In our previous series on the LLAB, we spoke with Black dancers about their experience as dance students in undergraduate and graduate programs and the challenges they faced being minorities in those spaces. This week, we started a new two-episode topic, re-centering the conversation on what it’s like to be a professional dancer while Black. We meet concert dancers Rena Butler and Maleek Washington, and talk about their unique experiences dancing with both predominantly Black and non-Black companies, as well their experience of being overqualified.
Rena is a dancer, director, and choreographer dancing with Gibney Dance Company. Maleek is a dancer, choreographer, and educator dancing with Camille A. Brown and dancers.
This is the 3rd episode in our new fall series, The LLAB with Antuan Byers. LLAB stands for listening, learning, and building. The overall goal of this series is to create a space to share marginalized Black voices, to learn from their experiences, and dream for ways in which we can move forward.