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.:

2024 Black History Month events at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture

Kennedy Center Black History Month Digital Stage

Stitching our Legacy Unveiling threads of Black History
Date: February 3, 2024, Time: 2pm-7pm
Location: THEARC 1901 Mississippi Ave. Washington DC. 20020.
Description: Join us as we kick off Black History Month with an inspiring Black History Fashion Show, featuring Comedian @anjeewho, performances by Iam Da Fleet, and a reflection on the significance of this month through design. Be a part of a Village that helps others walk with a purpose. For tickets and donations please visit

Philips Collection: The rise of the murals East of the River.
Date: February 1-8, 2024 Wednesday& Thursday 10am-5pm
Location: THEARC WEST 1801 Mississippi Ave. SE. Washington DC. 20020.

Dreams Unleashed Youth Summit
Date: February 10, 2024, Time: 10am-3pm
Location: THEARC 1901 Mississippi Ave. Washington DC. 20020.
Description: Engage in a meaningful conversation with esteemed speakers who will discuss the impact of Black leaders, past and present, and their contributions to various fields. Don’t miss this chance to unleash your dreams and create lasting memories. Save the date,  and get ready for an unforgettable experience! For more information call THEARC @ 202-889-5901 Ext. 101.

THEARC in Partnership with NPS, featuring The Washington School of Ballet: “Frederick Douglas Birthday Celebration”
Date: February 10, 2024, Time: 11:30am-5pm
Location: THEARC 1901 Mississippi Ave. Washington DC.  (Free and Open to the Public)
Description: Enjoy a delicious catered lunch while listening to guest speakers who will share their personal experiences, insights, and stories related to Frederick Douglas and his relevance today.

Black History Month Youth Art Exhibit
Date: February 17, 2024, Viewing Time: 12:30pm-4pm
Location: THEARC GALLERY 1901 Mississippi Avenue Washington DC. 20020. Come check out our Gallery with an art display from a local community artist. (Free and Open to the Public) Call THEARC @ 202-889-5901 ext. 101 for more details.

Black History Month Dance Concert
Date: February 17, 2024, Time: 3:00 pm, 5:00 pm, & 7:30 pm
Location: Silver Spring Cultural Arts Center
Description: This year’s concert, hosted by Maryland Youth Ballet, brings together schools, organizations and dance companies from throughout the DMV.

  • 3:00 pm– Divine Dance Institute, Morton Street Dance, MOVE|NYC|, Maryland Youth Ballet, Princess Mhoon Dance Institute, The VIVA School, The Washington School of Ballet @THEARC
  • 5:00 pm– Bowie State, Divine Dance Institute, Full Circle Dance Company, Morton Street Dance, ktm eXtreme dance project, MOVE|NYC|, MYB, Princess Mhoon Dance Institute, University of Maryland (College Park), The VIVA School, The Washington School of Ballet
  • 7:30 pm– Bowie State, Full Circle Dance Company, ktm eXtreme dance project, MOVE|NYC|, Maryland Youth Ballet, University of Maryland (College Park), The VIVA School, The Washington School of Ballet Adult Program

Film Screening: Celebrating Black Boys
Date: February 24, 2024, Time: 12pm-4pm,
Location: THEARC BLACK BOX 1801 Mississippi Ave. Washington DC. 20020.
Description: We will be screening a thought-provoking film that highlights important stories and experiences from the Black community Celebrating Black Boys. An epic celebration of our amazing Black boys, filled with joy, empowerment, and endless possibilities. For more info:

Roosevelt Entertainment Presents: Waiting to Exzhale.
Date: February 24th, 2024, at THEARC Theater. 3pm-6pm.
Location: 1901 Mississippi Ave. Washington DC. 20020
Description: Writer and Director Roosevelt present: an adaption of Waiting To Exzhale. Waiting To Exzhale is a story of friendships and sisterhood as each one struggles with events in their lives. It embraces black History as it gives Women a Voice and results in effectively torch-passing as much as an acknowledgement of how powerful and important women are in society.
Tickets are on Eventbrite or click this link.

Blacks in Wax
Date: March 8, 2024
Description: The annual Blacks in Wax performances are a collaboration by the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), Recreation Wish List Committee (RWLC) founded by Ms. Cora Masters Barry, along with the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center (SETLC) tennis scholars. The event celebrates the rich history and culture of over 60 prolific, iconic American heroes from the worlds of sports, entertainment, history, politics, and literature. It captures both American History and Black History and Heroes and unsung heroes. It is an experience you do not want to miss. For more information call THEARC @ 202-889-5901 ext. 101.

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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