In honor of Black History Month, 51 young black and very fortunate female dancers were invited to the White House to participate in a handful of classes ranging from ballet to African dance. Playing off this year’s theme, “Honoring the Past While Celebrating the Present; 7 Years of Living African American History,” Michelle Obama paid homage to legends Debbie Allen, hip hop choreographer Fatimah Robinson, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Judith Jamison, and the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Virginia Johnson, recruiting them to teach and speak with the future generation of dancers.
The day began at about 12:30 pm on Monday when FLOTUS joined the icons of dance in a panel discussion where they responded to the students’ questions on a variety of topics including health and self-confidence. This was then followed by workshops and an encouraging speech from Michelle Obama who preached about the legacy of dance in the Black community, the contributions of African Americans to dance, and the importance of perfecting one’s craft.
“I know we have the power to keep reaching higher and defying the odds and achieving those firsts and seconds and thirds and hundreds and thousands until a black principal dancer is no longer a pause for headlines, and our children are limited only by the size of their dreams and their willingness to work for them,” she shared.
The night ended perfectly when the students were given the opportunity to put their knowledge and skills to the test with a mind blowing performance.
This historic event was the first of its kind to take place at the White House. With Michelle Obama’s time slowly coming to an end, it was quite a powerful way to kick off the celebration of her last Black History Month as our First Lady.
Take a look at photos below!
Written By: Sweenie Saint-Vil