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Showing posts from January, 2019

Final Drum Roll Please.

For the past week, Black Dance has been our Bread and Butter, our Jelly and Jam.....our morning Coffee and Afternoon Delight. And now it is time to say our goodbyes. This morning we send our dancers off with a finale performance: The Sunday's Best, through Liturgical and Spiritual dance. It is an emotional one for all of us because this is process of both holding on to the things to be remembered as well as as letting go.....shedding part of us that allows new and greater things to emerge. In between the dance performances our President and CEO Denise Saunders Thompson toting a green and white track suit with the International Association of Blacks in Dance Logo and emblem on the back of the jack, stands before us to announce to the awards, scholarships and recognition that the young dancers will be taking home from their audition. I am standing in the back near the sound booth with the Artistic Director of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Debbie Diggs calling out full ri

Powerful. Purposeful. People of Color.

Today is a very interesting one. It's the much anticipated day of the Grand Performances by the professional Black Dance Companies of IABD. Dr. Halifu Osumare looking through my book. I scurry off to Dr. Halifu Osumare's Writing Workshop for Black Memoirs. She shared with us her life as a writer and encouraged us to write our stories as well. She gave us a writing prompt that sent us immediately into a vulnerable place in our lives in where memories of self, family, upbringing culture and dance meet in just a single paragraph. Dr. O reminds us that putting down a few thoughts by our bedside is a healthy start to developing a full story. I intend to do so. Because my story is one that must be told. I walked up to her after workshop an took her hand. That day, I'd read my email earlier to discover the unfortunate news from the Fulbright Scholarship of which I'd applied to be an ESL Instructor in South Africa. I had not been accepted to go onto the next round for co

I AM Black Dance

Let it be known. The movement #iamblackdance begins with the International Association of Blacks in Dance. Disclaimer: There is always a sense of risk when you put out a statement or declaration out about one's identity. However, we are willing to take that risk even in the face of possible appropriation because this organization has years, decades of archival record to show their dedication to the edification and growth of Blacks in Dance and BLACK DANCE.  Throughout my days in the conference and festival, I felt like was in BlackDance University. The sense of pride and belonging as I roamed around admiring Black beauty and presence. The passion that  transpired in my observance of classes, on the emblem letters and symbols on jackets, suits and hoodies indicating the different regions, states and school. And the banner of Bison pride that shouted out an occasional "HU.....YOU KNOW" that echoed from all corners of the room from young to old. There is intelligen

Moments to Remember, the Courses of a Dancer's life Ever Evolving

Today is when the hard rock hits, the reality of my distant relationship to dance settles in. After sitting in on rewarding and historian talk entitled "HERStory: about the legacy of the Ballet world's FIRST throughout the 20th century in the U.S. There prominent women of color in Ballet, share their stories of joy, of love and passion for dance overcoming obstacles such as passive racism, colorism, prejudice and adolescent ignorance from amongst peers, the feeling of isolation being a part from their loved ones and the triumphant as being Ballet's "First Black _________" in many respects. Lydia Abarca-Mitchell  shared with us her attitude of preparedness, poise and position as one of ABT's first Black Ballet Students and Company Mistress and Teacher with Philadanco! Dance Company and School for years. She makes it clear her role as a teacher when she enters a room to command the space and does not take the poor attitudes of others personally.

Blacks in Dance

I sit here in the last row of a conference room at the Convention Center of Dayton, OHIO listening to wise words being poured out by the Founders of International Association of Blacks in Dance. The organization is celebrating it's 31st year in existence celebrating the culture and aesthetic of Black Culture through Dance. Garth Fagan, The Lion King Broadway Musical Director + Chorographer I think back on the sweet smelling scent of this Quick stepping older gentleman who comes walking up the stairway through the audience during last night's opening performances. It all made sense when I discovered it was Mr. Garth Fagan ~ the founder and choreographer of the Lion King on Broadway. The dancers that greeted us at the reception in a Creole style retunde banquet hall where a live band played the sounds of R&B favorites, we beaming from their performance. A series of duets and solos mostly that told a story of discovery, struggle, identity, and love. It's early

Time for Take Offffff. See you in Dayton!!!

I saw a great price for a flight  using my Hopper APP over the holiday season. I could've kick myself for not jumping on it right away! But that's the great thing about Hopper, it does the jumping for You! Available for download on all Android and iOS Apple Devices $150.00 for a roundtrip ticket from Washington DC to Dayton, Ohio. Unbeatable price. It's all good, though because I can always count on the daily notifications to tell me when the prices have either gone UP or DOWN. It's Sweet. My little trusty that I keep on hand whenever I'm ready to jet to new lands! In just 2 days for now, you can join me along the journey this year to the International Association for Blacks in Dance Conference   which is being hosted by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company among many other prominent dance Artists, Leaders Performers, Scholars and Advocates. The conference takes place at the Dayton Ohio Convention Center and I'll be staying at Dayton's Universit