MEET OUR FOUNDERS...
Dion Watson, born and raised in Compton, CA, began dancing at the age of 17 as a result of a football injury suffered his senior year of high school. His natural dance abilities caught the eye of world renowned Producer/Director/Choreographer, Debbie Allen. One of the very first to attend her Dance Academy in Los Angeles, Dion trained in all disciplines including Tap, Ballet, Modern, African, Dunhum, Character, and Flamenco; but he excelled in Hip-Hop.
At a very early start in his training, Dion began his career when offered the opportunity to dance for Elton John at the age of 19. From then on, he was unstoppable. He began sharing his talent by teaching at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy and becoming the assistant choreographer to Ms. Debbie Allen herself. Shortly thereafter, he caught the attention of world renowned Choreographer/Director Fatima Robinson, and was choreographing for a multitude of projects.
Dion danced his way into many hearts and has worked on numerous projects including Movies, Musicals, Award Shows, World Tours, Commercials, and more. He has choreographed and danced for many artists, including but not limited to: The Black Eyed Peas, Fergie, Mariah Carey, P. Diddy, Nelly Furtado, Alicia Keys, Usher, Beyonce, Elton John, and many more!
While at the peak of his career, Dion make the decision to share all that he learned and experienced in the entertainment industry, with the youth from the city he was born and raised. Starting with teaching free dance classes to kids in Compton, CA, his passion developed into the creation of his very own non-profit organization, Discover.YOU™, Inc. He currently works with the youth in his community, offering Performing Arts classes, Liberal Arts tutoring, and mentorship opportunities; bringing colleagues from the industry to speak and inspire the kids in his organization. This is just the beginning for Dion; the best is yet to come!
Danielle Jai Watson:
The accomplishments set forth by Danielle Jai Watson are to be revered with this young philanthropic artist. Post graduation from Pepperdine University, she immediately began working professionally in the entertainment industry; dancing and performing nationally and internationally with world renowned artists including but not limited to Usher, Beyonce, Pharrell, Will I Am, Justin Beiber, Nicki Minaj, Nicole Scherzinger, Shakira, and Mariah Carey.
Most notably, she has trained, worked with, and been mentored by the legendary Debbie Allen. Offered a full scholarship to the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Danielle trained with Ms. Allen full time while also attending school full time at Pepperdine University; graduating a full year early with a degree in Integrated Marketing Communications, with a minor focus in International Business and Grant Writing for non-profits. She attributes much of her success in school and dance to the guidance and support of not only her extraordinarily inspiring family, but also the discipline and unparalleled focus she gained being a mentee to Ms. Debbie Allen.
While at the peak of her career, Danielle, alongside husband Dion Watson, engaged full time into their youth social justice program in Compton, CA, Discover.YOU™, Inc. Focused on providing Performing and Liberal Arts classes, tutoring, and mentorship opportunities to the youth in the community, they continued to teach free dance and choreography workshops to the youth. Soon thereafter, they opened the doors to their very own facility in Compton, CA, where they run their extended programming to youth all on full scholarships.
Continuing to pursue her passion and sincere love for the arts has not stopped nonetheless. Danielle continues to train in acting with phenomenal acting coach Anthony Gilardi, has already begun writing her first book, and continues to utilize her degree to help with the development of for profit and not for profit organizations in the Los Angeles community. This is only the beginning for Danielle Jai Watson. The best is truly yet to come...
Meet our board of directors...
Terrace Martin is a notable musician and producer from the city of Los Angeles, and from the beginning of his career has lent his skills to artists such as Quincy Jones, Snoop Dogg, 9th Wonder, Talib Kweli and many others. Shattering the acknowledged rules of hip-hop production, he samples everything from funk to jazz to classical to create fresh and original tracks. His productions have made him one of the most sought after up and coming producers on the streets of Los Angeles. His father was a jazz musician, while his mother, was a gospel singer, destining him for a life in music.
From jazz to hip-hop, Martin’s role models include Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Jackie McLean, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Sonny Stitt, Grover Washington, Jr., Dr. Dre, DJ Quik, Battlecat, Premier, Pete Rock, and 1580 K-Day. “I started producing hip-hop tracks because it was the music of my time, but I never lost my love for jazz.” Martin says Terrace Martin is currently a staff producer for legendary Quincy Jones, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Top Dawg Entertainment (Kendrick Lamar) and also works closely with Dr. Dre.
Jeffrey Weber has been a widely recognized music industry professional for over thirty-five years. He has produced over 185 CDs with releases on just about every major label, as well as a host of independent labels. Along the way, his projects have yielded two Grammys, seven Grammy nominations, over seventeen top ten albums, two number one albums and an assortment of other honors.
