News

Celebrated Black Dancers Are Teaching to Raise Money for the NAACP

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."


Participants will also receive a 15 percent discount for Diamante Ballet Dancewear and be entered into a raffle. Prizes include a signed pair of pointe shoes from Boston Ballet principal Lia Cirio and private Zoom lessons from three dancers: Sanders, former PBT principal Julia Erickson, and American Ballet Theatre's Zimmi Coker. Also on the docket this weekend are two Instagram LIVE events; Sam Akins will discuss his experiences in the dance world both in the U.S. and Australia, and NB2 member Alia Federico will conduct a nutrition and wellness chat. "The NAACP's all-encompassing mission to promote equal rights and opportunities for people of color is necessary and invaluable now, and has been for over a century," says Federico. "I am so grateful to be supporting Dance for Change in its pursuit to motivate people to donate to the NAACP."

Scroll down for the weekend's schedule, and don't forget to follow along by using #diamantedanceforchange and
#blackdancersmatter.

Friday, July 10

11 am-12 pm EDT: Ballet with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre soloist Corey Bourbonniere (featuring live accompaniment by pianist Daniel McTiernan)

12-1 pm EDT: Men's Class with Ballet Memphis soloist George Sanders

1-2 pm EDT: Pointe Class with South Valley Ballet's Simone Muhammad

2-3 pm EDT: Dance Cardio with freelance teacher Samantha Barriento

Saturday, July 11

1-2 pm EDT: Jazz with Grand Rapids Ballet's Ednis Gomez

2-3 pm EDT: Ballet with Boston Ballet artist of the company Daniel Durrett (featuring live accompaniment by pianist Daniel McTiernan)

3-4 pm EDT: Conditioning with Dance Theatre of Harlem's Derek Brockington

After classes, head over to @diamante.ballet on Instagram for the following live events and raffle drawings.

5 pm EDT: Nutrition and Wellness Chat with NB2 dancers Alia Federico and Isichel Perez

7 pm EDT: Q&A with guest artist Sam Akins and Isichel Perez

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