33rd Annual International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance, Globally Connected to Take Place This Month

The event, for everyone of all ages, is a pioneering four-day dance experience where attendees will engage in a multitude of invaluable opportunities.

By: Jan. 19, 2023
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33rd Annual International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance, Globally Connected to Take Place This Month

The International Association of Blacks in Dance in partnership with dance Immersion will present the 33rd Annual International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance, Globally Connected: What Does Our Tomorrow Hold? on January 25-29, 2023 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Continuing its legacy as the broadest international gathering of Black Dance professionals, agents, artistic directors, artists, choreographers, company managers, executive directors, historians, presenters, scholars, teachers, and many others, the conference and festival remains the most diverse place to share ideas, cultures and experiences. For more information and to register, visit iabdassociation.org/mpage/conference2023.

The event, for everyone of all ages, is a pioneering four-day dance experience where attendees will engage in a multitude of invaluable opportunities expanding their understanding of dance history and technique through Conference and Festival programming that includes an awards celebration, meals and social events, a membership town hall, performances and sessions. Now - 33 years later - the conference and festival draws hundreds of people, and boasts an economic impact on the communities that it serves. All are invited to the conference and festival.

"After a two-year hiatus, we are thrilled to be back!" said Denise Saunders Thompson, President and CEO of The International Association of Blacks in Dance. "The opportunity to gather again in person to share, learn and grow is invaluable, and we are pleased to also offer the opportunity for virtual attendance this year."

"It's been a minute, but what a Blessing it is to come together in person, feel the vibes, be real in our networking, and most of all, dance our way towards a better tomorrow," said Vivine Scarlett, Founder and Executive Director of dance Immersion. "We are thankful and appreciative of the contributions that have been made by those who have paved the path for us to follow and are proud to be honoring four of these extraordinary way-makers at this year's event."

This gathering of the national and international dance community is the perfect opportunity to learn from and share experiences with dance artists from around the world. The Conference and Festival engages each registrant to promote a vibrant future for dance. The curated programming is designed to make participants move, talk, and learn.

The event's programming includes:

Awards Luncheon

January 27 | Sheraton Hotel Centre

Five distinguished individuals - Germaine Acogny, John Alleyne, Rosemary James, Don Jordan, and Ola Skanks - will be acknowledged and honored for their service at an Awards Luncheon. They have each made outstanding achievements in the art of dance and are highly respected for their professional accomplishments, which have advanced the art of dance, enhanced the rich cultural landscape and legacy of the art form, and inspired audiences and artists.

on the 1 | a dance class series

January 26-28, 2023 | Canada's National Ballet School


Join world-renowned dance faculty and celebrated instructors for classes across over a dozen different genres for levels ranging from beginner to advanced. This weekend of technical training and innovative methodologies creates an environment of exploration and meaningful inter-generational exchange. And this perfect dance experience continues the IABD tradition of maintaining aesthetic integrity of all forms, genres, methods and styles that have influenced, transformed, and advanced the art of dance and its history. Dedicated to the global dance community, on the 1 is the ultimate destination for dancers around the globe!

IABD Auditions

January 27-29, 2023


Audition for many of the top U.S. dance companies, professional development opportunities, and summer intensive programs all in one place. The audition curriculum includes ballet and contemporary dance techniques and forms, conducted by world-class faculty. This year's participating organizations include American Dance Festival, Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta Dance Connection, Bates Dance Festival, Dance Iquail, GroundWorks Dance Theater, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Madison Ballet, Ngoma Center for Dance/Dissonance Dance Theatre, Ohio University School of Dance, Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet Society and The Radio City Rockettes/MSG Entertainment LLC.


