A young Black dancer during the decline of Washington, DC’s Black dance golden age (1932 – 2000), Shawn Short represents one of the last African-American dance artists to study with notable Director Mr. Mike Malone (Fame – TV Show; Founding Director of Howard University’s Musical Theatre Dept), and legendary D.C. dancers: Tyrone Murray, Assane Konte, Adrian Bolton, Katherine Smith, Sandra Fortune-Green, Adrian Vincent James, Fabian Barnes, and Miya Hisaka. Increasing D.C. dancer access to pursue contemporary ballet performance and artist development, Short founded Dissonance Dance Theatre (DDT) in 2007. Initially a laboratory for Short’s choreographic progress, Dissonance Dance Theatre has become the artistic host institution for innovation in dance especially for artists of color. Since its inception, Short has created over 105 works for DDT. Under Short’s leadership, DDT has developed artists that have launched careers performing locally, nationally and internationally; dancers have currently or formerly work at Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Virginia Ballet Theatre, Garth Fagan Dance, DV8 Physical Theatre, Elisa Monte Dance Company, Philadanco Dance Company, Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, UniverSoul Circus, Washington Opera, Broadway musical and crew ship touring companies.