Danella Dutton was born on June 10th in Riverdale, Georgia to Teresa Dutton and Charles Dutton. Her father worked two jobs, as an Army National Guard mechanic and her mother worked as an accountant for Johnson & Johnson until their headquarters moved to California. Danella was raised in Morrow, Georgia which is about 20 minutes south of Atlanta. When she was 8 years old she and her family moved to Lovejoy, Georgia.
During her early years, Danella Dutton’s Grandmother is who sparked her interest in the arts. Being an ex-dancer, Danella’s Grandmother encouraged dancing and singing around the house. So, by age 4 she signed up Danella for tap and ballet classes. Even though at home, Danella was very much the performer her Parents and Grandmother quickly found out she was shy in front of others. Her Grandmother signed her up for something private lesson based instead, Baton Twirling. Danella excelled at Twirling for 10 years, winning many Regional & National Championships, giving her confidence to perform in front of others.
This eventually lead to her love of sports. During elementary school she started to play slow pitch softball. During middle school she found her love for Track-n-Field; Basketball went from a neighborhood past time to a team sport. Softball had also switched to fast-pitch and she played on travel teams. By the time she reached high school she decided to focus on Running and Basketball. She joined the Cross-Country team as well as Track and Basketball. She competed at State every year in Cross-Country and even went to the 2001 Jr. Olympics. Danella thanks all the years in her sports for teaching her hard work, mind over matter, and leadership skills, which she still uses today. Sadly, during her senior year, she pulled her hamstring and lost all scholarship opportunities for running. This lead to Danella walking on the Cross Country team at Clayton State University, and is what eventually lead her back to dancing and the arts. Some friends of hers from Cross-Country began to break-dance. One day Danella and her best friend, at the time Jose Diaz, decided to tag along. This eventually lead to the two of them having a conversation about a secret passion for learning Salsa Dancing.
In 2003, Jose and Danella started off learning Salsa in a restaurant, Café Tú Tú Tango, in Atlanta. After a while of trying to learn this way, they realized they needed to start from the beginning and go pay for classes to learn the foundation. They ended up at a studio in Norcross, GA and learning Salsa intensify.
“We started taking about 6 hours of classes a week and going out dancing in latin clubs a few nights a week. During this time, I was struggling with the idea that having a "normal" life; i.e.,: go to college, get a job, get married, and retire is what I was ‘supposed’ to do. I was inspired by the impact dance was having on my life and the impact the instructors were having on their students lives. So, one day I made the jump. I decided to quit college, knowing I could always go back if I wanted to, and pursue becoming a dance instructor for the difference it creates in peoples lives. I haven't looked back since.” — Danella
Danella trained and taught at the studio she began at for about 8 months before she expanded out on her own as an independent dance instructor. She has been running her own company since 2005. Danella’s love for impacting others has always been the drive, but by growing her own passions for dance, little did she know how much she would inspire those around her without trying. She focused mostly on Salsa (including: Bachata, Merengue & Cha-Cha-Cha); she also competed & trained in Ballroom and crossed trained with Hip-Hop & Jazz Funk. This has lead her performing in several theater productions, industrials, films, music videos and television. As well as, producing and choreographing projects.
“Becoming an independent dance instructor started off slow. I was my own team, instructing and marketing. I started with only two students, focused on building an online presence for marketing and going out dancing. I eventually started my own group classes, and within three months went from two hours a week to averaging 40 hours a week. I also had my own performance teams and threw my own events (latin and breakdancing)”. — Danella
An almost, life ending event & the economy during 2008-2009 gave Danella the push to move to Los Angeles, in 2010, where she continues to chase her dreams in the performing arts. While in Los Angeles, in addition to growing her dance career, she began to pursue her passion for Acting.
Danella began her training very small and privately, just like the other arts in her life, with Chris Game. Then she eventually took Killian’s Commercial Workshop, got into Groundlings and then in 2015 she finally made the leap to a scene study class at Beverly Hills Playhouse. You can see Danella in Mercy as Ms. Robinson, Landings as Drunk Girl, The Hanging Stranger as Officer Knap and most recently in Wedding Screener as Alice. Danella is very excited to see where Film & Television take her career as well.
You can also find her in Footloose (2011) as Cowboy’s Dancer, Beyonce’s, 'Who Run the World (Girls)', and teaching on Seven Year Switch (Season 3) and Marriage Boot Camp (Season 1).
In 2019, Danella made her first attempt at Creating, Writing, Directing, Choreographing and Acting in a Short Film called, Salsa City. The film pays tribute to Sin City & Classic Film Noir. Danella’s goals were to blend acting and dancing in an organic way. A group of her salsa students trained to help her complete the vision in exchange for training them for the project.
Today, Danella still teaches her Salsa & Bachata group and private lessons in Los Angeles and will continue to do so as long as life permits. Her passion for being a positive outlet for people is still burning strong. She is also still actively pursing and acting career along with her newest found abilities in Directing. Hoping to one day be able to impact a difference in people’s lives at a higher level.