Rhonda Cinotto (MDF Guest Artist and performer) currently teaches in the dance programs at the University of Washington and the Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences. She recently co-choreographed and produced an evening of jazz dance called Contemporary Jazz Dance Project of Seattle. Rhonda graduated with her M.F.A in dance in 2007 from the University of Washington. After graduating, she spent a year teaching modern and jazz at Western Michigan University. Prior to entering the M.F.A program, she was a member of Spectrum Dance Theater, performing works by Anne Reinking, Dwight Rhoden, Daniel Buraczeski, Daniel Ezralow, Frank Chaves, Lar Lubovitch, Margo Sappington and Donald Byrd, among others.
Robertson emerged as a principal dancer for Dayton Contemporary where her performance career spanned twelve years. She received training from and was cast in ballets by some of the most famous choreographers and teachers in the field: Talley Beatty, Maria Benitez, Merce Cunningham, Ron Brown, Bill T. Jones, Bebe Miller, Anna Sokolow, James Truitte, Doug Varone, Kevin Ward and Jawole Zollar, to name a few. She performed the dances of these historic and contemporary figures in theatres across the United States including the Kennedy Center, Washington DC, the Joyce Theatre, New York, NY, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the American Dance Festival and in Bermuda, France, Germany, Russia, and Poland. In 1998 she received the Josie award created by Dayton Contemporary founder, the late Jeraldyne Blunden. At the pinnacle of her artistic achievement, as a dancer, Robertson accepted a job to direct the dance department at Stivers School for the Arts. Today she mines the depth of historic, contemporary and personal phenomenon through her choreography for young dancers whose child’s eyes freshen the cycle of creation. As teacher, rehearsal coach, and most importantly, choreographer, DeShona allows students to investigate historic events that have preceded them, such as the Birmingham church bombings privileged in her dance, 4 Denise, Carole, Addie, and Cynthia (2006). In 2008, Robertson received the Excellence in Teaching Award at Stivers. Mrs. Robertson holds a Master’s in Education from Antioch University Midwest, a BFA degree in Dance and a BA in Business Marketing from Barat College Conservatory of DePaul. She has taken graduate classes at the University of Dayton and The Ohio State University. She is a member of Omega Baptist Church and lives in Dayton, with her husband and son.