The dance companies slated to take the stage encompass the entire spectrum of dynamism that the modern dance community has to offer. From the internationally esteemed special guest, Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Dance Theatre of Harlem and The IABD Founding Companies - Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Lula Washington Dance Theatre and Philadanco!- to the next generation of dance legends, who will soon graduate from featured schools, including Austin Peay State University, F.I.R.E. Expressions Performing Arts Conservatory, University of Nevada Las Vegas, The Viva School, Collage Youth Ensemble, Dance E.L.I.T.E. Performance Academy, and Stivers School for the Arts. With every breathtaking performance, dancers and audiences alike will celebrate the artistic brilliance and many aesthetics of Black dance companies.

The 33rd Annual International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance is funded in part by: Canada Council for the Arts; The Department of Canadian Heritage; Ford Foundation; Howard Gilman Foundation; Mertz Gilmore Foundation; the Harkness Foundation for Dance; Mellon Foundation; Ontario Arts Council; Toronto Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Foundation Resiliency Fund. The Conference and Festival is sponsored in part by: Canada's National Ballet School; Canadian Dance Assembly; Dancer Transition Resource Centre; La danse sur les routes du Québec; Madison Square Garden Entertainment- The Radio City Rockettes; Ontario Presents; Performing Arts Readiness; Rhizome Arts Consulting; Turn Out Radio, and TO Live.

Wednesday, January 25 | Virtual International Companies

7:30pm-9:30pm on IABD Conference and Festival App

Ofelia Onoyele Balogun

Julienne Doko

Nekeisha Garrick/Chancz Perry

Safiya Kinasha

L'Acadco, a Caribbean Dance Force

Tabanka Dance Ensemble


Thursday, January 26 | Canadian Companies

7:30pm-9:30pm at The Jane Mallett Theatre

Artists in Motion by Shameka Blake

Ballet Creole by Arsenio Andrade

Crazy Smooth

Edify + ACE Dance & Music

Travis Knights

Lua Shayenne Dance Company

Michèle Moss & Esie Mensah

Pulga Muchochoma

Friday, January 27 | Virtual Member Companies

7:30pm-9:30pm on IABD Conference and Festival App

Allegro Performing Ensemble

Austin Peay State University

Blake Arts

F.I.R.E. Expressions Performing Arts Conservatory

Jo-Mé Dance Theatre

Robert Moses' KIN

Threads Dance Project

Saturday, January 28 | Member Companies

2pm-4pm at The Jane Mallet Theatre

Ballethnic Dance Company

Collage Dance Collective

Matthew Crittenden

DBDT: Encore!

Dimensions Dance Theater

MADD Rhythms

Sole Defined

University of Nevada Las Vegas

The Viva School

Saturday, January 28 | Founders and Invited Guests

7:30pm-9:30pm at The Jane Mallet Theatre

Special Guest: Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance

Dallas Black Dance Theatre

Dance Theatre of Harlem

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company

Emerge 125

Lula Washington Dance Theatre

Philadanco!, The Philadelphia Dance Company

Sunday, January 29 | Gospel and Scholarship Performance

9pm-10am at The Sheraton Centre Hotel

Collage Youth Ensemble

Dance E.L.I.T.E. Performance Academy

Stivers School for the Arts

About dance Immersion

dance Immersion is a charitable non-profit organization established by Vivine Scarlett in 1994 to produce, promote, and support dancers and dances of the African Diaspora. The African Diaspora refers to communities around the world that are descended from the historic, primarily forced, movement of peoples from the continent of Africa. We offer presentation, skill development, and networking opportunities for Blacks in dance, serving artists who practice contemporary and traditional movement forms from Africa, the Caribbean, North America, South America, and Europe. With over 27 years in service, dance Immersion experiences considerable success in connecting dance artists across Canada and around the world.

About The International Association of Blacks in Dance

For 30 years, The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) has preserved and promoted dance by people of African ancestry or origin and has assisted and increased opportunities for artists in advocacy, audience development, education, funding, networking, performance, philosophical dialogue, and touring. IABD serves a diverse, national and international membership of agents and managers, dance companies and studios, educators and educational institutions, individual artists, researchers, and supporters of the Dance field. iabdassociation.org


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