NewsShola K. Roberts Is Creating Change In The Dance World

Shola K. Roberts Is Creating Change In The Dance World

According to data from Zippia, Black professional dancers are both underrepresented and underpaid in their profession.

“Eventually, I was being called to be a part of this showcase and to travel here and do this work and create, et cetera. And so that was really my journey,” she told Essence. “I was a freelance dancer and teaching artist, going into the schools and cultivating my pedagogical practice. I got to a point where I was good in my career, but I started to ask myself, how do I empower learners to find their voice through movement while creating a living for themselves?”

Dance Grenada Festival invites Caribbean and other international artists to participate in workshops, performances, and panel discussions. Roberts described the festival as a hub for innovation in dance, scholarship, and entrepreneurship that gives Black dancers, an underrepresented demographic, critical tools to continue and sustain their careers in dance.

Roberts told Essence, “We are grateful to all of our partners who have made it possible to host at least seven teaching artists each year on the island and compensate them for their time and expertise.” Roberts continued, “Dance Grenada is my blessing. Being able to bring all the individuals together to share this thing that we love so much on the island that I love so much is something that is very important for me. We have these short-term moments when we’re on the stage, but how do we sustain the careers of our dancers? How do we sustain livelihood? I want to stress the importance of honoring and valuing our dancers and supporting them because that’s really what it’s about.”

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Source: Black Enterprise


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