Dallas Black Dance Academy produces disciplined professionals over 50 years
As Dallas Black Dance Academy prepares to launch its 50th season in June, it continues a legacy of producing disciplined professionals in a spectrum of industries including dance. Since 2012, every senior in the academy has graduated from high school and gone on to attend college. Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s (DBDT) annual fundraising event, The BIG Dance, on Saturday June 3, 2023, from 7:00 PM – Midnight at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center benefits the Academy.
Dallas Black Dance Academy is the only modern dance company of color in the nation certified to teach the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) National Training Curriculum to students. Many of the accomplished students from the Academy have been scholarship students who could not otherwise afford formal dance training. Without the early attention and rigor provided at the Academy, these promising students may never have been accepted to Booker T. Washington HSPVA and then can go on to prestigious universities and conservatories across the nation.
Dallas Black Dance Academy alumni have not only made their mark in the dance industry, but in various careers. Liz Mikel is an actress on Broadway, Wendy Calhoun is a Producer/Director/Writer in Los Angeles, CA., Sharon Holland- Carnell is a Magnet Coordinator at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX.
Academy alumni who are in the dance industry include India Bradley with the New York City Ballet, My’Kal Sromile with the Boston Ballet, Layla Brent and Jordan Willis who are both in The Lion King, Alysia Johnson with the Hubbard Street Dance in Chicago, IL., Jared Brown with the Hofesh Shechter Dance Company in Germany, and McKinley Willis who is an eight-year member of Dallas Black Dance Theatre.
All proceeds from The BIG Dance will benefit Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Academy, providing a 40% reduction in tuition fees for more than 300 students enrolled in our on-site academy training classes at our arts district facility. It also helps to support in-school dance residency programs for 2000+ students in 24 area DFW schools with student populations whose families are economically challenged and primarily Latino and Black.
The 49-year-old Academy produced the first Presidential Scholar in dance in America. Eight other Presidential Scholars who graduated from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts trained at Dallas Black Dance Academy. Four Academy students have received full scholarships to the prestigious dance program at The Juilliard School. Many more Academy students have received the Texas Young Masters Award, the state equivalent to the national award.
“Dallas Black Dance Academy has been inclusive from the beginning with Black, White, and Hispanic students. Within a few years, the academy also had Indian and Asian students,” said Academy Founder Ann Williams.
Every year Dallas Black Dance Theatre celebrates a different culture and music genre during its annual fundraiser The BIG Dance. This year the theme is La vida es un carnaval! “Life is a carnival!” featuring a fusion of Latin & Afro-Latin music. Including different cultures is part of the legacy of DBDT, which has been inclusive in the way it operates since it opened in 1976.
Live music from traditional and contemporary local Dallas artists, including the premier Cuban-style orchestra Havana NRG!, the full-experience salsa band Fusión Latina, and the captivating atmosphere of Mariachi Zacatecas, sets the pace for the evening. The event includes dance lessons by Amanda Alvarez of Amanda Cristina Salsa, social dancing, food, spirits, festive décor, and professional dance vignettes by Dallas Black Dance Theatre dancers celebrating the flair of Latin and Afro-Latin culture! You can also experience the festivities via a live stream. The attire for the evening is Latin festive.
For more details visit www.dallasbigdance.com