Martell Ruffin

Interview Highlights
Q: Has dance helped you overcome any hardships in your life?
Yes. My mom passed in 2013. I had the opportunity to go to the Air Force, or come to New York City and train at the Ailey school. The Air Force seemed like a better opportunity for me and my family coming from the south side of Chicago, but my mom instilled with me faith at a young age. So I took

Q: Can you talk a little bit about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected you as a performing artist?
As a performing artist, the pandemic has affected me in ways that I don't even know yet. In the present day I don't have access to studios or the gym. Of course I was cut from my upcoming gigs and teaching. This has opened my eyes up and made me thank God for the people that surround me in my life and that I kind of prepared for rainy days before.  
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Martell Ruffin (Chicago, Illinois) began his formal dance training at the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago in 2009. He attended Chicago High School for the Arts under, then director, Lisa Johnson-Willingham, former dancer of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Mr. Ruffin has been awarded dance scholarship to intensives at Joffrey Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Complexions, and received first place in the all-city NAACP ACT-SO Competition 2011. Mr. Ruffin trained at The Ailey School as a scholarship student and has performed works by Lisa Johnson-Willingham, Earl Mosley, George Faison, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Matthew Rushing, Jae Man joo, Robert Battle, and Alvin Ailey. Martell has also been seen in “poison girl” Christian Dior commercial for women’s fragrance and an Urban Outfitters commercial for music artist “Samantha Urbani. Martell has completed his two years with Ailey II and currently is a freelance dancer around the world! This is his 1st season with Wylliams/Henry.