Darion Smith is the artistic director and co-founder of Jansuphere Dance Company (JDC). Smith’s choreographic works have been presented throughout the United States and abroad in Spain and Mexico. Smith fuses different dance genres, incorporates visual art and interactive set designs and life-size props to focus his artistic vision. His works are made in collaboration with award-winning musicians and composers. He has worked to maintain his vision for JDC, since its founding in 2007, as a platform for collaborative exploration, providing opportunities for professional dancers, and community engagement through performances, workshops and masterclasses. In 2018, Smith was the Artist in Residence at the Pacific Lutheran University and most recently the recipient of the 2020 Mark Ryder Original Choreography Award.
Smith is an assistant professor of dance at the Howard Community College, teaching theory and technique to dance majors, non-dance majors, and community member students. He is also the director of the Howard County Community Dance Festival, which offers masterclasses and performance opportunities to the Howard County Dance Community. He creates choreographic works for the HCC Dance Concert Season with students and professional artists. Smith is on faculty at the Johns Hopkins University Peabody Preparatory Dance Program where he teaches boys ballet to students aged 8-18. He has been a guest faculty at the Washington School of Ballet and has taught at the American College Dance Association, Northwest and Mid-Atlantic North Regional Conferences.
Smith is a graduate of the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany. He studied ballet at the Bolshoi Academy in Moscow. Smith began his professional career with the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s, Dancing Through Barriers Ensemble and continued to diversify his professional credits with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet at Lincoln Center, Buglisi Dance Theatre, New York Theater Ballet and other professional dance companies. During his time at the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Darion taught for their education and community outreach programs. After twelve years in the professional field, Darion returned to academia as a graduate teaching fellow to earn a master’s degree from the University of Oregon.
The Estelle Dennis/Peabody Dance Training Program for Boys provides tuition-free classes and other benefits to boys ages 9-15 who have the raw ability, physical facility and real desire to dance.