In the first episode of this fall PDD series, The LLAB, new Host Antuan Byers talks to a recent grad, Morgan Burns, and college seniors, Runako Campbell and Ricardo Hartley, about their experiences navigating the world of dance education as Black students at predominantly white institutions. Although all three of these guests attended different colleges and conservatories, we quickly learned how their experiences as minorities in their programs have been very similar. We discussed our concerns with the lack of representation in our field, the importance and difficulty of finding mentors that look like you, and the challenges of accessing Black dance history. We also shared stories and experiences about how our dance spaces are eurocentric – not leaving room for other aesthetics, techniques, and cultures. Morgan talked to us about what sparked the idea for her new organization, the Collegiate Association for Artists of Color (C.A.A.C.); Runako caught us up on what she will be exploring in her senior thesis that focuses on Black girls, women, and femme-identifying dancers; and Ricardo gave us the inside scoop on his new journal created specifically for queer artists of color.
Morgan Burns is a recent graduate of New York University, and is the founder of Collegiate Association for Artists of Color (C.A.A.C.).
Runako Campbell is a current senior at Princeton University, who has been an active member within their dance department, acting as an Artistic Director of their dance company, DiSiac, as well as dancing with the Princeton University Ballet.
Ricardo Hartley is a current senior at the Juilliard School, and founder of the dance workshop, The Audition.
This is the first 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.