Thank you to everyone who joined us for Dancing While Black: A Five Year Retrospective!
Self-definition: Here we are, this is the work we do. We have a place.
– Charles Rice-Gonzalez
This past Sunday, we gathered at BAX | Brooklyn Arts Exchange’s Artist Services Day to reflect on the history of Dancing While Black, share stories of its deepening impact, and vision for its future.
Founder Paloma McGregor was joined by members of the Dancing While Black community: Charles Rice-Gonzalez, co-director of BAAD!; Nia Love, Curator, Master Teacher, and Dancing While Black: On Fertile Ground Artist in Residence; Shani Jamila, past co-facilitator and Director of The Human Rights Project, and 2015-16 Fellow Sydnie Mosley.
Dancing While Black is… An intellectual home. A place to root our intersocial understanding and embodied expression… At this time when all of us are beginning to reconsider what home means, Dancing While Black is a great, fertile space for that exploration.
– Shani Jamila
We learned the origin of Dancing While Black was rooted in conversations and questions: “What does it mean to be a black dance artist today?”… “Who is telling our stories and how are they being told?” We also discussed the importance of partnerships with those already doing the work and how, as Paloma said, “we meet one another halfway.”
“BAAD! was already fertile soil…a home space…a safe place to plant a seed.”
Our discussion then shifted into smaller groups where we collaboratively defined the next wave of questions that would propel this work. Dancing While Black is creating and strengthening ever-proliferating circles. “This is a time where we will need more meeting in person,” so we hope you continue these conversations and join us for future events.