Dayton Contemporary Dance Company names new top leader



Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, the world renown African-American modern and contemporary dance organization, has named Debbie Blunden-Diggs as its chief executive and artistic director.

Blunden-Diggs, daughter of DCDC founder Jeraldyne Blunden, had been serving since August 2023 as the interim senior leader of DCDC in the wake of Phyllis Brzozowska’s retirement as executive director. She served as artistic director alongside Brzozowska in a co-leadership arrangement.

In her combined leadership role, Blunden-Diggs will be in charge of all executive, administrative and artistic aspects of the company, which was founded in 1968.

“I’m grateful to the board for entrusting me with the legacy of his company that means so much to me, my family and to Dayton’s rich artistic community,” Blunden-Diggs said in a news release. “We have just completed our 55th season at DCDC, and now we are looking ahead to the future. This company has been my life’s work, and I’m looking forward to working with our wonderful dancers, staff and board to make it even better and stronger.”

Blunden-Diggs became artistic director for DCDC in 2007 and chief artistic and producing director in 2019. She also performed with the company for more than 20 years. As a choreographer, she has created works for the company that have become part of DCDC’s enduring fabric, most notably “Configurations,” “Kaleidoscope,” “In My Father’s House” and “Traffic.” In addition to creating works for and teaching students at the University of Dayton, Central State University, Stivers School for the Arts among other schools, she has contributed routines for the Human Race Theatre Company, particularly its acclaimed productions of “Crowns” and “This Is Tom Jones!”

In addition to her many awards and professional associations, she serves on the boards of the International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD), DanceUSA and the Seedling Foundation for Stivers. In March 2023, she notably represented the IABD at the White House when the association was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Biden.

“During a time of transition and change at DCDC over the last few months, it became clear to the Board of Directors that Debbie was the obvious choice to lead the organization and help guide it into its next 55 years,” said Ron Rollins, Board chair, in the release. “Her longtime artistic leadership of DCDC is the main reason why it is the top modern-dance company in the Midwest, and one of the finest in the nation. Giving her the opportunity to put her larger stamp on the organization as its top leader just makes sense — and honestly, it’s the perfect time.”

In addition, DCDC will announce its 56th season at a special DCDC fundraising event marking Juneteenth 6:30-9:30 p.m. June 19 at The Brightside Music and Event Venue, 305 E. Third St. Ticket information is available at

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