-renowned choreographer Darrell Moultrie work with young dancers is to truly see a full-circle moment.

"It was done for me. There was a teacher in Harlem who poured into me, and gave me my career, gave me my life," says Moultrie. "So, now in my life, I try to mix as much as I can the professional work — the bigger jobs — with making sure I connect with young people."

Recently, the alum of The Julliard School spent three days connecting with dancers at the School of the Arts at Central Gwinnett High School. During that time, he created an entirely new work for the students, which they will perform at the school’s spring show in May. 

School of the Arts dance department chair Lonnie Davis says the experience is an invaluable one for the students.

"Very huge," says Davis, a longtime friend of Moultrie’s. "There are professional dancers who don’t necessarily get that opportunity. So, to be at the high school level, to work with a choreographer of that caliber, is pretty exceptional."

Moultrie — a Broadway veteran who has worked with stars including Beyoncé — is the first guest choreographer at the School of the Arts, which is currently in its third year of operation. And along with teaching them technique, Moultrie says he hopes to leave students with a lesson on the importance of work ethic. 

"I know with this generation, it’s a lot of ‘Get famous, fast.’ And I really like to push into them the hard work," he says. "Your brand is your hard work, and how you deal with people, how you create, and how you research. And then everything else falls into place."