Iconic Dance Items at the Newest Smithsonian Museum
The National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened last fall in Washington, DC, covers a wide and deep swath of the history of black Americans. Included are many items that demonstrates the importance dance holds for the community and the tremendous contributions African Americans have made to the dance world. Here are a few of the many notable dance items on display:
- Sammy Davis Jr.'s childhood tap shoes (shown above)
- Virginia Johnson's costume from Dance Theatre of Harlem's Creole Giselle
- A sequin-covered black jacket worn by Michael Jackson on his 1984 Victory Tour, on the heels of his Thriller album
- Selected photos of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from the 1960s and '70s
- A portrait of dancer and entertainer Josephine Baker
- A pair of American Ballet Theatre principal Misty Copeland's pointe shoes
- A case on musical theater detailing the history of minstrel shows and the evolution of black dance from blackface and the cakewalk to Broadway's The Wiz and The Tap Dance Kid
- A wildly popular interactive video-tutorial on step dancing, featuring Step Afrika!, Washington, DC's much-in-demand touring troupe, teaching classic step-dance moves
For more information or free passes, visit nmaahc.si.edu.
Social media has made the dance world a lot smaller, giving users instant access to artists and companies around the world. For aspiring pros, platforms like Instagram can offer a tantalizing glimpse into the life of a working performer. But there's a fine line between taking advantage of what social media can offer and relying too heavily on it.
If you think becoming a trainee or apprentice is the only path to gaining experience in a dance company environment, think again.
The University of Arizona, located in the heart of Tucson, acclimates dancers to the pace and rigor of company life while offering all the academic opportunities of a globally-ranked university. If you're looking to get a head-start on your professional dance career—or to just have a college experience that balances company-level training and repertory with rigorous academics—the University of Arizona's undergraduate and graduate programs have myriad opportunites to offer:
Yes, we realize it's only August. But we can't help but to already be musing about all the incredible dance happenings of 2019.
We're getting ready for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we want to hear from you about the shows you can't stop thinking about, the dance videos that blew your mind and the artists you discovered this year who everyone should know about.
On August 19, 1929, shockwaves were felt throughout the dance world as news spread that impresario Sergei Diaghilev had died. The founder of the Ballets Russes rewrote the course of ballet history as the company toured Europe and the U.S., championing collaborations with modernist composers, artists and designers such as Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso and Coco Chanel. The company launched the careers of its five principal choreographers: Michel Fokine, Vaslav Nijinsky, Léonide Massine, Bronislava Nijinska and George Balanchine.