The 34th Annual International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance

The 34th Annual International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance

The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD), in partnership with Collage Dance Collective, presents the 34th Annual International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance, Can’t Turn You Loose: A Love Letter to Black Dance from January 24-28, 2024 in Memphis, Tennessee. Continuing its legacy as the broadest international gathering of Black dance professionals, agents, artistic directors, artists, choreographers, company managers, executive directors, historians, presenters, scholars, teachers, and many others, the conference and festival remains the most diverse place to share ideas, cultures and experiences. For more information and to register, visit

The event is a pioneering four-day dance experience where attendees will engage in a multitude of invaluable opportunities expanding their understanding of dance history and technique through Conference and Festival programming that includes an awards celebration, social events, a membership townhall, performances and sessions. Now – 34 years later – the conference and festival draws thousands of people. All are invited to the conference and festival. The event is for everyone of all ages.

“Black dance has been a container for black joy, black hurt, black love and black authenticity. At a time where the rights of people of color remain under attack, globally, it is intentional to hold space for the furtherment of Black dance in a landmark city of civil rights. This opportunity to engage in dialogue, discussion and discourse is the association‘s continued commitment to advocacy, artistry, and scholarship,” says IABD Co-Executive Director, Omar Ingram.

This gathering of the national and international dance community is the perfect opportunity to learn from and share experiences with dance artists from around the world. The Conference and Festival engages each registrant to promote a vibrant future for dance. The curated programming is designed to make participants move, talk, learn & more:

MOVE –Lecture demonstrations, Movement workshops, Midnight dance classes, andAt the Feet of the Masters (A two-hour session focused on a specific style/technique of dance followed by a Q&A with a master teacher for intermediate and advanced dancers).

TALK-Networking and Social GatheringsRoundtables, and Workshops.

LEARN-Digital Presentations, Films, Lectures, Panels and Performance Presentations.

& More- The 2024 IABD Auditions, on the 1 | Memphis, a dance class series.

For over 30 years, The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) has preserved and promoted dance by people of African ancestry or origin and has assisted and increased opportunities for artists in advocacy, audience development, education, funding, networking, performance, philosophical dialogue, and touring. A National Medal of Arts recipient, IABD serves a diverse, national and international membership that spans cultures and generations. IABD’s vision is for dance, by people of African ancestry or origin, to be revered, respected, and preserved in the consciousness and cultural institutions of all people. Through its tireless efforts in the arts and culture sector, IABD validates the significant connections and influence that Blacks in Dance have on the American and international cultural landscape. IABD’s work is rich with insights, knowledge, and expertise vital to current and future Black Dance professionals and the dance sector at large.