Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble is internationally esteemed as one of America’s foremost modern dance companies. Under the direction of Cleo Parker Robinson, the Ensemble performs a dynamic body of works inspired by the African American experience and rooted in ethnic and modern dance traditions worldwide. Legendary and emerging artists alike are drawn by the spirit of the company to create works that transcend the boundaries of culture, class and age while unequivocally communicating the complexity of the human condition. Seen by an estimated 2,000,000 fans throughout the United States and more than 40 countries on five continents, CPRDE continues to be a leader in dance innovation and the promotion of American dance heritage.
CPRD Ensemble members are a key component to our outreach programs—performing thousands of hours of outreach in our local community and beyond.
Learn more about our Ensemble Members by clicking on their name below!
A Kansas City native, Ms. Abel trained for twelve years under full scholarship at the Kansas City Ballet School. She studied in New York at the Ailey School as a Fellowship recipient, and received her BFA in Dance, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. Her professional career includes performances with Quixotic Performance Fusion, the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey, the Owen/Cox Dance Group, Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company and as an Apprentice with the Kansas City Ballet. Ms. Abel is now in her tenth season with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble and is also Rehearsal Director for the Ensemble
A native of Detroit, MI, Mr. Battle began his dance training at Detroit School of the Arts at the age of 14. In 2009, he joined the Lula Washington Dance Theatre as a company member, and in 2019, joined Ronald K. Brown/ Evidence, A Dance Company as a company member. Mr. Battle has traveled to China, Russia, Haiti, Mexico, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy. He has performed with Grammy Award Winning and Nominated artists Kamasi Washington, Meshell Ndegeocello, Terence Blanchard, Aurturo O’Farrill, and Jody Watley. After guesting with the Ensemble in 2022, he is now in his first full season with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance.
From the DC Metropolitan area, Ms. Blake began her formal training at BalletNova Center for Dance in Arlington, VA. She attended Duke Ellington School of the Arts (Washington DC) under the tutelage of Charles Augins, Sandra Fortune-Greene, and Katherine Smith. She has studied with various company institutions including Deeply
Rooted Dance Theater, Dance Theater of Harlem at the Strathmore, and Jazz & Contemporary at Joffrey Ballet. Ms. Blake graduated from Southern Methodist University, with a BFA in Dance Performance and BS in Education & Human Development. While a full-time student at SMU, she danced with B.Moore Dance. She has performed in works by Robert Battle, Christopher Huggins, Kevin Iega Jeff, Bridget L. Moore, Silas Farley, Nicole Clarke-Springer, among others.
Growing up in Hammond IN, Mr. Boatner trained in multiple dance techniques at the Hammond Academy for the Performing Arts. An alum of Indiana University, he performed there in notable works including Kyle Abrahams “Radio Show”, Jose Limon’s “Psalm”, Andrea Millers “Spill”, Jerome Robbins “Fanfare”, and the original restaging of Twyla Tharp’s “Deuce Coupe” and Rennie Harris’ “Home”. He has also toured professionally with Elizabeth Shea Dance in Philadelphia and New York and performed overseas with Norwegian Creative Studios. After one season as an apprentice, Mr. Boatner is now in his first season as an Ensemble member.
Originally from Houston, Ms. Francisco graduated in 2012 from the High School of Performing and Visual Arts as a dance major. She subsequently received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in 2016 from Point Park University with repertoire from Jessica Lang, Terrance Marling, Troy Powell, Bennyroyce Royon, Garfield Lemonius and MADBOOTS. In 2010, her sophomore year, her student choreography project “Tales of Courage“, was featured at the American College Dance Association Conference. After graduating from Point Park, she joined the Lula Washington Dance Theater in Los Angeles for two seasons, performing works by Kyle Abraham, Donald Bryd, Rennie Harris, Christopher Huggins and David Roussève. In 2018, Ms. Francisco moved to Denver to join the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble where she is now in her fourth season.
Born in Detroit, Ms. Goshea trained at the Detroit High School for the Fine and Performing Arts and Oakland University, receiving her BFA. She has performed with the Brown Dance Project, Patterson Rhythm and Pace, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, SMAGDance Company and the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC). After being a member of Cleo II and an apprentice to the Ensemble, she is now in her tenth season with the Ensemble.
