About

Christopher Charles McDaniel was born on October 4th 1990 in Spanish Harlem. Christopher was taken in by his Grandmother when doctors and other family counseling officials deemed his mother unable to raise him. He was raised with his older brother, younger brother, younger sister and his older cousin. Growing up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, He has always been a pretty outgoing child. He’d do things to get attention and when he got the attention he so eagerly fought for, he demanded more. He was different from his brothers; they were into sports, video games, and watching cartoons. He was more interested in the Arts. Singing, Dancing, Writing, and Drawing made him happy. Dance was the art form that he enjoyed most. He’d always play sports with the family, and watched cartoons, but he wanted to be in the spotlight being artistically expressive. He began dancing at the age of 6. His first true encounter with dance was in church. He watched his older cousin Journee “Praise Dance” and knew he just had to be a dancer. Months later he joined the Praise Dance Ensemble of the Life Changers Church and Ministries of Manhattan (formerly New Jerusalem) and continues to dance there today. Praise dancing confirmed his love for the art form and inspired him to go on and pursue it. At the age of 9 he was awarded a full scholarship to study at the Dance Theatre of Harlem School, training with its founded Arthur Mitchell, and many other remarkable teachers. As he got older, the love for dancing developed greatly. In 2005 he enrolled into Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Performing Arts, as an incoming sophomore dance major. There he learned many forms of dance and developed an eclectic movement quality. It was during his time at LaGuardia, he decided he wanted to dance professionally. To further prepare himself he studied at numerous schools across New York City, such as Ballet Academy East with Darla Hoover and Francis Patrelle, Steps on Broadway, The Ailey School and in the summer of 2008 he attended the Boston Ballet Summer Dance Program in Boston, MA on a full scholarship. He also studied with Anna_Marie Holmes at the School at Jacob’s Pillow in the summer of 2009.  At 17 years old Christopher was offered a contract to dance with The Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble. This made him realize that his dream of being a professional ballet dancer was indeed possible. He is grateful to God for all of his blessings. The one blessing he cherishes beyond the gift of dance is his Grandmother, Willamae Jackson. She’s instilled good morals and mature behavioral habits in him, and has constantly encouraged him. She gave up a big part of her life to push him into his dream and purpose, so he salutes her!