Terri Ayanna Wright


Height: 5'3"

Hair: Black

Eyes: Dark Brown


Current Job: Carolyn Dorfman Dance; Met Opera; MATHETA Dance   

Training:  Ailey/Fordham BFA; Ailey II; Parsons MFA

Location: NYC, NY

Willing to travel

Terri Ayanna Wright is a New York City based dancer. She began her training in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in jazz under the mentorship of Tari Smith-Trosclair, and classical ballet through the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre. After moving to Houston, Texas in high school, Ms. Wright started training with the pre-professional modern dance company, Exclamation Dance Company. Since moving to New York City, Ms. Wright obtained a BFA with honors from Fordham University and The Ailey School, all the while pursuing many freelance performance opportunities.  As a student at The Ailey School, Ms. Wright trained in various dance techniques including Ballet, Horton, Dunham, Graham-based Modern, Jazz, West African, and Ballet/Modern Partnering. She also attended Debbie Allen Dance Academy and Alonzo King Lines Ballet summer intensives on merit scholarship. After graduating, Ms. Wright joined Ailey II (2015-2017) through which she toured both internationally and domestically- including stops in France, Spain, Germany, the Caribbean Islands, and throughout the United States. She most notably performed Mr. Alvin Ailey's masterpiece Revelations for Former President Barack Obama and Chancellor Merkel in the Hannover Messe Trade Show Opening Ceremonies (Germany 2016), as well as on live television for Good Morning America’s Black History Month segment (NYC 2017) and the Trailblazer Honors Awards which aired on VH1 (NYC 2017). Ms. Wright's last performance with Ailey II was the opening act for Coca Cola's ESSENCE Festival concert series (Mercedes Benz Superdome New Orleans 2017).


Ms. Wright joined Buglisi Dance Theatre (BDT) for their season at New York Live Arts (NYC 2017) this past May, as well as New Victory Dance Theatre Residency in July. She accredits Jacqulyn Buglisi, former principle dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company and artistic director of BDT, for inspiring a more visceral connection with dance. Ms. Wright is a founding member of MATHETA Dance (October 2017), fusing Horton and Graham-based modern dance with the South African groove embedded in the artistic director’s, Khensani Methabula, movement style. Ms. Wright has also recently performed with Renegade Performance Group under artistic director André Zachery at the Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C. 2017), exploring the philosophy behind afro-futurism as it is represented through dance. Ms. Wright joined Carolyn Dorfman Dance full-time in November of 2017 for their 35th anniversary season in November, and is currently in her second season.

Ms. Wright also has a passion for teaching dance. She began assisting ballet and tap dance classes when she was twelve years old, and taught her first dance class at the age of thirteen. In high school, Ms. Wright developed an interest in creating her own movement style, choreographing competition dance solos for herself that would go on to win national titles. Her style was able to further evolve through the study and creation of compositions under the mentorship of the late Kazuko Hirabayashi at The Ailey School. Since then, Ms. Wright has had the privilege of teaching master classes all over the United States, Caribbean, and Europe during her seasons touring with Ailey II, as well as choreographing competition dances and concert pieces as a freelance choreographer.  Most recently, Ms. Wright was commissioned through Baton Rouge Community College to teach Horton based workshops in a week-long residency at various schools in the greater Baton Rouge area.  She is currently a Horton teacher for The Ailey Extensions Program in NYC, as well as a teaching artist for Carolyn Dorfman Dance. 

Aside from honing her performance artistry, Ms. Wright is also passionate about engineering. She strives to be a role-model for young girls wanting to pursue diverse interests in the arts AND sciences. Whether the vessel is a performed art or an applied science, Ms. Wright has always been enthralled with the idea of creating something from nothing. She found a way to further explore this idea in high school, through her Project Lead The Way (engineering) courses. As team leader of NASA's H.U.N.C.H. (High school students United with NASA to Create Hardware) Clear Springs high school team, she was granted the opportunity to design, build, and test a system that would allow plants to grow in outer space through the Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program.  In her junior and senior years, Ms. Wright became the silver and gold medalists in the NAACP ACT-SO National Competition of Engineering for her projects in digital electronics. Ms. Wright graduated from Fordham University with a minor in Computer Science, and continues to further develop her computer programming skills through various courses like the FullStack Academy's Javascript Bootcamp Prep. Ms. Wright feels that this passion continues to shape her as an artist, teacher, and choreographer, as it informs the way she thinks and processes information. 

In the Fall, Ms. Wright will be attending Parsons The New School as an MFA Candidate in Design and Technology. She also plans to join the ensemble of Met Opera's Porgy and Bess Production, under the direction of Camille A. Brown.

Ms. Wright enjoys using her dance and engineering background to tell stories. These stories are actualized through choreographed works, and creative projects.

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