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Video by Mesiyah McGinnis

28th Annual International Conference and Festival
Keynote Speaker: Jawole Willa Jo Zollar

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar


The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) will present “Black Dance Rising,” its 28th Annual International Conference and Festival of Blacks In Dance,  January 20 – 24, 2016. Hosted by Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, the dance world’s elite and emerging will descend upon Colorado for the five-day conference celebrating dance from the African Diaspora.

This historical event features an impressive lineup of renowned speakers, including keynote Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, founding and artistic director of Urban Bush Women. More than 30 dance companies from around the world -- including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dallas Black Dance Theatre and Philadanco! -- are set to perform a broad spectrum of dance genres and styles. The conference will also offer dance master classes, development workshops and panel sessions, lecture demonstrations, networking for dance pre-professionals and professionals alike.

CDSM Panel

“Culture is a powerful factor in the self-determination equation. Black dance does not exist without critical thought, study, examination and discipline,” said Malik Robinson, Executive Director of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance. “It's easy to become entranced or enamored by movement, but Black dance, ultimately, is communication. [It] humanizes, empowers and informs.”

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IABD has been the national service organization for Black Dance Professionals for over 25 years. When you join IABD, you become part of an active and supportive network of nearly 100 members including colleges, dance companies and schools, educational institutions, individuals, presenters, and universities, all dedicated to strengthening the Dance field. You also gain access to our many member benefits including subscriptions to our e-newsletter, discounts on conference registrations, and much more.

Membership funds the majority of our organization’s efforts and provides many benefits to our members throughout the United States and Internationally. One of the greatest benefits of membership in IABD is simply being an active participant in and supporter of this dynamic and effective leader, promoter and supporter of Black Dance. Many members say that attending IABD events and association with the friends they make at those events quickly becomes a significant and very pleasurable part of their life.

Who should join IABD?

  • Agents

  • Artists/Choreographers

  • Dance/Archivists, Arts Administrators, Historians, Researchers, Scholars

  • Dance Educators in K-12, colleges and universities

  • Dance Institutions and Companies

  • Dance Instructors

  • Dance Students

  • Dance Studio Owners

  • And YOU!

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