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Mobballet Announces First Annual Dance Education Symposium

MoBBallet announces its first annual symposium entitled "Inspiration, Education, Perspiration," October 11-13, 2019 in Philadelphia, PA. Hosted by Pennsylvania Ballet, the three-day symposium will focus on personal and professional development, education, and mentorship for intermediate to pre-professional level Black Ballet students. MoBBallet's primary goal is to develop a comprehensive working community and network for Blacks in ballet at all stages. Acting as a conduit between students, professional dancers, educators, choreographers, and artistic directors, MoBBallet's symposium is meant to, "identify and track young talent, provide supplemental coaching, counseling and preparation for professional placement, and job opportunities, while helping to fortify the local studios that feed the pre-professional training pipeline," says MoBBallet Director Theresa Ruth Howard.


The MoBBallet Symposium pilot is a collaborative effort presented with the support of our *Host Committee. Each organization shares the values and vision of MoBBallet; working to create Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in their organizations and the field at large.

The symposium has three distinct courses.

  • The Ballet Course connects intermediate to pre-professional level students with an elite group of ballet teachers and directors from across the country. Teachers and directors will provide students with individualized coaching, feedback and mentorship in the areas of dance training, physical therapy, body image, continuing education opportunities, and auditioning.
  • The Dance Educators Course, led by directors and master teachers from professional ballet schools, is a teacher's workshop providing pedagogical support to small studio owners and teachers. The course focuses on teaching methodologies and curriculum structures that strengthen students' technique and better align with pre-professional programs. Participants and facilitators will address technical and administrative impediments that are inherent in small programs. In a brainstorming session, we investigate ways the Black dance communities can better interface with larger ballet organizations' DEI initiatives to create equitable and supportive partnerships toward school and business growth.

The Open Class Course is for the greater Philadelphia dance community. Participants will have opportunities to take classes from our elite faculty comprised of representatives from our host committee:

Faculty and Mentors and *Host Committee to Date:

  • Lauren Anderson (*Houston Ballet)
  • Patrick Armand (*San Francisco Ballet)
  • Debra Austin (*Carolina Ballet)
  • Maurice Brandon Curry (*Eglevsky Ballet)
  • Erica Edwards (*Joffrey Ballet),
  • Kiyon Ross (*Pacific Northwest Ballet)
  • Jermel Johnson (*Pennsylvania Ballet)
  • Kareen Pauld Camargo(*Miami City Ballet)
  • Robert Garland (*Dance Theatre of Harlem)
  • Meredith Rainey (Frm. Pennsylvania Ballet)
  • Maggie Small (*Richmond Ballet)
  • Marion Tonner (*Oregon Ballet Theatre),
  • Margaret Tracey (*Boston Ballet)

*School of American Ballet

More to be announced.

We encourage the Philadelphia community at large to attend our screenings, workshops and panels.

Workshops will include:

  • The History of Blacks in Ballet
  • Pointe Shoe: Fitting and Doctoring (sponsored by Freed of London USA)
  • Social Media: Understanding positive and negative influence
  • Physical Therapy
  • In association with the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts we will be screening the 1975 documentary Artists of the Dance directed by Louise Tiranoff. The features Doris W. Jones and Claire Haywood the co- founders of the Jones-Haywood Dance School (1941) and their racially integrated Capitol Ballet (1961) in Washington, D.C.

*All programming and faculty subject to change.

In order to change the face of ballet we must address the deficiencies in the pre-professional training pipeline. MoBBallet is systematically developing a network of support for students, their families, the local studios that prepare students for the Ballet pipeline, and ballet organizations. This work is collaborative and communal. It takes a village... MoBBallet is that village.

For more information, please contact: or call (646) 996-4468.

MoBBallet website:


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