Moving Reflections

Thoughts from Diversity Then/Now : Who’s in the room? What did they have to say?

Many thanks to all who, despite the pouring rain, witnessed & participated in our opening conversation this past Sunday, March 10th – Diversity: Then/Now.  Soon our noted Moving Reflections contributor for this past event, Zachary Whittenburg, will offer a response & recap to his experience being inside the “room” of this moving dialog.  For those who haven’t  yet read his initial post to this kick-off event click here.

In light of the stimulating and expansive potentials of the conversation, we would like to support a virtual “dialog” right here. From this past Sunday’s event, here are some  brief reflections of who was in the room & what they had to say:

Who was in the room

  • Dance Administrator
  • Board Member of Dance Company
  • Lover [of dance]
  • Teacher/Mentor
  • Arts Manager
  • Lighting Designer
  • I know very little, would like to know more
  • Visual Artist
  • Arts Educator
  • Community Arts Advocate
  • Arts Administrator
  • Dance Educator
  • Recreational Dancer
  • Observer
  • Teacher
  • Mentor

What they had to say [about the actual event & conversation]–

  • GREAT First selection of song to introduce the night! Really appreciated the feedback/thoughts/consideration & heartfelt words! NEEDS to be longer! Maybe broken down into segments?  IT IS WORTH IT! (If we put it to good use!)
  • There are more things to discuss. Historical contexts of dance. Making history a viable accessible part of living & growing
  • This conversation is continuous and always will be.
  • Insightful-provocative.
  • Wonderful & thoughtful curation & moderation. Excellent starts of conversation and would like to stay or get to a deeper level of recognizing differences in non-concert dance and its participants.
  • Defining the term diversity up front/earlier would have helped. The goal of the conversation was not clear. The conversation on race seemed confused, which was due to the differing understandings of the term diversity. Fewer panelists may have worked better for developing the conversation better or perhaps no panelists and a complete open discussion.
  • This dialogue inspired thought in how I open the conversation about diversity in dance as I teach my classes. We have some conversation in class, but it makes me wonder in what ways I can be more direct about not only history, but current experience. Question I have come away with is: How do I frame this conversation with the CPS students I work with?
  • Conversation needs to be more direct & concise.
  • Very Good starting place- foundational. Would like to see this be the first of many more to come. Anxious to learn more about the relationship between diversity, oppression, and movement, as well as culture especially as it pertains to this culturally diffused 21st century, technologically based, futuristic world.
  • It’s time to start asking white folks their perspectives on diversity.  We need to stop deflecting responsibility for solutions onto non – white community members and begin to act; move into new, shared power paradigms.
  • Terrific!  The “technology of the circle” really did work.
  • It was a great start, great group of folks.
  • We need to acknowledge diversity honestly. Allow all diversity to flourish. Not cover diversity as to a kind of melt down into a space where it becomes an effort towards a descendant or dilution of their art form.  
  • I wish that more time would have been allotted to fully and critically dialogue on important topics.
  • I feel the time could have been used wisely. Even though the conversation did stimulate my thinking towards diversity and what it means for myself as a teacher, performer, and choreographer.
  • Maîtreo!
  • Yes, cross pollination of dance in the urban communities – south, west, north burbs.
  • Compelling, wide paramters, informative, impassioned.
  • Great – thought provoking – looking forward to the next conversation.
  • Important conversation that need to continue in person and in space in between.
  • More time focus on one part of “Diversity”.
  • I appreciated being in the space while being made to feel apart of the conversation/someone with something to share. 
  • At the beginning; a large part of the conversation seemed to focus on race (black/white), but finally started to go deeper – Great!
  • Thank you for gathering us in around – in a circle – to address this important dialogue EXCHANGE. I would love to continue the dialogue and appreciate the engagement to do “my part” to initiate and continue this dialogue and work daily.  It is a challenging and necessary practice – acknowledging realities and working collectively/ collaboratively to move the work forward. Thank you for your honesty, openness, and participation – to all co participants, supporters, and organizers.
  • This was a very beneficial conversation. It was a great start to what needs to be a continuing dialogue.
  • This is just a start. I’m interested in sharing this conversation with those in power. The decision makers, the game changers.
  • Very interesting and important conversation to have, it cannot be contained in just 90 minutes. It sparked many light bulbs in my head. There are so many directions that this subject can go in and I’m interested in knowing how it goes forward.
  • So many threads that need following! [Noted] comments about power structures touched off connections…the “company model” and how it reflects utterly privileged forms.  This model is under fire economically – perhaps is a European import. It’s NOT indigenous American support system for dance…? Also, that the structures of support – companies – are in some ways limiting even those forms that are privileged?  Also – “internal diversity” – such an evocative concept that resonated with me personally – we are all more than our appearance or dance form.
  • Very thought provoking! Let’s do it again!
  • I loved the circle setting. Great speakers, felt like a lot of prestige. Possibly little too much NY in the room. Felt still somewhat pretentious from some folks seated near me (pretentious meaning inaccessible for non dancers or non professionals). Enjoyed street dancers participation.
  • More time. Once every few months.
  • I felt lost as if there was a previous dialogue that took place that continued of thoughts’ talk. Possibly due to my own confusion, I thought tonight’s event was dialogue with the Director of Alvin Ailey and hearing his voice – in relation to his own experiences.
  • The actual program was quite different from the content advertised on the promotional materials. I did not know that the content was specific to dancers and dance professionals. Had I known this I would not have attended this particular event.
  • Wonderful. Timing problematic in terms of Sunday evening.

Question for virtual reflections: How might we move this conversation forward?


4 thoughts on “Thoughts from Diversity Then/Now : Who’s in the room? What did they have to say?

    • Pazit, you rock! These pictures are coreevd with awesomesauce!You always bring out the best in Max.Parents! If you’re fortunate enough to have your child photographed by this woman, follow her lead and trust her judgement! She’s photographed our son annually for five years, always with amazing results.

    • I’m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you\’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I came across this in my hunt for something relating to this.

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