As we transition from Black history to Women's history month, SLMDances celebrates Black women and femmes who have had a direct impact on our work!
We celebrate the Black Women and Femmes in our SLMDances Collective and Community. We delight in Black Women and Femmes experiencing joy and pleasure. We protect Black Women and Femmes doing mundane, everyday things like cooking and napping. We bless Black Girl Magic. We thank Black Women and Femmes for cultivating communities and organizing for our pastpresentfuture selves to thrive.
We celebrate Black Women and Femmes who are full of life and breath. In our dreams, they have all that they need and desire. So, we say, give them flowers now!
We invite you to give to SLMDances AND to support some of those
who have made our work possible.
Sista Docta Alexis Pauline Gumbs
Queer Black Troublemaker and Black Feminist Love Evangelist and an aspirational cousin to all sentient beings
writer, poet and activist
Her work in this lifetime is to facilitate infinite, unstoppable ancestral love in practice. Her poetic work in response to the needs of her cherished communities has held space for multitudes in mourning and movement. Alexis’s co-edited volume Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines (PM Press, 2016) has shifted the conversation on mothering, parenting and queer transformation. Alexis has transformed the scope of intellectual, creative and oracular writing with her triptych of experimental works published by Duke University Press. READ FULL BIO.
Alice Walker is an internationally celebrated writer, poet and activist whose books include seven novels, four collections of short stories, four children’s books, and volumes of essays and poetry. Walker has been an activist all of her adult life, and believes that learning to extend the range of our compassion is activity and work available to all. She is a staunch defender not only of human rights, but of the rights of all living beings. She is one of the world’s most prolific writers, yet continues to travel the world to literally stand on the side of the poor, and the economically, spiritually and politically oppressed. READ FULL BIO.
activist and writer
Activist and writer bell hooks was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky as Gloria Jean Watkins. As a child, hooks performed poetry readings of work by Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. She earned a BA from Stanford University, an MA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a PhD from the University of California-Santa Cruz. Throughout her life, hooks has explored the relationship between sexism, racism, and economic disparity in books aimed at scholars and at the public. READ FULL BIO.
mother, artist, educator, disciple and coach
Christal Brown is the Founder of INSPIRIT, Project: BECOMING, the creator of the Liquid Strength training module for dance and the Chair of Dance and Faculty Director of MiddCORE at Middlebury College. Brown is a native of Kinston, North Carolina, where she remembers cleaning up on Saturday mornings as a child to the music of the Chi-Lites, Marvin Gaye, and Shirley Caesar. These rituals innately produced a strong desire in her to make all work melodic, sensual, meaningful and set to music. READ FULL BIO.
performer, historian, consultant and dance writer
Charmaine Warren began the online series "Black Dance Stories" in June 2020. She is the founder/producer and artistic director for "Dance on the Lawn:" Montclair's Dance Festival, and the Producer of DanceAfrica at BAM. She has been a co-curator for Harlem Stage's dance series, EMoves for 11 years, and the lead curator for Dance @ Wassaic Project Festival for nine years. She currently writes on dance for The New York Amsterdam News, sometimes Dance Magazine and other magazines and journals. READ FULL BIO.
dancer, choreographer, educator
Dyane has performed with numerous companies including Tony Award Winning George Faison’s Universal Dance Experience, Dunham dancer Walter Nicks’ Dance Theatre, Otis Sallid’s New Art Ensemble, Nanette Bearden’s Contemporary Chamber Dance Company, Joan Miller’s Dance Players, internationally recognized Dance Brazil and the Trinidad/Tobago Repertory Dance Theatre. She was hailed a “New York City Dance Diva” by Dr. Glory Van Scott in her series of tributes to Black female dancers at the Schomberg Center for Research Library. READ FULL BIO.
