Skip to main content

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 morning now for the dancers who were up late last night squealing over the excitement of simply being here at the festival. Some of the most influential figures are together in an intimate space to offer these dancers mentorship that amounts to (3) three months of training within just a few hours. I marvel at the Elders in this experience. How long and how much they've given to build up what we know today as a dance. So much. They've essentially made Dance their lives, given value, depth and girth to the study this art form. I stopped Ms. Brenda Dixon Gottschild a Dance Historian and Author who has dedicated her development of the dance to Academia and Published Works on the Black Experience. She was grabbing her breakfast and just commenting on the need to move her body just as much as any one of us here  although she is a speaker and visionary. Her writings have inspired me to ask questions about  my dancing and the culture thereof, how it relates to our human experience and both in past and present history. I marvel at her generous smile as she talks about her children--her daughter, singer, songwriter and recording Artist Amel Laurriuex.

I was pleased in my class today to introduce new comers to GYROKINESIS particularly to dancers, who understand movement already. I was able to share and show them the nuances of this technique that could be applied to their dancing and to their dance day. The naturally alkalized water with mint leaves I had this morning in the Courtyard Marriott Lobby set me on my way for cleansing and clarifying energy needed most to guide the moving dancing bodies in space. Even more rewarding the next teacher to follow in the classroom who also understands that there is power in the use of Energy of which he introduced to multiple levels and ages of dancers. Renown, Internationally acclaimed Ballet Bad Boy Dancer Rasta Thomas. 

The dancers attending the conference continue to show promise, potential and passion for the art form with their focus and attention in class and their outstanding performances onstage. Both of the youth/young dancers and collegiate students showcased their work with pieces ranging from heartfelt stories of love, politics and community culture. The evening ended with trending music and dancing in the upper SkyWalk lobby area--a "Social" of which I misinterpreted to be a collective event where we'd be learning social dances like with Camille Brown comes to mind as she makes it her initiative to share and teach the dances of the people with and to the people bridging international gaps. It turns out that it was a just a good time, good music and a DJ playing hip, R&B sounds of urban sounds of everywhere from Dayton.

Kim Bears (Left), Myself, Maime Johnson (Right)
I had the honor and privilege of sitting in on a major panel discussion the following day which consisted o the official Committee Members of the IABD Leaders, Advocates, Board Members and Artists. Everyone from founding Company Directors, to the team of persons who help develop and grow this community over the years. I sit in as what is known to be the NEXT GEN *Generation* Leaders and listen to the voices and powers that be to cultivate ideas to preserve, progressive and improve the festival/conference for years to come. Faces young and old were there to contribute, unifying these efforts as the multi-generational existence that it is. We left the room overflowing with zeal and excitement to share in the faith of real promise and hope for the future.


Popular posts from this blog

Yes, Work, Get Your LIFE. Street/Dance Workshop Jacob's Pillow 2020 NYC

My Life at the Pillow..." ~by JR Glover Today was a Pillow Day. As an Alumni, I traveled North to help facilitate and support the Recruitment Tour amidst other beautiful dancing bodies. It's amazing to see how we have all grown through the years as Dancers, Creatives, Choreographers, Directors and lifelong students. Even more, it's inspiring to know that we are all keeping at it--pursuing Excellence and honing our craft day by day. What was meant to be a standby experience turned out to be a Full Dance Day for me. I give thanks to my peers who encouraged me to dance. It was a risk--knowing that I had not danced or taken a technique class proper in several months. However, due to the nature of GYROKINESIS as an instructor, I never lost body awareness, posture, alignment etc. So it was just a matter of tipping over the edge again to see where my body goes....and catching it again. It was a necessary challenge in fact, with the chronic pain of Trigeminal Neuralgia and C

Keeping Dance Alive, St. Croix Arts Community Outreach

 In 2017, I was at home in Washington DC bedridden and removed from everything that I knew.  My life as a Dancer as I knew it....was no longer. I could barely walk, performing menial tasks around the house was a burden for me. I often felt faint and dizzy. My nervous system had taken a hard hit from the brutal cold winter of Chicago. The winds  shook my bones and my days of job hunting, street performing in the Chicago O'Hare Airport for bills and just aimlessly walking in the snow drove my body into a state of shock. PH. D Chenzira Davis Kahina & Ms. Charlita Charlita Schuster,  great friends discussing a paining in the UVI Cultural Center After my last gig as a Broadway Dancer, there was nothing more for me in the Windy City. I'd returned home with question in my mind and heart as to how I would move forward. I was diagnoses with a rare chronic pain condition, Trigeminal Neuralgia. The International Association for Blacks in Dance had just revamped its organization, was g

Remote Work Saves the Day!

  People tend not to understand. Being an Artist means that you get no days off. It’s a 24/7 kind of job whether a Creative Commissioning Artist, a Teacher, Administrator, Advocate or Affiliate there is no way to clock in and clock out of Inspiration. It just hits you and you have to be ready. That’s why it ’ s helpful to just check out of life and into a hotel at times. Not to vacation, but to get a good night's rest, wake up and actually get things done. Maya Angelou, Pulitzer Prize Writer said that she couldn’t write in her home because she was surrounded by too beautiful of things. I get it. There are layers to inspiration in if you’re not in the right setting it can mess with your mental space too. Follow IG: @na.bee Travelista Blog or Getaway, not to Escape Reality — but to become it.” This is one of my many #beebodi quotes about wellness vacations, remote working travel excursions. Travel is a way of life and renders culture usually inspired by the surro