They say talent runs in the blood. However, Daphne Lee did not just inherit her talent for dancing from her late mother, Ms. Jay Skeete-Lee, but also her passion for the craft. Daphne has been dancing for as long as she can remember, sharing that it has become an integral and defining part of who she is. She aims to empower dancers across the country by amplifying her story and highlighting what it means to be an artist today.
Dancers are often remarked and admired for their style, grace, and how they carry themselves throughout a choreographed performance. But Daphne Lee wants to stress that there is so much more beyond what people see on stage. The hard work artists put into their craft behind the scenes is extraordinary. Daphne aims to diminish the stereotype of artists being merely canvasses for a bigger picture and stresses that they too have voices and are actively using their passion for creating a lasting impact into the world.
Beyond entertainment, artists aim to become part of notable and worthy movements across the globe and participate in making the industry more welcoming to aspiring talents. Daphne Lee has always been proactive about raising funding for scholarships for young artists and has advocated for issues that were never discussed but have been troubling artists in the modern era.
Currently based in New York City, Daphne Lee pursues her passion with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, a ballet company that brings its rich 50-year legacy into today’s industry not only in Harlem but to the rest of the world. Being at the Dance Theatre of Harlem has afforded her the privilege to be a second-generation artist as her late mother was also an alumna of the school in the late 80s.
“To be a company member now means to inspire the future generation of artists. As my mother passed away from cancer in 2020 and I finished my master’s degree, my experiences allowed me to explore my strengths and collaborations. I developed a relationship with Bahamian concert pianist Dion Cunningham, PhD, who has allowed us to ‘edutain’ in the Bahamas with classical music and dance. I will also be extending that relationship in Barbados and potentially Ghana,” Daphne Lee revealed. “The legacy that has been built is being passed around through the very dancers that have been a part of the organization who are now spreading that excellence around the world,” the dancer added.
Daphne Lee doesn’t just dance for the sake of doing it. She is doing what she does to build a legacy passed on to her by her mother. Using her talent to spark social change, Daphne has become an avid advocate for Multiple Myeloma Cancer research and diversity inclusion companies. She is also an active ambassador for such causes.
Daphne Lee has performed with Alvin Ailey II, the Oakland Ballet Company, the Collage Dance Collective, the Black Iris Project, and celebrities such as Beyonce. “I love being challenged by various choreographers with their intentions and how they can use me as a vessel for their message,” shared Daphne Lee. “I also enjoy my ability to do various styles, thanks to my mother, and seeing how my dancing can go beyond the ballet audience.” To learn more about Daphne Lee, visit her website. IG: @daphne732 and Facebook Daphne M Lee