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Photo by Carlos Funn, courtesy of Clare Croft

It was freshman year, spring semester, and I was a part of a graduate student's thesis work. Some of the faculty members were coming to watch the progress that we had made so far, and Marcus showed up. At the time I didn't know who anyone was, but I could tell he was articulate, evaluative and thought-provoking. He was the first Black intellectual I had seen in college. He was someone I wanted to know.

The person who walked into the Arizona State University Dance studio that day was Marcus White. He was an assistant professor of dance at ASU and an artist/scholar who dedicated his career to working in the long legacy of the Black radical tradition. Marcus passed away suddenly—and far too soon—on May 14, 2020.

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James Barkley, Courtesy Dance for Change

Since the nationwide fight against racial inequality took center stage in May, organizations across the dance world have been looking for meaningful ways to show their support, rather than fall back on empty social media signifiers. July 10-11, Diamante Ballet Dancewear is taking action with Dance for Change, a two-day event dedicated to fundraising for the NAACP, and amplifying the voices of Black professional dancers.

Organized by Diamante Ballet Dancewear's founder, Nashville Ballet 2 dancer Isichel Perez, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre teacher Elise Gillum, Dance for Change makes it easy to participate. Dancers need only to make a donation to the NAACP (in any amount) and email proof to diamante.ballet@gmail.com to be given online access to a full schedule of Zoom master classes taught by Black pros artists. Teachers include Ballet Memphis' George Sanders, Boston Ballet's Daniel Durrett, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Corey Bourbonniere, and more. "It's important that we amplify BIPOC voices during this time, and it's also important that we're conscious of where we're putting our dollars," says Bourbonniere. "Diamante is doing both with Dance for Change, and I'm honored to be in this talented group of melanated dancers."

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Igor Burlak, Courtesy Boston Ballet

Mark your calendars!

This Tuesday, July 7, join pre-professional dancers across the globe in an inaugural live-stream event celebrating World Ballet School Day 2020. Made "by students for students," the event aims to bring young generations of dancers together in an international recognition of the unifying power of ballet, dance and the art world at large. The program, featuring dancers from a dozen internationally renowned ballet academies and organizations, will be broadcasted online on the WBSD website at 7 am EDT and will be available for viewers on-demand for one month following the premiere.

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LEAP alumna Yuan Yuan Tan of San Francisco Ballet. Photo by Erik Tomasson, courtesy of LEAP

In recent months, hundreds of college dance departments have grappled with online learning and livestreaming. But the LEAP Program (Liberal Education for Arts Professionals) through Saint Mary's College of California has been using this style of learning for nearly a decade.

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Courtesy Sandra Jennings

Dance Magazine led a series in 1994 about teachers who had trained remarkable young dancers with a profile about Jacqueline Ann Cronsberg, founder of the Ballet Workshop in New England.

At the time, Cronsberg had been running the school in suburban Boston for nearly 30 years, but she was just getting started. The following year, 1995, Cronsberg established the Massachusetts Youth Ballet, an ensemble that gave her students the opportunity to perform some of the most cherished ballets ever created, regardless of whether their futures were onstage or outside of dance.

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