During his thirty-five plus year career in the music industry, he has founded, ran or participated in various label capacities from A&R, Music Supervision for film and TV, Production, Interactive Programming, Marketing, Sales, International Relations, Business Affairs and Art Director for independent labels such as Penny’s Gang, 44-4 Records, Discwasher Records, Prima Records, Beach Jazz, Agenda Records, Denon Records, Handshake Records, Audio Source Records, Voss Records, Video Arts, Clear Audio, Pony Canyon, P.C.H. Records, En Pointe Records, Cameron Records as well as his own labels, Weberworks and Stark Raving Records.
Jeff is a former member of the Board of Governors of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) as well as a former National Trustee and Chapter Vice President.
Victoria L. Boston is a 3rd generation writer and author of the international bestselling book, 3 Slow Nickels and has nearly 30 years of corporate and community leadership experience with proven success at every stage of the game. Holding an MBA in Marketing, Bachelors in Business, Executive Graduate degree in Human Resources, Project Management Certificate; having countless hours of executive leadership development from Columbia University Graduate School of Business; and being a graduate of the Master Series for Distinguished Leaders in Washington, DC, coupled with firsthand experience, she delights to share her keys to success with others.
An inspirational leader, author, speaker, coach, and community volunteer, she has the natural ability to influence and inspire greatness in those she encounters. Boston has the unique gift of connecting with diverse audiences, displaying total transparency while remaining authentic. She has electrified so many across the country ranging from elementary school students, colleges, churches, nonprofit organizations and in corporate settings for intimate groups with as few as 10 and as large as 20,000 in attendance.
Boston is an active member at her local church, and serves on the Board of Directors for Discover.YOU™, Inc., the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) and The Skills Society Foundation.
Andrea Custis is a senior executive with over 30 years of sales, marketing, human capital and operations for fortune 50 marquee brands. Andrea has held various leadership roles from Vice President to Group President for Verizon Communications. At Verizon, Andrea led the rollout of DSL, ran the Multi-Dwelling business units and led the organization through many restructurings and mergers.
Andrea was also responsible for the regional and marketing structure leading to full-blown P&L driven regional organization. Andrea reported to various members of the C-Suite. A change-agent in her own right, Andrea has led massive culture change efforts across Verizon and its wholly owned subsidiary across Retail Stores, Call Centers, Corporate and Enterprise Technology divisions. Andrea is a respected speaker, board member and mentor to many.
John Hillcoat is an Australian film director, screenwriter, and music video director. He always had an eye for creativity and at a young age had the opportunity to feature his paintings at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Hillcoat went on to study in Australia where he graduated from Melbourne's Swinburne Film School.
At the age of 26, Hillcoat became the youngest filmmaker to be accepted into the Toronto International Film Festival for his short, The Finger (1987), when he was still a student. That same year, he continued to direct shorts such as The Blonde’s Date with Death. His first feature film followed in 1988 when he wrote and directed Ghosts... of the Civil Dead (1988), starring David Field, Mike Bishop, and Chris DeRose. Hillcoat’s film received nine nominations at the Australian Film Institute Awards and an award for Best Film at the Sans Sebastian Film Festival in 1988. The feature also competed at the Venice Film Festival.
Hillcoat’s next big hit was in 2005, when he released a Western-style feature set in the Australian outback. The film was entitled The Proposition (2005) and starred Ray Winstone, John Hurt and Emily Watson. It was nominated for eight Australian Film Institute Awards, including Best Director. The film also went on to win Best Feature Film at the IF awards.
Hillcoat’s most recent works include The Road (2009), an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s prize winning novel, which starred Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron, and the Western drama Lawless (2012), starring Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, and Guy Pierce.Hillcoat has repeatedly worked with Nick Cave and also the band Depeche Mode. He has also featured actor Guy Pearce multiple times in his works. His film The Road, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy, premiered at the 2009 Toronto Film Festival, and was released in the U.S. in November 2009. His 2012 film, Lawless, competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Hillcoat’s latest film, Triple 9, was released in March of this year.
Raven Symoné got her start in the entertainment industry when she was just 2 years old, after making appearances in advertisements for popular brands such as Jell-O and Cool Whip, in addition to getting signed as a miniature model with Ford.
After unsuccessfully auditioning for a role in the 1990 film Ghost Dad, the film's star, legendary comedian Bill Cosby, cast the young actress in his hit television series, The Cosby Show (1984-92); she played Olivia Kendall, the step-granddaughter of Dr. Cliff Huxtable (played by Cosby), on the show from 1989 to 1992, appearing in 64 episodes. Raven-Symoné's on-screen charm appealed to audiences, and her Cosby performance led to another sitcom role in 1993: America continued to watch Raven-Symoné grow up on camera as Nicole Lee on Hangin' With Mr. Cooper (1992-97).
In addition to acting and modeling, Raven-Symoné embarked on a music career during her childhood, becoming the youngest artist to sign with MCA Records in 1993. Raven-Symoné's time on That's So Raven marked the beginning of her career as a highly regarded performer. The show premiered to rave reviews and high ratings in 2003—setting the tone for other Disney stars who used the network as a launching pad for their careers, including Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez—and had garnered several honors, including two Emmy Award nominations, by the time it ended in 2007.