Ebony Noelle Golden
artist, scholar and culture strategist
Ebony Noelle Golden unflinchingly pursues justice as an artist, scholar, and culture strategist committed to nourishing a womanist practice that catalyzes social change. Hailing from Houston, TX, and currently living and working in Harlem, NY she is the founder and CEO at Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative, LLC. Since 2009, her collaborative has successfully supported organizational transformation, culture power, and movement building for education, social impact, wellness with some of the most forward-leaning organizations nationally. She is currently Artist in Residence at Weeksville Heritage Center. READ FULL BIO.
multi-disciplinary art maker and educator spanning film, choreography, performance, curation, writing and more
Born and raised in the Caribbean island nation of Curaçao, Gabri is a member of a crossroads culture, and her work expresses the politics and poetics of interchanging races, rhythms, and histories. Multi-disciplinary and wide-ranging in form, Gabri’s art-making spans film, choreography, performance, curation, writing, and more. Her subject matter helps determine her approach. When the eloquence and expressive power of dance started to feel limited, she turned to film. Now when she choreographs, she finds herself looking through a more dramaturgical lens. READ FULL BIO.
dancer and choreographer
Dianne McIntyre is regarded as an artistic pioneer, with an impressive career spanning four decades with choreography for dance, theatre, television and film. A 2019 Dance/USA Honor Awardee and 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award recipient, her individualistic movement style reflects her affinity for cultural histories, personal narratives and the boldness, nuances, discipline and freedom in music and poetic text. Since 1972, she has choreographed scores of concert dances, four Broadway shows, 30 regional theatre productions, and more. READ FULL BIO.
Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 nominee, Ebonie Smith is an award-winning music producer, audio engineer and singer-songwriter based in New York City. Ebonie is also the founder and president of Gender Amplified, Inc., a nonprofit organization that celebrates and supports women in music production. Ebonie holds a master's degree in music technology from New York University, and a bachelor's degree in Africana Studies from Barnard College. She currently works as an audio engineer and producer for Atlantic Records. READ FULL BIO.
Eva Yaa Asantewaa
writer, curator and community educator
Eva Yaa Asantewaa (she/her) works at Gibney as Senior Director of Artist Development and Curation as well as Editorial Director. A veteran writer, curator and community educator, she won the 2017 Bessie Award for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance. Since 1976, she has contributed dance criticism and journalism to Dance Magazine, The Village Voice, SoHo Weekly News, Gay City News, The Dance Enthusiast, Time Out New York, her arts blog, InfiniteBody, and other publications and podcasts. As Editorial Director of Imagining: A Gibney Journal, she publishes essays reflecting issues and perspectives of importance to the dance/performance community. READ FULL BIO.
Jawole Willa Jo Zollar
visionary, dancer, choreographer, educator
From Kansas City, Missouri, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar trained with Joseph Stevenson, a student of the legendary Katherine Dunham. After earning her B.A. in dance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, she received her M.F.A. in dance from Florida State University. In 1980 Jawole moved to New York City to study with Dianne McIntyre at Sounds in Motion. In 1984, Jawole founded Urban Bush Women (UBW) as a performance ensemble dedicated to exploring the use of cultural expression as a catalyst for social change. READ FULL BIO.
people curator, arts administrator, cultural innovator
Building on 20+ years of experience as an arts administrator and cultural innovator, Kemi Ilesanmi's mission is to help create a world in which artists and creativity are manifest as powerful agents for positive community change. Kemi Ilesanmi is the Executive Director of The Laundromat Project, which advances artists and neighbors as change agents in their own communities. Kemi is proudly of Nigerian and Black American descent. Prior to joining The LP in 2012, she was Director of Grants and Services at Creative Capital Foundation.She lives in Brooklyn with her spouse, with whom she travels the world and enjoys art of all kinds. READ FULL BIO.
choreographer and arts leader
Paloma McGregor (b. 1974) is a Caribbean-born, New York-based choreographer and arts leader. As co-founder and Artistic Director of Angela’s Pulse, McGregor has spent more than a decade centering Black voices through collaborative, “community-specific” performance projects. A former newspaper editor, McGregor brings a choreographer’s craft, a journalist’s urgency, and a community organizer’s framework in the service of big visions. The daughter of a fisherman and public school art teacher, McGregor amplifies and remixes the quotidian choreographies of Black folks, reactivating them in often-embattled public spaces. READ FULL BIO.
Dr. Kim F. Hall
Black Feminist, scholar, educator, quilter
Dr. Kim F Hall is the Lucyle Hook Professor of English, Professor of Africana Studies at Barnard College. Professor Hall's research and teaching cover Renaissance/Early Modern Literature and Culture, Critical Race Theory, Black Feminist Studies, Slavery Studies, Visual Culture, Food Studies, and Digital Humanities. She was born in Baltimore and holds a doctorate in sixteenth and seventeenth century English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania. She is also an avid quilter who was named “Quilter of the Month” at the Seminole Sampler Quilt Shop in Baltimore, Maryland. READ FULL BIO.