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Programs Overview

The International Association of Blacks in Dance, Inc., (IABD) offers a full range of services and programs that are dedicated to championing the work of dance artists, educators, leadership, researchers, scholars, students, and supporters. Our programs and services include:

Annual International Conference and Festival

Our largest annual international program that includes audition opportunities for ballet, modern dance companies, summer and college dance programs, master classes, networking opportunities, panels, performances, and workshops.


The Comprehensive Organizational Health Initiative (COHI), is designed to strengthen the organizational health of small and midsize arts institutions through comprehensive financial analysis and capacity building financial support funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. IABD recently distributed MOVE (Managing Organizational Vitality and Endurance) grants to thirty member organizations across the U.S.


The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) introduces EVOLVE, a two-day artist networking experience designed for the dance community in IABD member regions. EVOLVE invites IABD members and non-members, students, professionals, and studio owners, to share their love for dance while expanding their technical proficiency and knowledge. Attendees will experience master classes, symposia and opportunities to demonstrate their talent over the two-day time frame. True to its mission, vision, and values, EVOLVE continues the IABD tradition of intergenerational learning aimed at maintaining the aesthetic and integrity of Black Dance in the American tapestry.


IABD offers a unique opportunity and experience to assist with the development and growth of this one-of-a-kind service organization. IABD seeks qualified undergraduate students, graduate students, and recent graduates interested in gaining Arts Administration experience in these areas of concentration: Archives, Development, General Management, Marketing/Social Media, Special Events.

Fiscal Sponsorship

IABD's Fiscal Sponsorship program enables groups and individuals in our community to raise funds for purposes related to IABD’s charitable mission without the complexity of incorporating as a separate non-profit organization.

IABD Auditions: Ballet, Multi-Company, Summer

IABD's signature audition program offers students, pre-professionals, and professionals audition opportunities for ballet, modern dance companies, summer and college dance programs, all in one location and at the same time, for colleges/universities, professional companies, and training programs.

IABD Learning Magnet

This programming is specific to our NextGeneration Leaders to support and offer continued strength and development for their organizations and artistry by investing in educational tools, cross-generational learning opportunities and leadership training.


IABD has been the national service organization for Black Dance Professionals for over 30 years. When you join IABD, you become part of an active and supportive network of nearly 300 members including colleges, dance companies, educational institutions, individuals, presenters, universities, and 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 and festival registrations, and much more. Our membership categories include: Students, Individuals, Institution/Dance Company, and Corporate.

NextGeneration Leaders of IABD

The NextGeneration Leaders of IABD (NGL) is a leadership development program designed to:

1) identify and cultivate the next generation of Black Dance leaders

2) support IABD’s desire to create a road map for building and operating a healthier, more sustainable organization

on the 1 | a dance class series

IABD’s on the 1 dance class series presents world renowned dance faculty and celebrated instructors who work professionally in various aspects of the industry for a weekend of technical training and innovative methodologies. Dancers are able to choose from a variety of genres to aide in their well-rounded approach to artistry.


IABD Scholarships are awarded to those who demonstrate ability, artistry and passion. Scholarships are for summer intensive training and professional dance training, education, and/or study. There are two scholarships that are available to members, Joan Myers Brown Artist Development Fund and the Dr. Sherrill Berryman Johnson Dance Scholarship Fund.

Special Programs:


As mentioned at the 2019 Annual International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance in Dayton, OH, IABD has launched the international campaign, I AM BLACK DANCE | I AM IABD. It is Denise’s hope and vision to raise awareness and bring visibility to our community - our way.

"As a community, IABD has become stronger generation after generation. We should never forget the shoulders that we stand on; those who were and continue to be groundbreaking and revolutionary. This campaign is a time to reflect and honor our achievements and culture, to celebrate our community and its bright future ahead. Let’s ensure that the Black Dance narrative remains ours! We will celebrate our pioneers and our possibilities. We will shatter every stereotype and celebrate our inspirations, which have led to our aspirations, and ultimately our achievements."   ~ Denise Saunders Thompson, President/CEO

Performing Arts Readiness: Emergency Preparedness

The Performing Arts Readiness project was formed in the recognition that performing arts organizations are especially vulnerable to disasters and emergencies which can halt performances, sometimes indefinitely, and can put an organization out of business overnight.

The Equity Project: Increasing the Presence of Blacks in Ballet

Dance Theatre of Harlem, IABD, and Dance/USA are pleased to announce The Equity Project, a three-year partnership program to support the advancement of racial equity in professional ballet companies.  The Equity Project brings together a cohort of artistic and executive leaders from twenty-one large budget, professional ballet companies for in-person meetings and coaching.