By Cori Lucas,
Rising Black dancers are disproportionately at a loss for role models and inspiration as the representation of Black professional dancers remains scarce. In the competitive dance space, it’s not often that Black dancers get the same training, opportunities, or recognition as their counterparts. Even less often are Pan-African styles of dance appreciated as a rich celebration of Black heritage and Earth’s natives. In 2019, Baltimore Black Dance Collective (BBDC) set to work righting this disparity, led by professional dance artist and choreographer Camille Weanquoi. Unsettled by the lack of Black dancers, dance companies, and cultural representation she witnessed in Baltimore’s art sector, Camille made it her goal to encourage diversity and Black pride in the local dance community. Baltimore Black Dance Collective provides Black dancers of all experience levels a safe place where they can find all the resources, instruction, and support they need to proudly pursue their passion!
Given all the funding BBDC needed to maximize its impact on the community, it would be an artistic hub in Baltimore where Black dancers can come for top-tier mentorship from seasoned dancers and attend professional development workshops led by people who look like them! Classes and instruction would be made more accessible with free weekly and bi-monthly dance classes that are open to the community to enjoy! Their annual dance festival would attract patrons and artists from all over Baltimore—“connect[ing] local dance artists and their work to the very community they create/work in”. Camille would also prioritize “removing any financial barriers to [students] being able to grow in and learn dance on a higher level” and would set aside a budget that would allow BBDC to provide financial resources and scholarships to young dancers who wish to pursue dance professionally!
Baltimore Black Dance Collective’s annual Peabody Dance Festival invites professional dancers and other dance companies to display the true diversity and majesty of Black movement on stage. They also host the Black Choreographers Festival which puts a spotlight on Baltimorean dancers who all too often don’t get enough recognition isn’t their own city, and features live performances and community master classes! To learn more about the Baltimore Black Dance Collective visit them at cllctivly.org/listing/baltimore-black-dance-collective or follow them @bmoreblackdancecollective.
All February, we’re honoring a few of the many Black leaders in our community making history every day with #28DaysofBlackFutures.
This is a crowdfunding and narrative power campaign that amplifies and mobilizes resources for Black-led organizations serving Greater Baltimore.
Throughout the month, we will highlight 28 dedicated Black leaders and organizations on the ground creating programs and initiatives that drive health, wealth, safety, and culture in #Baltimore.
Let’s CELEBRATE these changemakers and SUPPORT their work! Our goal is to raise $100,000 by the end of this campaign.
Head over to 28DaysofBlackfutures.org to donate today! ❤️🖤💚
Let’s show up BIG for our Black leaders and their organizations!