Darian Marcel Parker
Darian M. Parker, PhD is a choreographer, educator, and physicist-in-training. In addition to his appointment as professor of West African dance at The Juilliard School, he is also a guest professor at The New School, and he is a faculty member at Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance. He has been a guest teaching artist at Sarah Lawrence College and SUNY Purchase. His work has received support from the Jerome Foundation, Harlem Stage, and New Haven Arts Council. Since1997, Darian has been an avid student of West African Dance (primarily of Mande origin), having had the privilege of studying with Nzingha Camara, Aly Tatchol Camara, Mouminatou Camara, Marie Basse-Wiles, Esther-Grant Walker, Sandella Malloy, Ismael Kouyate, Youssouf Koumbassa, Ibrahim Doumbia, Mareme Faye, Malang Bayo, Mamady Sano, Abdel R. Salaam, Mickey Davidson, Wilhelmina Taylor, Nafisa Sharriff, Jeffrey Page, Assane Konte, M’bemba Bangoura, Souleymane Solo Sana, and many others. Some of his performance credits include the Hollywood film Step Up 3D, Dance Africa New York, and The G’Bassikolo Mexican National Tour. Darian has also performed with several dance companies, including Sewee African Dance Company, Harambee Dance Company, Les Ballet de Kouman Kele, Kouffin Keneke, and Organic Magnetics. Darian’s commitment to teaching extends beyond dance. He is the Founder & CEO of Parker Academics (www.parkeracademics.com), which has provided over 70,000 hours of test prep/tutoring over 1500 students on two continents since its inception in 2015. Since 2018, Darian has been an adjunct professor at NYU’s School of Professional Studies, where he has taught cultural anthropology, comparative political economy, critical thinking, and senior project internship. An active member of the Yale Alumni Association, Darian conducts dozens of interviews yearly for prospective Yale admits. He is the author of Sartre and No Child Left Behind: An Existential Psychoanalytic Anthropology of Urban Schooling (Rowman & Littlefield Press, 2015), and “The Haze”, which appears in Pedagogies in the Flesh (Palgrave MacMillan, 2018). Fulfilling a lifelong dream of becoming a theoretical physicist, he returned to school in 2021 to pursue a double major in astrophysics and mathematics at Columbia University’s School of General Studies. Darian graduated from Yale University in 2013 with a PhD, M. Phil, and MA in Anthropology and African American Studies, and from UCLA’s College of Honors in 2001 with degrees in anthropology and English literature.