In honor of Black History Month, we’ve compiled a list of various resources to not only educate ourselves but also to help promote and celebrate Black voices in the ballet community.

Events and Opportunities in Washington, D.C.:

Additional events will be added as they become available. 

People to Know:

One of the first Black principal dancers of a major company (Houston Ballet in 1990). A pair of her pointe shoes can be found at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“…promoted to principal dancer, making her the first African American woman to ever be promoted to the position in the company’s 75-year history.”

Forbes 30 Under 30. Featured in “First Position”. Second Soloist at Boston Ballet. 

Created Dunham Technique.

Trailblazing Black American ballerina. Founder of Pointe Magazine. Founding member of Dance Theatre of Harlem and serves as its artistic director. TWSB Alum!

First Black dancer in the NYC Ballet (1956). Founder of Dance Theatre of Harlem

First Black principal dancer with ABT. Co-founder of Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

In 1955, she was “the first African American woman to receive a contract to dance full time with a major ballet company, the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo of New York City.”

Creator of the Urban Nutcracker. Founded City Ballet of Boston.

Organizations To Know/Follow:

Nardia Boodoo
Photo by Matthew Murphy, featuring our Company Dancer Nardia Boodoo.
Dancers on stage (Dance Theatre of Harlem)
Dance Theatre of Harlem
Three ballerinas sitting on pink bench
Photo by by TaKiyah Wallace
Alonzo King LINES Ballet
Alonzo King LINES Ballet
International Association of Blacks in Dance
International Association of Blacks in Dance
Paunkia Jones, cover image by Melissa Sweazy

To Read:

Documentaries & Shows to Watch:

  • PBS KIDS Talk Race and Racism: A heart-warming, authentic, and age-appropriate conversation with children on race hosted by Amanda Gorman featuring our SE Campus, Level 1B student, Raelynn Bernard (along with father Rahsaan Bernard, President of Building Bridges Across the River/THEARC).
PBS Race and Racism Talk
Photo by PBS
Misty Copeland
Photo from Sundance Selects
Photo from Netflix
  • BLACK BALLERINA: Tells the story of several black women from different generations who fell in love with ballet while confronting racism, exclusion, and unequal opportunity.
Photo from Prime Video

Performances to Watch:

Photo from NYCityCenter
Two tap dancers on stage, blue light background
Jacob’s Pillow performance, 2017




Black Dancewear Companies:

Photo from FleshTone



Photo from MoBBallet


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