As a young dancer training at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, I was required to subscribe to an industry publication.
We frequently discussed the articles and oftentimes had assignments that centered around the articles.
In the late 1990s, I remember picking up one of those magazines and reading about the discovery of American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland.
It dawned on me that other than the major headliners in Black dance – the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and The Dance Theatre of Harlem – I did not see many faces of color on the cover or inside pages of the magazines. I also wrote for a small publication ran by local college students, where I had the opportunity to review concerts.
I decided that I would produce a Black dance magazine.
In 2003, I began pursuing a degree in Journalism. I left the dance world, and began writing on everything from local and national education issues to business to community news.
Almost 15 years later, media coverage of the dance industry still fails to address the fact that there are viable, professional dancers of color, companies and teachers doing amazing things in the field.
I realize now that if there was a publication dedicated to “chasing the rhythms of dancers of every hue,” I probably would not have made the decision to abandon dance and pursue a “more stable” career. If I knew that there were opportunities for dancers of color, with different body types, maybe I would have made a different choice.
Black Dance Magazine is a labor of love – a message to Black dancers, and other dancers of color, that we should continue to pursue dance, own companies, create relevant works, and teach the next generation of Black dancers.
Our partnership with the International Association of Blacks in Dance is one that I could only dream of. We are excited and honored to travel this journey with such an established group of Black dancers, choreographers, teachers, and company owners.
The best is yet to come!