History of Black Dance in America

The Los Angeles Public Library presents: "The History of Black Dance in America - Part 2" 

Free to the public.


February 10, 2022


The Los Angeles Public Library presents: "The History of Black Dance in America" 

Free to the public.


August 26, 2021
A Night at Club Alabam
The Best of The History of Black Dance in America
The Best of The History of Black Dance in America is a retrospective of 10 years of HBDA shows. We are streaming this very special Black History Month event on Thursday, February 25 2021, with on-demand access to the recording available until Sunday, February 28th. Hosted by world renown tap dancer and dance historian, Chester A. Whitmore.
This is the powerful 200 year history of popular American social dances created or influenced by the descendants of African slaves. Not to be missed!

HBDA Tangovino Bottle Lights

Previous Events:
Chester Whitmore "The Lord of the Swing" teaches at Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center October - November 2019


Past Events:

Tribute to Sam Cooke

Tribute to Michael Jackson

Past Events:
HBDA Photo Exhibition
(Now running)
HBDA 2016 Show
Black History Month 2016!
A show 10 years in the making.  An event 150 years in the making.
February 20, 2016
Marsee Theater
El Camino College, Torrance, CA



MaDonna Grimes

We honor dancer/choreographer MaDonna Grimes for her contribution to the history of Hip Hop Dance
Meet our new 2016 Cast Members

Please support our HBDA 2016 Hatch Fund campaign: http://www.hatchfund.org/project/the_history_of_black_dance_in_america_2016


See a review of the 2015 Juneteenth Celebration show here: http://artsmeme.com/2015/06/25/review-the-history-of-black-dance-in-america/


What is “The History of Black Dance in America”?
HBDA is a multi-media dance concert that showcases the contributions of African-Americans to popular American social dance from slavery to the modern era.  It has been presented every year since 2011, and in 2015 was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign. Audiences are mesmerized by authentic renditions of dances such as Zulu, Work Songs, Cakewalk, Spiritual Dances, Shim Sham, Lindy Hop, Foxtrot, the African inspired Latin-American dances, and more. It is a family-friendly show that hopes to entertain as well as teach some little known history that every American should know. The 2015 performance also observes the 150th Anniversary of Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.


What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19ththat the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.  One of General Granger’s first orders of business was to read to the people of Texas, General Order Number 3 which began most significantly with:

"The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer."



Typesort descending Title Post date Updated/commented date
Article Reginald Thornton Wednesday, June 9, 2010 - 4:58pm Thursday, July 21, 2016 - 9:19am
Article Vermont Square Methodist Church Sunday, May 30, 2010 - 3:53pm Sunday, May 30, 2010 - 3:58pm
Article Ron Parker Monday, June 7, 2010 - 3:42pm Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - 2:26pm
Article Diversify Your Dance Workshop Notes Sunday, May 30, 2010 - 4:18pm Saturday, May 2, 2015 - 5:30pm
Blog entry Tango and Milonga: A close relationship Monday, January 15, 2007 - 2:29pm Saturday, May 2, 2015 - 5:30pm
Blog entry Diversify Your Dance Workshop Classes Monday, May 31, 2010 - 2:04am Saturday, May 2, 2015 - 5:30pm
Blog entry Vermont Square Methodist Church Friday, May 28, 2010 - 9:56am Friday, January 6, 2017 - 1:17am
Blog entry I Can't Do All That! Sunday, June 27, 2010 - 12:31pm Saturday, May 2, 2015 - 5:30pm
Blog entry History of Black Dance in America Events Thursday, December 24, 2009 - 12:55am Saturday, May 2, 2015 - 5:30pm
Blog entry About The History of Black Dance in America Saturday, April 24, 2010 - 3:59pm Monday, February 1, 2016 - 11:34pm



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