Getty Images

Listen to Black Dancers Speaking Out Against Racial Injustice

This weekend, protests against racially-charged police brutality—spurred by the unjust killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, Sean Reed, and so many others—swept the country. Supporters, including many of members of the dance world, took to social media to share their thoughts, and express their grief.

As allies, one of the first actions we can take in this moment is to listen to and amplify the voices of Black members of our dance community. Here are some of the most powerful posts written by Black dancers.

"How is it that someone can look at me and decide that I'm a threat? It doesn't make sense. I am human. We are all human. We need allies to support us and stop these injustices from happening. Because at the end of the day, tolerating racism is racism." —Nardia Boodoo

"This is the time to come together, to unite, to raise awareness, to expand our perspectives, to support, and most importantly love one another." —Alison Stroming

"I don't want to carry hate and negativity in my soul. None of us should have to. This has to end. We all deserve a fair chance at life." —Calvin Royal III

"If Martin Luther was living, he wouldn't let this be. Nor shall we." —Lil Buck

"It's time to speak out. Silence is not going to help. If you have a fear of being uncomfortable while speaking out against racial justice, now is the time to break that wall of fear and speak out." —Erica Lall

"It's a choice to act a certain way towards another human! We all have choices! What do you choose?" —Lloyd Knight

"Isn't it obvious this needs to end?! Aren't you tired of watching videos of us being killed so senselessly?!" —Courtney Hollinquest

"I'm no longer standing, I'm running. At full speed towards change and justice. My shoes are strength and truth and my sweat reminding me of the blood and tears of my ancestors." —Martha Nichols

"Senseless brutality from the people sworn in to protect us is an outrage." —Desmond Richardson

"Silence is deafening. Simple. It saddens me that this is the reality we live in...we all have the opportunity to change this!" —Nikisha Fogo

"When black people can jog without being shot, talk to the police without being treated like an animal, take a knee against brutality and be heard instead of scrutinized, live without constant fear of being judged, held back, pigeon-holed, or murdered over the color of our skin then we can talk about what equality means!" —Gabe Stone Shayer

"I cried. And then—I prayed. I prayed for love. I prayed for understanding. I prayed for courage. I prayed for my black brothers. I prayed for my black sisters. I prayed for justice. I prayed for healing." —Melany Centeno

"Living your daily life without the fear of being murdered simply because of the way you look is white privilege." —India Bradley

"We are the ones. We. We. We. What I want for myself, I want for everyone." —Ayodele Casel

"My skin color does not define me. I matter, we matter." —Michaela DePrince

Latest Posts

Project 21 dancers (from left) Selena Hamilton, Gracyn French, and Dyllan Blackburn (Photo by Quinn Wharton; hair and makeup throughout by Angela Huff for Mark Edward Inc.)

How Project 21 Is Shaping the Next Generation of Competition-Dance Standouts

"I wish I had a better story about the name," says Molly Long, founder of the Orange County, CA–based dance studio Project 21. In truth, it's a play on the fact that she was born on the twenty-first of August, and 21 is her favorite number. "I was away on a teaching tour, the audition announcement was going live on Instagram the next day, and I desperately needed a name. Project 21 was just the least cheesy of the options I thought of!"

The fact that fans might expect the name to have some profound meaning speaks to the near-mythic status Project 21 has achieved on the competition and convention scene since its founding in 2014. Long's dancers are all wholly individual, yet jell seamlessly as a group, and are consistently snagging top prizes everywhere on the circuit. Each season brings a slew of new accolades, high-caliber faculty, and legions of devoted followers.

The industry has taken notice of the studio's unique ethos. "Molly gets through to her dancers in a special way, and they have this incomparable level of commitment to their craft as a result," says dancer and choreographer Billy Bell, who's worked closely with Long and her dancers. "That's what sets them apart—it's like a little dose of magic."

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Dear Katie: What Can I Do to Get More Flexible?

In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

I'm a strong dancer, but I don't have a lot of flexibility. I stretch every day, but it feels like I'm getting nowhere. What can I do to get more flexible?


Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search