#PeopleofWilmDE: Emanuel Chacon

Emanuel Chacon is a professional dancer, the Assistant Director of Dance at Villanova University, and a Wilmington native. He also is choreographing for the DelShakes Macbeth production which begins this weekend! Read his story below as this week’s #PeopleOfWilmDE!

“I was born and raised in Wilmington in a predominantly Latino community in the West Side. My mother is from Puerto Rico and my dad is from Guatemala. My parents met and married in Chicago where my brother and sister were born, before the family came to Delaware and had me. I grew up very active and into sports and movement (especially Capoeira, a afro-brazilian martial art) but always had a desire to positively impact communities like my own.

Wilmington has always embraced me and [I] have received an immense amount of love and support throughout my artistic journey. The hardworking people around me and the love I received is what has encouraged me to try new things and experience life in a special way while representing my hometown. The arts and dance have become my platform. I have seen the world and traveled to places and met people I never imagined I would meet. I try to remain present in my community so others can hopefully see a reflection of themselves.

[I have lived in Wilmington] all my life, except for when I lived and worked in DC with the professional dance company “Step Afrika!” from 2016-2022.

I chose to return to Wilmington to be closer to my family and community. Once the opportunity was presented to work at Villanova University and continue working in dance, I accepted to continue doing what I love and being with the ones I love. Not only my family, but my community, and [I wanted to] give back to the city that gave me so much growing up. I hope to see even more excellence and recognition coming from our city!

Emanuel Chacon, dancer & choreographer from Wilmington, DE.

[I am a] National Board member of Lambda Sigma Upsilon Latino Fraternity, Inc. and a sponsor of the Roberto Clemente Baseball Little League in Wilmington. [I also] volunteer with the Latin American Community Center and One Village Alliance

Here are 3 interesting facts about me:

  1. I am left handed.
  2. I’ve traveled and performed in 45 states and nearly 20 countries.
  3. I was the first Latino cast in “Step Afrika”.

My ideal night out is anything that is local, includes food, and an activity. My favorite places to eat are those that are local and unique. Recently I had a chance to visit a “speakeasy”. As a new concept to the area, I love to see this and find its location. I won’t tell you where it is, but it’s called “Hummingbird to Mars”. Finding it is part of the experience. The evening activities are fun as well. I enjoy the movies, the batting cages (Vince’s), Constitution Yards, the arcade or billiards (Main Event), an escape room with friends, or catching a Blue Rocks or Blue Coats game.

Besides the roots and family ties here, Wilmington has allowed me to be professionally and artistically influenced in several ways. Geographically, we are in the center of cities and areas with [lots of] culture. The opportunity to build ties, grow, contribute, and learn is much more accessible, almost a luxury in a way. I have made connections not just in Wilmington but Philadelphia, Baltimore, DC, New York, and around New Jersey as well. All of this has played a role in shaping a unique skill set, and artistic and professional experience while having access to travel. I bring what I learn, and share with the rest.

I enjoy seeing the city grow with much more to do, [offering] others a vibrant experience. As this happens, I hope to see the growth of businesses and attractions positively impact our locals. I love that there is more to do in Wilmington and in Delaware [without] the feeling of having to travel elsewhere to enjoy yourself. As our city grows I hope creativity, job opportunities, networking, culture, knowledge, and safety grow.

My advice to people working and living in Wilmington is to be intentional and purposeful. Wilmington is a great place with much opportunity for growth. Find innovative ways to serve and support each other and the rewards will be worth it!

One of my proudest moments was getting the opportunity to perform with Step Afrika in Wilmington at the Grand Opera House. Despite touring around the world, the opportunity to perform down the street from where I grew up in front of my community was a special feeling. The applause and cheers when our show [said] “and from Wilmington, Delaware…” is a moment I will never forget.

As I am back in Wilmington, I look forward to contributing to the growing artistic scene as a dancer. I’m currently in the process of offering dance [classes] in my own studio space that can be found at the newly built Urban Artist Exchange at the end of Walnut street!”

Check out Emanuel on his website, Instagram, Youtube, TikTok, & Facebook! Additionally, his most recent project was choreographing for DelShakes’ Macbeth beginning this weekend–check out ticket info here to see his work!

To nominate next week’s #PeopleOfWilmDE, email us at info@wilmtoday.com. Read more #PeopleOfWilmDE posts here. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok.

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