Sandra C. Atkinson
Founder, Executive Director, Choreographer
Sandra C. Atkinson is the Chair of the VPA Dance Department at Northwestern HS where she teaches, mentors, and creates work for the VPA Dance Students. She is also the Founder/Artistic Director of Light Switch Dance Theatre where she creates socially conscious multidisciplinary work to be performed in non-traditional spaces. She is most known for her work The Girl Child Project, RedLines, and NEST for LSDT.
She has a B.A. in Dance from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and an M.A. in Performing Arts: Dance from American University. Sandra currently teaches at Montgomery College (Rockville, MD), Black Rock Center for the Arts (Germantown, MD), and City Ballet (Hagerstown, MD). She has also taught at American University (Washington, DC), Goucher College (Baltimore, MD), Community College Baltimore County (Essex, MD), American College Dance Festival, Washington Ballet School, Dance Place (ReVision Dance Company class), and for Equinox Dance Company. Sandra has and continues creating works for Agora Dance Company, Equinox Dance Theatre, Jane Franklin Dance Company, Next Reflex Dance Collective, City Ballet, American University, and Montgomery College Dance Company. Sandra has performed professionally with Next Reflex Dance Collective, Peter Dimuro, Jane Franklin Dance, Carla & Company at Dance Place, and Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. In 2012, Sandra was awarded the Smithsonian Faculty Fellowship from Montgomery College. She serves on the Dance SLO/Assessment Committee and CVPA Curriculum Committee for PGCPS. She was recently voted to serve as the Executive Board President of the Maryland Dance Education Association, the Faculty Advisory Council for Northwestern HS/PGCEA, and the Early Career Educators Committee for PGCEA.
Sandra's theatre & direction work includes choreography/director for Kennedy Center: REACH Opening parade.
Choreography for Glass Mind Theatre Company's (Baltimore, MD) production of Midsummer Night's Dream, Fells Point Corner Theatre's (Baltimore, MD) production of Durang Durang, Strand Theatre's Production of One Glitz Wish (Baltimore, MD), Montgomery College's production of HONK! , RENT, Godspell, Conference of the Birds (Rockville, MD), Notre Dame of Maryland University's production of Love and Information (Baltimore, MD), Montgomery College's Production of Bat Boy: The Musical, Richard Montgomery High School Production of Guys and Dolls (Rockville, MD), Montgomery College's Production of Avenue Q (Rockville, MD), Montgomery College's Production Urinetown: The Musical (Rockville, MD), Richard Montgomery HS's production of The Little Mermaid, and Montgomery College's of Mr. Burns, A Post Electric Play. Her most recent work includes choreography for Blueberries for Sal at Adventure Theatre and Oliver!: The Musical at Richard Montgomery High School. As well as, serving as a Judge for the Helen Hayes Awards through TheatreWashington.
LSDT Artistic Director
Originally, from Texas, Darryl Pilate begins his fourteenth year in dance education at High Point High School in Prince George's County Public Schools. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Dance with a minor in Health Administration from Texas State University and a Master of Business Administration from Texas Woman's University. He studied various dance artists in genres such as ballet, jazz, Hawkins technique, hip-hop, and contemporary. Darryl Pilate has taught in several middle and high schools choreographing many styles of dance. Since 2019, he has been a guest artist/choreographer for Light Switch Dance Theatre and Dance Exchange.
LSDT Resident Choreographer
As the LSDT Education Manager, Billy Griffis has a B.A. from the UMD College Park in Dance and LGBTQ Studies Major. He enjoys everything about live performances, whether it is dancing, singing, acting or anything that he can get his hands on. He started his exploration of dance when he studied at Montgomery College and since then has found a true passion for this art form. He has choreographed at UMD College, LSDT, Black Rock Center for the Arts, CHAW Dance Camp, Lumina Theatre, and Montgomery College. He has performed works by Sandra C. Atkinson of LSDT, Christopher K. Morgan, Monstah Black, and many more. His strengths are in Contemporary, Modern, Partnering, Improvisation, Hip Hop, and Musical Theatre.