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James A. Wiggins, Jr.
Shirlise L. McKinley
 
Founder
Founder/Director
 
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Biography

James A. Wiggins, Jr., founder and Executive Director of Premiere Dance, Inc. planted his roots at the Montclair High School, School of Performing Arts. He continued his career as a triple threat performer at Jersey City State College. Gifted in all aspects of performing, Mr. Wiggins received many awards and accolades including the School of Performing Arts Award and the Eastern and Southern Ballroom Theater Arts Championship along with partner Diana Rogers. Mr. Wiggins' transition to becoming a choreographer was well received and well sought after by many in the dance arena, the music industry and the educational sector. Mr. Wiggins established himself as a reputable choreographer in the genre of American Modern Dance. He was one of few choreographers in the tri-state area who established a report with such well-known choreographers as Eleo Pomare, Fred Benjamin, Andre Tyson and the late, great Talley Beatty. James' professional troupe, Premiere Dance Theatre Company was commissioned to do several works by these legends. In addition to setting works on his own hand-picked company, James choreographed for Tony Award Winner Tonya Pinkins of "Jelly's Last Jam", Shakiem Evans of "Center Stage" and "Mama Mia", Seymour Street Records, Rap Artist Sulaw, BBC and countless others. James Wiggins was also a leader in Arts and Education. He and his company developed and implemented several dance curriculums for the Newark Preschool Council, the City of Jersey City, Hillside Public Schools, Project Grad, Temple Sholom of West Essex and Long Island's Holiday House. Mr. Wiggins was also selected, based upon his expertise to be a member of the pilot team of New Jersey Performing Arts Center New Jersey Dance Academy.

Mr. Wiggins was proud of his accomplishments but especially proud of his role in inspiring those who have come through his school (now in its 15th year) to continue their quest for excellence and achievement. He nurtured the talents of young dancers via scholarships and special performance opportunities offered at Premiere Dance Theatre School. Mr. Wiggins was a member of the National Association of Blacks in Dance.

 

 

 
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