30th Annual International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance


LOS ANGELES, CA  –  The 30th Annual International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance will descend on Los Angeles, California “Honoring Legacies: Past, Present, and Future.” Professor Emerita of Dance and Afro-American Studies Yvonne Daniel, Ph.D., will be honored with the Association’s Scholar Award at the conference’s Awards Luncheon. The conference and festival will take place January 23-28, 2018 at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel, 6101 West Century Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90045. Dr. Daniel will also appear on panels throughout the conference and festival.

Yvonne DanielThe Scholar Award is presented to an individual who demonstrates outstanding achievements and whose contributions in the academic and research areas of dance deserve acknowledgement. This award honors the scholarly artist’s importance to the cultural fabric of the black dance community and the impact their research has on the dance field. The award recipient has proven to be committed to the mission of IABD and its philosophy which emphasized the continued responsibility of “carrying the torch” by preserving and promoting dance by people of African ancestry or origin.

Yvonne Daniel, Smith College Professor Emerita of Dance and Afro-American Studies, is a specialist in Dance Performance and Circum-Caribbean societies. Her publications include: Rumba: Dance and Social Change in Contemporary Cuba (1995), Dancing Wisdom: Embodied Knowledge in Haitian Vodou, Cuban Yoruba, and Bahian Candomblé (2005), and Caribbean and Atlantic Diaspora Dance: Igniting Citizenship (2011).  She has published over forty juried and solicited articles, encyclopedia entries, chapters, and edited four documentary videos on dance and Diaspora religions.  Her book on sacred performance won the de la Torre Bueno prize 2006 and her last publication won a “Choice” award.  She has earned a Ford and a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, and has been a Visiting Scholar at Mills College and the Smithsonian Institution.  She has four sons and ten grandchildren.

Expected attendance at the 30th Annual International Conference and Festival is over 500 registrants. The conference and festival is designed to meet the needs of professional, advanced, and student dancers as well as dance administrators, educators, and instructors with auditions, master classes, lecture demonstrations, panels, workshops, and performances.

In the organization’s history, Lula Washington Dance Theatre has hosted the conference and festival three times in its 30-year history. The conference and festival headquarters is the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles, 6101 West Century Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90045. For more details and conference registration information, visit

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About IABD

The International Association of Blacks in Dance preserves and promotes dance by people of African ancestry or origin, and assists and increases opportunities for artists in advocacy, audience development, education, funding, networking, performance, philosophical dialogue, and touring. IABD has become the Mecca for Blacks in Dance such as administrators, artists, choreographers, dance companies, directors, educators, scholars, and those interested in artistry, black dance issues, and performance presentations. The Association, founded in 1991, provides a network, formal newsletters, choreographers directory, published papers and is the raison d’être for the annual conference. The Association also responds to and initiates dialogue around issues that impact the Black Dance Community as well as the Dance community at large. IABD has developed national prominence and allowed the Black Dance Community to come together on issues important to them.

About LWDT

The Lula Washington Contemporary Dance Foundation is a 501(c)3 tax exempt non-profit organization founded in 1980 by Lula and Erwin Washington to provide a creative outlet for minority dance artists in South Los Angeles. The founding mission is to build a world class contemporary modern dance company that travels worldwide with contemporary modern dance works that reflect African-American history and culture. Our education mission is to create a school in the inner city where young people can learn the art of dance, launch careers in dance, and where dance is used to motivate, educate, inspire, challenge and enrich the lives of young people so they can become successful, productive and competitive citizens.

Press Credentials

The following is available to members of the media:

  • Admission to the Opening and Closing plenaries
  • Admission to all Panel and Workshop sessions
  • Admission to Performance Presentations
  • One-on-one interview opportunities
Visit the IABD website for Press Releases about the Annual International Conference and Festival and other IABD news.
For more information about the above, please contact Denise Saunders Thompson, President/CEO.