This year for the first time, at the encouragement of a panel of prior BDA Dance Champions, BDA will be honoring three women who have built extraordinary legacies in our dance community — Deborah Mason, Ann Brown Allen and Dianne “Lady Di” Walker!
Born and raised in East Cambridge, Deborah Mason Dudley’s empowering story encompasses many roles– dancer, teacher, community leader, and activist. Deb founded her school in 1975 and now works from Deborah Mason Performing Arts Center in Somerville. In 2004, she founded Cambridge Youth Dance Program (CYDP) whose programs have included WHAT THE DICKENS! and “CYDP Presents” Deb produces the annual summer Boston Tap Party. Her autobiography Life Is But A Dance came out in 2022.
Ann Brown Allen was a founding member of the Danny Sloan Dance Company in the late 1970’s, one of the only African-American women dancing professionally in Boston at that time. Ann has danced continually since that time with Dance Collective, Roxy Dancers, Dance Across the Ages and most recently with Peter DiMuro’s Public Displays of Motion. A longtime instructor at Boston University, she continues to teach both dance and fitness classes. Ann has served on the boards of Mass Movement, the Freelance Players and the board of advocates of Urban Improv. She serves as secretary of the board of The Dance Complex.
Boston raised and internationally recognized Dianne “Lady Di” Walker is considered the “griot” of tap dancing. She began her dance training with Mildred Kennedy-Bradic and later studied with Jimmy Slyde, Jimmy “Sir Slyde” Mitchell, and Leon Collins whose studio in Brookline she directed 1982–1995 and whose repertory she has preserved and shared with new generations of dancers. Her dancing in festivals, on Broadway and in the film Tap have earned her global audiences.
BDA congratulates these wonderful artists and we look forward to celebrating their achievements at our spring gala!
Stay tuned for more details!
Congratulations to Neena Gulati, who will be receiving the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award from INDIA New England News. Neena is the founder of the Brookline, MA-based Triveni School of Dance, which is celebrating its 51st anniversary this year, and was the first Indian classical dance school in New England. She was BDA Dr. Michael Shannon Dance Champion in 2016.
The Presidents’ Day weekendFoundry Family Festivalin Cambridge with great art and STEM activities for school vacation week includes dance with Jean Appolon Expressions, ballet dance and fitness, a community movement party with The Click, Cuban Rueda, Boston Forge street stylesand much more! Check the website for times through Saturday, February 25.
Longtime Ballet Frankfurt performer Tony Rizzi offers an Intermediate/Advanced Balletworkshopwhich features elements of George Balanchine’s stylistic emphasis in speed and clarity while also incorporating qualities of William Forsythe’s approach to ballet Thursday February 23 and Saturday February 25 at the Dance Complex.
Dance New England Studios is offering a winter guest workshop featuring two incredible guest instructors: Jason Berube and Adrienne Hawkins! Thursday, February 23, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM (Hip Hop), 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM (Jazz). Open to all dancers 12 and over.
Join flamenco dancer and Harvard Mather House resident scholar María Aliaga for a free introductory workshop on flamenco Friday, February 24, 4-5:30pm at the Harvard Dance Center. María will teach the basics of the dance form– arms and footwork technique, rhythm, and a short choreography– while providing historical background and context.
Join Urbanity on Saturday, February 25 from 12-3pm to celebrate Black History Month with dance workshops led by Urbanity Faculty at Urbanity Central. All levels welcome!
12-1 PM: Hip Hop Party Dance Grooves and Freestyle with Purpose
1-2 PM: RnB Move and Flow with Ice
2-3 PM: Dancehall/Soca with Makeda
Watch Arja Saraswati Puja, a contemporary Balinese performance telling the story of the Goddess Saraswati who descended from the heavens to bring knowledge and understanding to humankind. Saturday, February 25,2 PMand 7:30 PM Boroughs Theatre, Prior Performing Arts Center, College of the Holy Cross.
The Wondertwins, Boston natives Billy and Bobby McLain, are bringing Love and Happiness to The Dance Complex. The evening will feature two works, “To Love with Hip-Hop” and “Love,” both of which focus on returning to a level of hip-hop aimed at bringing people together rather than separating them. Saturday, February 25, at 8 PM and Sunday, February 26, at 7 PM.
JP Jitterbugs present Annie and the Fur Trappers at Spontaneous Celebrations! Join for a beginner lindy hop lesson (6-7 PM), beginner+ balboa lesson (6:00-7:30 PM) and Annie’s performance (7:30 PM). Sunday, February 26 at 45 Danforth Street (near Stony Brook T stop – Orange Line).
As part of the ongoing Armory Master Plan process, the City and Somerville Arts Council seek 20 individuals to participate in a 75-minute online focus group discussion which will guide the Armory’s future as a vibrant arts center for years to come. Those interested in participating in the focus group should complete a brief preliminary questionnaire by Thursday, February 23. Selected participants will be contacted directly.
Apply now to attend Complexions Contemporary Ballet summer intensiveJune 19 – 24, Monday – Saturday 10:00 AM-2:15 PM & 2:45-4:00 PM at the Dance Complex in a program in partnership with OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center.
Celebrating good times with the medical team at UNC Children’s Hospital in North Carolina– a now-annual event that would delight the late Dr. Michael Shannon whose dance life complemented his work as a noted pediatrician and teacher.
Whether you are enjoying a long weekend, school vacation week get-aways, or simply relishing the increasing daylight, we hope you keep dance on your schedule!
If you’re planning spring and summer events and want to rent BDA’s wonderful portable dance floor, get your requests for a no-obligation quote in now, as we already have some blackout dates. We are so looking forward to performance indoors and outside!