After graduating in 2011 from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Mr.Littlejohn apprenticed with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble for
one year. In the Summer of 2017, he toured in the south of France touring his original work Evolution of Love. As a choreographer and teacher, he
has worked with many diverse communities. In 2014, while performing with Lexington Ballet, he taught children with specific disabilities, and
while touring with Ballet Palm Beach, he traveled to Cuba where he worked with the elder community. Having performed with Ballet Eddy Toussaint de Montreal, Lexington Ballet, and Ballet Palm Beach (2015-2018), with leading roles in Giselle, The Nutcracker, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Rite of Spring, and Gatsby, he subsequently returned to the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble in 2018. Touring with the Ensemble, he has performed at the American Dance Festival in 2019, the Vail Dance Festival in 2021, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in 2022. Mr. Littlejohn is now in his fifth season with the Ensemble.
A Florida native, Ms. Lynnice began her training at the Academy of Ballet Arts and Artz 4 Life Academy, Inc. in Tampa Bay. A graduate of New World School of the Arts, she received her Bachelor in Fine Arts from The Hartt School in Hartford, CT. Touring nationally as a principle dancer with DunDu Dole West African Ballet, she performed in the Chocolate Nutcracker as ‘Claire’ and ‘The Dream Princess”. She has performed works by master choreographers including Martha Graham, Jose Limon, Doug Varone, and Darrell Grand Moultrie, and attended summer workshops with Dance Theater of Harlem, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Martha Graham Dance Company, RIOULT, and White Mountain Dance Festival. This is Ms. Lynnice’s fourth season with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble.
Originally from Fremont California, Ms. Maduro began training in dance under the direction of Yoko Young and later joined Nor Cal Dance Arts under the direction of Tawnya Kuzia. She has studied at the Ailey School, the Martha Graham School, the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and the University of California, Irvine where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance Performance. While at UCI, she was honored in 2017 to perform as part of the distinguished Donald McKayle’s Etude Ensemble. She has performed works by Donald McKayle, Martha Graham, Darshan Singh Bhuller, and Tong Wang. Upon graduation, Ms. Maduro joined Cleo II, and after one season as apprentice, is now in her first season as an Ensemble member.
Cleo II was founded in 2011 in Denver Colorado. This pre-professional/apprentice company focuses on developing young adult dancers in preparation for entering the professional field of dance. The company’s major focuses are community outreach and education, technical development and the cultivation of artistic excellence.
Learn more about our Cleo II Members by clicking on their name below!
A California native and University of California, Irvine graduate, Ms. Sandoval received her BFA in Dance Performance. While at UC Irvine, she danced in the iconic Donald McKayle’s final Etude Ensemble, and in 2019 received the Donald McKayle Endowment for Modern Dance. A soloist in Lar Lubovitch’s “North Star”, she worked directly with Dante Puleio, Artistic Director of the Limon Dance Company. In Israel, she worked with several Israeli modern dance companies including Batsheva Dance Company, Vertigo Dance Company, and Kolben Dance Company. Having studied with the Alvin Ailey Professional Division Program and the Abraham in Motion Summer Intensive in New York City, she now joins Cleo II for her first season.
A Colorado native, Ms. Slaughter began dancing at a local competitive studio before moving to St. Louis to attend Washington University where she expanded her training to include Modern and West African and received a Minor in Dance. Ms. Slaughter performed for three years with the Washington University Dance Collective (a modern dance company) and worked with multiple MFA candidates on their thesis projects. While at Washington University, she performed works by Ting-Ting Chang, Diadie Bathily, Kirven Douthit-Boyd, and Dana Tai Soon Burgess. Following graduation, she returned to Colorado and is now is now in her second season with Cleo II.
For ages 13-19, a member of the Training Track who has demonstrated technical and artistic excellence will be selected for the Youth Ensemble. The Youth Ensemble is the performing aspect of the Training Track–they perform throughout the community as well as some CPRDE Concerts such as Granny Dances To A Holiday Drum and Dance Africa.
For ages 8-13, a member of the Training Track who has demonstrated that they are performance ready and dedicated to increase their training and performance opportunities. They will also have the opportunity to perform in the community as well as some CPRDE Concerts such as Granny Dance To A Holiday Drum and Dance Africa, to name a few.