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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 center the voices of black dance artists, providing opportunities to self-determine the languages and lenses that define our work. Since 2012, DWB has supported 22 emerging Black artists as Fellows, incubated more than two dozen works and held countless convenings for folx to share, connect and simply be..

Dancing While Black operates at the intersection of aesthetics and organizing. Central to the work is building partnerships – with presenters, organizers, curators and artists. In our first five years, Dancing While Black 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.

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


DWB 10th Anniversary Poster. 5 vertical images are equally aligned. From left to right; Image 1: Paloma McGregor holding her daughter Olamina with their heads nestled together. The image is taken from behind, where Paloma wears a black shirt. Olamina is wearing a jacket with a red, magenta and pink pattern; Image 2: Rashida Bumbray in a ringshout in a white dress and white headpiece. The image captures her from a sideways angle, with her arms out by her sides as she leans back to look upward at the ceiling; Image 3: Jaimé Yawa Dzandu is wearing a patterned top and is lifting her right hand up towards the ceiling, hand reaching up as if to grab something; Image 4: Samantha Speis is crouched in a room with hardwood floors and white walls. She is wearing a tank top and patterned pants, with her hands covering her eyes. Her child leans on her right leg; Image 5: Dr. Brenda Dixon Gottschild stands in the center of a group of seated people, wearing a black t-shirt and black pants. Her arms are reaching towards the ceiling, gazing upwards. Above each image is a black rectangle with text above it that reads "Dancing While Black 10th Anniversary". The "10" is in large red font and the rest of the text is in white. Two red lines appear in the right corner, at varying lengths. In the bottom left of the image sits the Angela's Pulse logo, which reads "Angela's Pulse performance projects" in white font.
Dancing While Black 10th Anniversary Year | May 2022 – May 2023

Since 2012, Dancing While Black (DWB) has served as a launching pad and community hub, bringing Black dance voices to the fore and centering a space for them to reflect and create authentically. In 2022, DWB turns 10! In the spirit of Sankofa, we are celebrating the past, present and future of Dancing While Black from May 2022 through May 2023.

DWB Shared Leadership Graphic
Meet the DWB Shared Leadership Team

As part of AP’s continued investment in Black leadership, DWB’s 10th Anniversary programming and visioning will be guided by a team of co-directors: Paloma, DWB’s founder, is joined by Kayla Hamilton (2017-2018 DWB Fellow), Marguerite Hemmings (2015-2016 DWB Fellow) and Joya Powell (2016-2017 DWB Fellow).

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.

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.

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


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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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