Deneen Graham

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Deneen Zezell Graham Kerns (born 1964)[citation needed] is a dance teacher and pageant contestant from North Carolina. In 1983 she became the first African-American to win the Miss North Carolina beauty pageant; she remains the only African-American to have won the Miss North Carolina pageant.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Graham was born in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina to Mr. & Mrs. Bobby Graham.[citation needed] In 1986, she graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance. She has traveled to the Mediterranean, Far East, and Alaska with the Department of Defense Entertainment Tours, and toured the U.S. with the first national tour of the musical "Heartstrings". She has also appeared in "theatre of the stars" productions of "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", "South Pacific", "Hello, Dolly!", "The Music Man", and "The Will Rogers Follies". As a performer with the Miss Georgia pageant from 1988-1994, Deneen served as co-choreographer and chief choreographer. She was also a member of the Atlanta Hawks Dance Team (Cheerleaders) during the 1994 season; she served as the assistant to the dance team's choreographer. She is a member of the Dance Masters of America. Many of her students at Carol Walker Dance Academy have received the highest awards in regional and national competitions, and the academy's dance team are currently (as of 2008) National Dance Champions.[2]


Theater and Acting[edit]

  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes[3]
  • South Pacific
  • Hello Dolly
  • Music Man
  • Will Rogers Follies



  • Fine Arts degree
  • Broadway shows
  • Choreographers of performances on Broadway and Miss Georgia Organization pageants
  • Atlanta Hawks Dance Team
  • Artistic Director of Dancers Company One
  • Member of Dance Masters of America
  • Choreographed many productions on Broadway and television
  • Appeared and choreographed, as lead dancer, in hundreds of movies


  1. ^ "Deneen Zezell Graham-Kerns". Wilkes County Hall of Fame.
  2. ^ "Deneen Graham-Kerns here Sunday". Journal Patriot.
  3. ^ "Cast Alumni – G".
  4. ^ "Miss North Carolina 1983". Miss NC.

External links[edit]