Lecturer in Dance
Benjamin Sterling Cannon began his eclectic career in the arts, as a Helene Antonovascholarship student at the original Academy of the Dance, studying Classical Ballet, andScottish Highland Dance, under the direction of the late James Jamieson in Wilmington, Delaware. Benjamin was featured a dancer in Jamieson’s touring educational Lecture Demonstration, danced with the Wilmington Ballet Company, performed in numerous productions at the Three Little Bakers dinner theater, and starred opposite the late Burt Lancaster in the ACLU film In Pursuit of Justice, before graduating from Delcastle Technical high school, where he majored in Chemical Lab Technology, and Theater Arts. Mr. Cannonwas offered a contract with the North Carolina Dance Theater (now Charlotte Ballet) by former Artistic Director / Choreographer Salvatore Aiello after attending a master class in his junior year, and joined the company as a Soloist after graduating high school a year later.
Touring with the NCDT, Benjamin performed and created roles in Aiello’s Nutcracker, Journey, Senza Fretta, Clowns and Others, Rite of Spring, Carnival of the Animals, and The Construction Company, among others. Benjamin was a founding member of NCDT’seducational outreach program, where his passion for arts education took root.
Mr. Cannon left the company in 1993 to study acting in New York City at the 42nd Street Collective (formerly Playwright’s Horizons Theater School) , and quickly found work as an actor in various regional, international, touring plays and musicals. He has appeared in The Who’s Tommy, A Chorus Line, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Big River, Joseph…Dreamcoat, and Blues in the Night, to name a few. Benjamin made his Broadway debut in Disney’s The Lion King, starring as the comically menaicle hyena Banzai.
Inspired by his passion for, and belief in the transformative power of arts education, his current and past experiences include developing, and producing projects and educational arts programming for The Christina Cultural Arts Center (New Works Series) ,VSA New Jersey, and The Westchester Sandbox Theater, among others. Mr. Cannon is a resident Director / Choreographer at the Haddonfield Theater Arts Center, and a Teaching Artist at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, leading programs for Disney Musicals in Schools, and American Ballroom Theater’s Dancing Classrooms.
Mr. Cannon has collaborated with Grammy Nominated jazz musician Uri Cane, and vocalist Barbara Walker, writing the lyrics for Work it Out on Cane’s Bedrock - Plastic Temptation album. He is currently developing the musical Truth, chronicling the majesty of Sojourner Truth, and Up! Word!, an inspiring concert experience for familes.