8th Grade Theatre Lab Students Enjoy Second Guest Artist

This week, Lydia Horan's 8th Grade Theatre Lab students were visited virtually by Demetia Hopkins, professional actress and dancer, the second presenter in their guest artists lineup. Demetia is a performing artist and dance educator based in New York City and Central Virginia. She made her Broadway debut in the 2019 revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma. One of Dance Magazine's 'Top 25 to Watch,' and cited one of '26 Black Female Choreographers and Dancers You Should Know,' Hopkins shared her training and performance background and stories with the students, talking about motivation, passion, inspiration, and life as a touring dancer and Broadway show member in NYC. Students asked great questions such as: Can you describe a typical evening getting ready for a show? What's the craziest thing that's happened backstage? Do you get stage fright and how do you deal with it? What's the hardest thing you've had to deal with? Demetia answered with honesty, grace and a real passion for performing and teaching. The students loved getting to watch video of some of Demetia's performances as well.

Demetia's early dance training was from nearby Orange School of Performing Arts (OSPA) under the direction of her uncle, Ricardo Porter. (She also took Musical Theatre classes from and appeared in shows directed by our own Lydia Horan, who taught at OSPA for many years.) She graduated with honors from the Ailey/Fordham University BFA program in 2009 while a member of the Ailey II company. In 2010, she joined the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, spending a six-year tenure touring and performing pieces by prestigious world choreographers, including Alvin Ailey's signature solo piece, Cry. Other credits include the film Hal King and the opening number for the Save Birdland concert in NYC. She was a member of Sleep No More at the McKittrick Hotel and has performed with the Francesca Harper Project, Project-Inc., Mimi Garrard and Dianne McIntyre. She is proud to be the Co-Artistic Director at Orange School of Performing Arts.