by cultivating platforms for process,
performance,
dialogue and
documentation
an initiative that supports the
diverse work of Black dance artists
process,
performance,
dialogue and
documentation
process,
performance,
dialogue and
documentation
process,
performance,
dialogue and
documentation

History

DANCING WHILE BLACK is an artist-led initiative that supports the diverse work of Black dance artists by cultivating platforms for process, performance, dialogue and documentation. We bring the voices of black dance artists from the periphery to the center, providing opportunities to self-determine the languages and lenses that define their work. Since 2012, DWB has gathered folks for more than two dozen public dialogues and performances, and supported the development of 22 Black artists through the DWB Fellowship.

Dancing While Black operates at the intersection of aesthetics and organizing. Central to the work is building partnerships – with presenters, organizers, curators and artists. Over the past five years, Dancing While Black has established ongoing partnerships with BAAD! Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange, NYU’s Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, the Human Rights Project at the Urban Justice Center, PURPOSE Productions, Urban Bush Women, and Junebug Productions.

Our partnerships are rooted in a mutual commitment to equity and serving the needs and visions of artists. In a field that encourages individualism, our work prioritizes community building. We celebrate that there is a momentum building around shifting the dance landscape, and we are committed to help shepherd these efforts. Our commitment to equity requires our solidarity with others who are also doing the work.

Up Next

Stay tuned for upcoming events.

“Dancing While Black means
my Blackness is me, but
not all of me.
– Camille A. Brown

Process

Angela's Pulse Collaborator Ebony Golden and '15-'16 DWB Fellow Sydnie Mosely at DWB Story Circles captured by Whitney Brown
Get a Glimpse of our Freedom Stories

Last month, we gathered at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics to kick off our Fifth Anniversary Season with Story Circles on Organizing Toward Vision in an Age of Resistance. We were led by DWB founder Paloma McGregor and the incredible Wendi Moore-O'Neal, daughter of John O'Neal, the originator of the Story Circle process we have used at several gatherings.

photo by Peter Born
Reflections from the 2016-17 Dancing While Black Fellows

The Dancing While Black 2016-17 Fellowship brought together seven emerging Black Women choreographers who spent seven months building community through workshops with master teachers, communal dinners and a public discussion at BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange. Get to know the Fellows and their visions for this collaborative journey.

Paloma-open-arms
Dancing While Black Takes A Look Back to Move Forward

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.

IMG_6481
Reflections from the 2015-16 Dancing While Black Fellows

The 2015-16 Dancing While Black Fellowship brought together eight emerging Black choreographers. They spent six months engaged in a collective developmental process which included workshops with seasoned artists Onye Ozuzu, Jawole Zollar and Ishmael Houston-Jones. We invited the Fellows to reflect on these workshop experiences. Check out what they had to say.

“Dancing While Black is…
an occupational hazard, an unrequested accolade and an immense responsibility.
– Christal Brown

Documentation

Past Events

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Germaul Dancing While Black is...dancing
with a world perspective
without limitation.
The visual and emotional expression of the
black body is immense.
– Germaul Barnes Dancing While Black is...
dancing with a
world perspective
without limitation.
The visual and emotional
expression of the black body
is immense.
Dancing while Black is... – Camille A. Brown Dancing While Black means embracing who you are
and setting your own ideal, creating a safe space for students
to create their ideal, and encouraging them to make a new door
if they do not see one that is opening for them.
Dancing While Black means being critiqued by
some that don't understand or choose not to understand
the concepts, stories, and general importance of my stories.
Intellectual, beautiful, intimate,
aching, revealing, grounding,
sustaining, powerful, soulful,
glorious, piercing, historic,
futuristic, present, and awesome.
Dancing While Black means embracing who you are
and setting your own ideal, creating a safe space for
students to create their ideal, and encouraging them
to make a new door if they do not see one that is
opening for them.
Onye "Dancing while black is...more than what you sign up for.
It frees and it contains. It expands and compacts,
because as you embody it you become responsible for it
in a particular, a peculiar way. Even if you choose NOT to be
responsible to so called blackness….you still had to choose
THAT, you probably had to say it. And then there it is.
– Onye Ozuzu Dancing while black is to wrestle with representation.
Dancing while black is attractive and repulsive.
Dancing while black is probably not any different than
doing anything else while black. Dancing while black is
significant because of where the dancing is happening—
in an environment where the condition,
blackness/darkness of human skin is an object in and
of itself, significant enough to stand on its own.
Dancing while Black defies, celebrates, calls out, & calls forth that which has come before,
that which is happening now,
that which is yet to be.
– Amara Tabor-Smith –
Nia "Dancing while black is to imagine new human relations free from persisting hierarchies (racial, sexual or geo-political). Dancing while Black requires the work of human beings who believe in the practice of freedom. Freedom then becomes not a state from which one yearns but rather in insistent struggle to remake our lives and remake our relations and remake our communities and our future!

I am dancing under that influence everyday since I inhabited my mother’s womb and the dance goes on and on…"
– Nia Love
– James A. Frazier Driving gets me where I'm going, just as dance has done. And, I know people have opinions about the kind of "car" I drive, how I drive it, and whether or not I should be driving it. Sounds a lot like dance to me. For me, dancing while Black is like driving while Black. I am who I am.

Can't be with us in person? Join the Dialogue online.

