Dereque Whiturs a native of Dallas Texas began his career as a performing artist at the Booker T Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Artists. Mr. Whiturs has been trained in ballet, modern, jazz, tap, and the Dunham techniques and he has trained with such artists as Alvin Ailey, Ulysses Dove, Donald McKayle, Donald Byrd, Talley Beatty, George Faison, Tina Yuan, Christine Lawson, Homer Bryant, and George Skibine, and Maria Tallchiief, Mr. Whiturs is an Alumni of California Institute of the Arts in Valencia California. Mr. Whiturs was a principle dancer with the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble under the direction of Sylvia Waters former principle dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and he went on to become a principle dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre under the direction of Alvin Ailey where he traveled the United States and Europe for 13 years. Mr. Whiturs is currently a principle dancer with Deeply Rooted Productions in Chicago Illinois where he is also on the Associate Artistic team for the Deeply Rooted summer intensive program and the Deeply Rooted 2. He is also a member of the Malone Group Incorporated in Washington D.C.

Mr. Whiturs has an extensive background in dance education he has taught in the United States and Europe in such places as The Chicago Multi Cultural Dance School in Chicago Illinois, Deeply Rooted summer intensive program in Chicago Illinois, Bertino’s School of Danceology In Chicago Illinois, Duke Ellington Performing Arts High School in Washington D.C., Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas Texas, The Black Academy of Arts and Letters in Dallas Texas, and for the Renalto Greco School of Dance in Rome Italy. Mr. Whiturs has recently come back to Dallas and has started his own company with Mr. Carl Long co-Artistic Director “HappyNia Dance Theatre” Because of his passion for building awareness in the African American community about HIV/AIDS, Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse, and Self Actualizing he wishes to use HappyNia Dance Theatre Productions as a means to communication to the people in his community to call in the community to stand for something and not just settle for anything, to work together to make a change in the community his way starts with the arts.

Mr. Whiturs believes that through the arts,  song, dance, and drama one can communicate in a way that all can understand, Mr. Whiturs started the company Nia Dance Theatre in Dallas Texas 8 years ago before he moved to Chicago Illinois where he met Mr. Taron Webster who was the director of a company called Happy which means HIV/AIDS Prevention Protecting Yourself. The two companies merged to serve in a way of educating  the youth as well as the adults in the African American communities.  His goal was to dispell  the fears and educate.  Mr .Whiturs continues to do the work necessary here in Dallas Texas. He is persistent in being a voice through the arts to fight injustices in communities everywhere. Mr. Whiturs knows that he cannot do it alone. He is a firm believer that “It takes a whole village to raise a child” even the child within ourselves.  HappyNia Dance Theatre Productions invites any support from positive activists in the community who wishes to make a difference in changing the negative cycle that has been given to our community. Mr. Whiturs is a writer and choreographer who uses his artistry to speak authentically and truthfully about what’s wrong in our community and what we can do to change it.   

HappyNia Dance Theatre
Artistic Director/Founder
HappyNia Dance Theatre