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Session 2: Racism & The Dance World

February 4, 2021, 7:30-8:30 pm

Featuring Karida Griffith 

Workshop Description: The "Racism & the Dance World" workshop will take a brief but deep dive into fundamental aspects of race and dance history that even savvy educators have often missed. We all dance and teach in front of the "backdrop" of race and history, whether we've been aware of it or not. The "backdrop" of history affects so much of our experiences and choices today, so we will examine this history more closely, so that it might provide clarity on our current circumstances, and shine new light on the road ahead.

More about Karida Griffith:

Karida Griffith Walker grew up training in a variety of dance styles in Portland, OR, primarily with local legend, Sally Mack. After finishing her business degree at New York University, Karida actively pursued her professional dance career. Highlights include: The Radio City Rockettes, Cirque du Soleil, The Tony Awards, Today Show, recurring appearances on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, European tour of Black & Blue, and the critically-acclaimed Tap dance company, Dorrance Dance. 

She has worked with world-class dancers and choreographers including Henry LeTang, Dormeshia, Randy Skinner, Casey Nicholaw, Derick K. Grant, Mable Lee, Michelle Dorrance, Pat Birch & more. 

Other company work includes: Chloe Arnold’s Syncopated Ladies, TiDii with Jared Grimes, the Cotton Club Sophisticated Ladies, Barbara Duffy & Company, and Sebe Kan, a traditional West African Dance company founded by her husband, Derrell Sekou Soumah Walker. 

Karida has performed solo works in the NYC Tap Festival, Spoleto Arts Festival, Vancouver Tap Festival, CREATIONS: Choreographic Introductions, and for The Yard at Martha’s Vineyard. 

As an educator and choreographer, Karida has worked in a variety of settings including Pace University as an adjunct professor, Broadway Dance Center in NYC, the Children’s Theatre Company of NY, for Festivals & Conventions, and in a variety of wonderful recreational & competitive local dance studios. Karida also provides choreography, in-school residencies, and lectures about Tap Dance History in the public school setting for students of all ages. 

Now raising 2 young daughters, Karida is sticking closer to home, and has focused her professional energy on empowering dance educators around the world. She has incorporated the breadth of her experience into online professional development programming that gives dance educators the strategies and tools they need to confidently meet the demands of 21st century dance education. 

To this end, Karida founded The Tap Teachers’ Lounge in 2018, a comprehensive online training program for Tap Dance educators. And in 2020, Karida began offering seminars about Race & Dance History to public and private institutions. She also founded the Roots, Rhythm, Race & Dance program, a six-week professional development program which helps dance educators (from all styles & educational settings) to confidently introduce age-appropriate lessons around race and dance history to their students.

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Check out this write up in Dance Teacher about Karida Griffith's amazing work!

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