Cue, why do you think joy is important?

“I think joy is important always. I have a strong essence, physically, kinesthetically, aesthetically, muscularly, spiritually, I am strong and a lot of times that can look like a fist. And what joy brings is a loosening of that hand, so I can receive more. I can heal more, myself and others. Joy is helping me find a softer side of me.”

#bhoodfotos #AngelasPulse #DancingWhileBlack #NorthStarArtsIncubator #WhereMyPeopleAt
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Cameron, the year is 2080, Dancing While Black is...?

“I don’t feel that quite optimistic. Maybe we’ll get past race, but I think there will always be something. I think humans need something to compare themselves against, ya know?. Maybe by 2080 animals and shit will be talking and we’ll probably say we’re better than animals. We already say that now. I think by the time we get there [2080], there might not be so much race issues, but there will be some other socio-political issue that’ll probably stem from race back in our day that becomes the driving force. 

In terms of Black dance, I think imagining that world in a post-race world. Black dance is trying to serve as a reminder to where these socio-political issue that they’re fighting against in that time come from.”

#bhoodfotos #AngelasPulse #NorthStarArtsIncubator #DancingWhileBlack #WhereMyPeopleAt
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What do you want people to know about you? 

“What do I want people to know?...I don’t know. I want people to know that I am a real person. I want people to know that my goal or my intention whenever they’ve met me is to leave some residue of who I am in their reflections of themselves. I want people to know that my goal is LOVE.” 

#bhooddance #WhereMyPeopleAt #DancingWhileBlack
19 1
Robin, when you think of the word, Rock, what’s comes to mind? 

“Home. I love rocks. (Robin smiles) Smooth. I think of rocks like I think about trees. They stand there through it all. Rain, sleet, or snow, they persist with a grandeur and a pride and a knowingness that outlives all of us.”

#BhoodFotos #WhereMyPeopleAt #DancingWhileBlack
16 1
노박스댄스 팟캐스트에 나와주신 훌륭한 여성 아티스트분들의 인스타그램 아래 정리해 놓았습니다:) 

무용 예술계에서 여성의 목소리와 이를 통한 많은 활동과 지원이 이어지기를 바랍니다. 

올해는 노박스댄스을 통해 한국 무용 예술가들을 많이 소개 할 수 있도록 노력하겠습니다. 

#여성의달 #여성예술가 #무용예술 
knowboxdance with make_repost
・・・
🔝 20 Women Lead Dance Organizations to Support and Follow
These women are making waves in the world! 

1️⃣ Camille A. Brown
camilleabrown #socialdanceforsocialchange
2️⃣ Martha Graham Dance Company
marthagrahamdance #marthagraham
3️⃣ YY Dance Company 
yydcinc #focotechnique
4️⃣ Dance Data Project
dancedataproject #DDPHerstory
5️⃣ Dance Ed Tips
danceedtips #danceEDtips
6️⃣ Women In Dance
womenindance #womenindanceleadership
7️⃣ Angela's Pulse
angelaspulse #DancingWhileBlack #Fishtrap
8️⃣Lazy Dancer Tips
lazydancertips #lazydancertips
9️⃣ Infinite Flow Dance
infiniteflowdance #scoopsofinclusion
1️⃣0️⃣ To The Pointe Nutrition
tothepointenutrition #tothepointenutrition
1️⃣1️⃣ Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet
mobballet #blacksinballet
1️⃣2️⃣ Duet with Camera
duetwithcamera #duetwithcamera
1️⃣3️⃣ Minding the Gap
we.are.minding #dancermentalhealth
1️⃣4️⃣ CONTRA-TIEMPO
contra_tiempo #artivism
1️⃣5️⃣ JSR Company
judithsanchezruiz #jsrcompany
1️⃣6️⃣ Na-ye Kim Movement Collective
nayekimmovement #nkmc
1️⃣7️⃣ Life as a Modern Dancer Blog 
jill.h.randall #lifeasamoderndancer
1️⃣8️⃣International Association of Blacks in Dance
iabdinc #IAMBLACKDANCE
1️⃣9️⃣ National Dance Education Organization 
ndeodance #DanceEducationforAll
2️⃣0️⃣ Jacob's Pillow
jacobspillow #pillowcommunity

#WomensHistoryMonth #WomensHistoryMonth2021

#knowboxdance #NBdanceresource #danceresources #dancebehindthescreenpodcast
10 3

[PHOTO CREDITS]Header Image: Jaimé Dzandu, photo by Julia Wang | Lisandra Ramos writing on wall from DANCING WHILE BLACK: This Body Knows Freedom by Whitney Browne Photography | Process Photo: Ebony Noelle Golden and Sydnie L. Mosley surrounded by Story Circle participants by Erik Carter | Photo of Paloma McGregor by Erik Carter | [DWB Is Gallery] Photo of folks gathered in circle with person on floor from Dancing While Black: On Fertile Ground at the Ashé Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans, February 2016 by Melisa Cardona | Photo of smiling folks in chairs from DANCING WHILE BLACK: This Body Knows Freedom by Whitney Browne Photography | Photo of dancers in suits: Brother(hood) Dance!, ’15-’16 DWB Fellows Orlando J. Hunter and Ricarrdo Valentine, from DWB: Masculinities Re/born by Charles R Berenguer Jr.

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