Danny Quỳnh Nguyễn was born on January 12, 1964 in Saigon, Vietnam. Eighteen years later in 1982, he escaped in an eight-meter boat with 47 other “boat people” to start his journey for freedom. Even though it has been a long time, he will never forget the most memorable day of his life.
Upon his arrival in the United States in 1983, Mr. Nguyễn was immediately inspired by television shows such as Star Search, Dance Fever, and the movie Fame. The idea that he could pursue dance as a career was a profound discovery since dance is not a traditionally accepted vocation in Vietnam. For the first time, Mr. Nguyễn was afforded the opportunity to pursue an education in dance. He began his training at Laney College with Dr. Lynette Defazio, with the Berkeley City Ballet, and at Berkeley Ballet Arts. Later, he received a scholarship to study with Paul Russel at the San Francisco Ballet School. To learn a variety of dance styles and techniques, he traveled to Los Angeles and New York City studying Jazz, Modern Dance, and Hip-Hop. During this time, he choreographed and performed in many works.
Mr. Nguyễn is the first Vietnamese modern dancer, teacher, and choreographer in the United States to receive his B.F.A. in Dance, Performance, and Choreography from California Institute of The Arts and his M.F.A. in Dance, Performance, and Choreography from Mills College. In the early spring of 1999, Mr. Nguyễn was recognized as one of the seven best, creative choreographers in the San Francisco Bay Area by Paul Taylor who came to San Francisco to present this special award “The Dance Maker”. After receiving his degree in May 1999, Mr. Nguyễn was offered a teaching position at Laney College in Oakland, California and he devoted himself to a career teaching dance. Mr. Nguyễn formed the Laney College Repertory Dance Company to give students an opportunity to perform. In May 2002, he became the Chair of the Laney Dance Department. In August 2005, Mr. Nguyen was granted a full-time position at College of Alameda in the Dance department. Recently, he has been the adviser for the College of Alameda Performing Troup.
Nguyễn Dance Company was formed in June, 1999 by Mr. Nguyễn. The company has performed nationally and internationally. Ashley James, the producer of Searchlight Film is working on one hour documentary on Mr.Nguyen right now. Mr. Nguyen has loaded many video clips on Facebook about his dances, mission in Vietnam, and a 9 minute short clip from Ashley James.