News
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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News
Tiffany Rea-Fisher at an earlier march. Photo courtesy of Elisa Monte Dance

Juneteenth is a holiday celebrated annually on June 19 to mark the end of slavery in the United States. Though it's long been celebrated in many Black communities, it's not currently recognized as a national or federal holiday. Yet as Black Lives Matter protests continue nationwide, the occasion has garnered more visibility and attention this year.

The dance community is involved too. This Friday, June 19, at 2 pm, Elisa Monte Dance's artistic director Tiffany Rea-Fisher is co-hosting the first annual Juneteenth March at city hall in downtown Manhattan, alongside other activists and community leaders from across New York City.

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"When our hearts break, WE Dance."

That's the caption for the video above, created by and featuring dancers from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Made in the midst of widespread protests over the death of George Floyd and so many other innocent Black people, it features poetic text written and performed by company member Hope Boykin, and moving, meditative dance footage from 25 other Ailey performers.

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