Lexy Lattimore is a dancer, director, social worker, teacher, performer, choreographer, writer, and entrepreneur. Her mission is to use her artistic practices to effect system-wide change, address issues that disproportionately affect marginalized populations, and to center and celebrate voices of color. She is the founder and director of the Commemoration Company, an arts and justice organization that builds community through movement, storytelling, and performance.
Lexy has always been passionate about the ways in which movement and dance build and strengthen community. Lexy grew up in Chelmsford, MA, where she trained in classical ballet under the tutelage of Judith Keochoven. While in high school, she led efforts in her town to fundraise over $60,000 for her High School to build new arts facilities. Lexy graduated cum laude from Duke University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and honors in Dance. While at Duke, Lexy served as the Chair of the Baldwin Scholars Program. She also founded an empowerment camp for girls, Every Girl’s Got Something (E.G.G.S.). She choreographed and performed her own work for Duke’s 50th anniversary of Black Students on campus and produced her first full-length work, “A People to Believe In”, with residents [ranging from 5-94 years old], of a historically black neighborhood in Durham. The project used oral history, poetry, painting, and movement to bring communal and personal stories to life on stage. President Brodhead said of the work,
"The range of imaginative, artistic and practical, logistical skills needed to pull off this performance was considerable, but at the end, the hard work never showed. It had been turned into beautiful, powerful expression of the history of a community, at risk of being forgotten but now danced back into life." – President Richard Brodhead, March 2016[i]
After graduating from Duke, Lexy worked in community healthcare, specializing in bilingual (Spanish-English) pediatric obesity intervention, case management, and population health marketing. During this time, she raised over $750,000 for a federally qualified health care center to support medical programs and social services for low income and vulnerable patients in the city of Boston.
In 2016, Lexy went on to pursue a full-time career in dance. She joined DSundanceX, a contemporary ballet company in Boston. Lexy has also worked and trained with Nathan Trice, Milton Myers, Kyle Abraham, and at the Martha Graham School in New York. She moved to Cleveland to dance with Verb Ballets where she performed original works by Dianne McIntyre, Heinz Poll, Charles Anderson, Antonio Brown, and Tommie Waheed-Evans. Lexy has also performed internationally in Cuba, where she worked with Ivan Alonso in Havana, alongside the esteemed ProDanza Company, directed by the legendary Laura Alonso. Lexy has continued to work with choreographers like Pam Tanowitz, Catherine Meredith, contemporary artist Nick Cave, and classical singers like Robert Sims. Lexy has choreographed works in Boston, Durham, New York City, and Cleveland. Most recently, she choreographed for a theater piece about women in the Black Panther movement, and created movement for students at Cleveland School of the Arts who co-wrote a show about gun violence. She served as the dance instructor for Cleveland Public Theatre’s (CPT) Student Theater Enrichment Program (STEP) and the Co-Director for CPT’s Global Teen Performance Project; where, she led refugee and immigrant students to create an original performance about their migration and integration experiences.
In Cleveland, Lexy produced, choreographed, and performed an original work at the Karamu House, the oldest black theater in the country. Lexy is the 2019 recipient of the Cleveland Arts Prize Verge Fellowship. Additionally, she is a Mandel Leadership Fellow at Case Western Reserve University where she will receive her Master’s in Social Administration and Non Profit Management. She hopes to open healing arts centers in Cleveland and across the country and she is developing a Trauma-Informed Ballet program.
[i]As artistic expression, the performance was memorable—the dance was stunningly choreographed, and the verbal parts beautifully modulated, a continual reminder that the human spirit thrives in what to outsiders might appear scenes of deprivation. But two further features made the performance unforgettable. First, the local community came to the performance, including many older residents, some of whom she had interviewed. I will not forget the looks of pride, delight and even amazement on their faces as they watched their long-ago memories expressed into new life. Second, under Lexy’s direction, children from the West End neighborhood performed much of the piece, with the result that we could watch them finding themselves as confident performers, and watch them become bearers of the history Lexy had helped them to understand.
The range of imaginative, artistic and practical, logistical skills needed to pull off this performance was considerable, but at the end, the hard work never showed. It had been turned into beautiful, powerful expression of the history of a community, at risk of being forgotten but now danced back into life.
Richard Brodhead President, Duke University March 2016