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.

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

DANSE EN NOIR
PREMIERE
 
JUNE 27, 2021
7:30PM
The Windmill Arts Center 
2823 Church Street
East Point, GA 30344
 
*VIRTUAL VIEWING AVAILABLE 

https://www.pldproject.com/events?utm_campaign=fce5c8f0-e94b-47a8-af6c-a26d82a59e16&utm_source=so&utm_medium=mail&cid=81bf5632-8716-4461-bbab-df8a50b140ea

#dance #blackdancersmatter #dancedocumentaries #femalefilmmakers #shortfilms #peaceloveanddance #dancingwhileblack
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Let’s time travel, the year is 2121, Dancing While Black is…

“I’m dead (collective group laugh 😂)…in body maybe but not in spirit….Do we have a planet still? I mean by 2121 Dancing While Black is no longer confusing to anybody. It’s an age old tradition. Maybe there will be Dancing While Black and white, dancing just before Black, Dancing just after Black. There will be many many iterations and multitudes that’ll come out of that cause I do think that Dancing While Black is an acknowledgment of the multitudes within blackness and eventually we’ll name them without confusing people.”- Okwui Okpokwasili 

#bhoodfotos #WhereMyPeopleAt #AngelasPulse #DancingWhileBlack #northstarartsincubator
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Samantha, the year is 2121, Dancing While Black is…

“Dancing While Black is something that doesn’t have to be explained. It’s all that we hold, it is carried, it is shared, it is planted, it is inherited. It offers opportunity to continue being inside of expansion. Dancing While Black is being inside of choice. Not contained by anyone, anything, any structure. It is being able to make the choices that you want to make with no inhibitions. To be a creator of whatever it is you desire.” Samantha Spies 

#bhoodfotos #WhereMyPeopleAt #NorthStarArtsIncubator #AngelasPulse #DancingWhileBlack
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“BURY ME BURY ME” back at it againnnnnn!!!!
kimora_kw 
#dance#dancersofinstagram#brownskingirls#blackdancersmatter#dancingwhileblack#contemporaryart#contemporary#competition#showstoppersdancecompetition#rock#alternitive#thekill#30secondstomarsfanbase

Song • 30secondstomars - The Kill (Bury Me)
 *do not own rights to music*
 
Yes I like rock 👨🏾‍🎤👩🏾‍🎤
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Please join me tonight at 5pm, I will be sharing a solo, All About Love, for the 2021 La Mama Moves Festival! The peformance will be streamed live from the Downstairs Theater at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club. 
#DancingWhileBlack #bhooddance #LaMamaMoves 
Tickets: Pay-What-You-Can $5 - $25
https://www.lamama.org/shows/ricarrdo-valentine-brother-hood-dance-all-about-love
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Tonight at 5pm, Ricarrdo Valentine will be sharing a solo, All About Love, for the 2021 La Mama Moves Festival! The peformance will be streamed live from the Downstairs Theater at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club lamamaetc 
#DancingWhileBlack #bhooddance #lamamamoves 
Tickets: Pay-What-You-Can $5 - $25
 Link in bio

Shirt by: pyermoss
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YaTande, the year is 2130, Dancing While Black is...

“Dancing While Black is not a thing. Dancing While Black is resolved in the work that they did the years leading up to 2130. It’s proud of the work that has been in the past century. Dancing While Black is understood and contextualized as a significant movement towards the liberation of people who consider themselves in Black bodies or consider themselves Black dancing bodies. So Dancing While Black is an achievement. It’s accomplished in its intention. I know I will be dancing while Black fa sure.” bigeye2013 

#bhoodfotos #WhereMyPeopleAt #NorthstarArtsIncubator #AngelasPulse #DancingWhileBlack
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[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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