Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning to offer free dance classes for young girls of color

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Photo courtesy of the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning


In conjunction with the Camille A. Brown dancers, the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning will host a series of free dance workshops for girls and young women of color in August. 

The “Every Body Move Workshops: Black Girl Spectrum,” an in-person event taking place on the lawn of the Jamaica Performing Arts Center, will take place over six sessions. Participants must practice social distancing and wear a mask.

“We were delighted when Camille A. Brown & Dancers contacted us about their grant for Every Body Move — and asked to partner with JCAL to present these workshops,” said Leonard Jacobs, JCAL’s interim executive director. “Last winter, pre-pandemic, we hosted some of their incredible teaching artists, and we’ve hoped for an opportunity to bring them back.”

“Hosting Camille Brown’s Every Body Move workshops outside, on the lawn of our Jamaica Performing Arts Center, is a great — and safe — way to be socially distant while we re-engage our community,” said Courtney Ffrench, JCAL’s interim artistic director.

Camille A. Brown is a choreographer and educator whose choreography focuses on  the cultural narrative of African-American identity. Via dance and dialogue, her work draws on ancestral stories and contemporary culture to render a variety of personal experiences. 

The workshops, which have sold out, intend to use dance, dialogue and popular education tools as mediums to magnify the cultural and creative empowerment of Black girls and women. 

“Black Girl Spectrum (BGS) aims to nurture and bring awareness to Black girl brilliance by exploring the spectrum of identities among Black girls and women while working to create safe spaces for them to live as creative citizens,” the center stated. 

The sessions are divided into two cohorts: young girls of color (7-12 years old) meeting from 10 to 11 a.m. and young women of color (13-17 years old) meeting from noon to 1 p.m. 

The workshops will meet Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays spanning two weeks, from Aug. 10 to Aug. 21.