Dallas Dance Community Mourns Choreographer Slain In Downtown

DALLAS (CBSDFW) – Dallas’ artistic dance community is grieving after longtime dancer and choreographer Darrell Cleveland, 45, was killed Sunday.

Police found him southeast of City Hall inside a wrecked car, dead from a gunshot wound.

Detectives said they don’t have any leads at this time and still need details about Cleveland’s whereabouts Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Cleveland made his mark in the dance community, now reeling from his untimely death.

His talent as a contemporary dance choreographer was showcased on the walls of the Ballet Academy of Texas.

“I can’t imagine who would be upset with Darrell. He was such a sweet man. I can’t imagine it being anything but an accident,” said Lisa Slagle, Founding Director of Ballet Academy of Texas.

Cleveland taught classes there for 15 years.

Slagle found out about Cleveland’s death from a phone call Sunday.

Artistic Director of the Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Nicole Ray is stunned by Cleveland’s death. He danced with the company for nine years.

“He had extremely positive energy. He walked in, he smiled… just lit up the room,” she remembered. “He was so giving. He loved to teach… he was a teaching Gypsy,” she said. “His murder… makes no sense. This is a huge loss for us. I just saw him. We’re all in shock.”

Anyone with information about this case can contact Detective D. Wilkins at 214-671-0524.

 

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