About

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History

Founded in 1976 by Ann Williams, the mission of Dallas Black Dance Theatre is to create and produce contemporary modern dance at its highest level of artistic excellence through performances and educational programs that bridge cultures and reach diverse communities. With an ever-expanding national and global audience, the company employs a diverse, multi-ethnic troupe of dancers performing for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Dallas Black Dance Theatre celebrates its 37th Season of performances. As the oldest continuously operating professional dance company in Dallas with 5 (five) performing companies, the professional ensemble, a contemporary modern dance troupe, consists of 12 professional, full-time, salaried dancers performing a mixed repertory of modern, jazz, African and spiritual works by nationally and internationally known choreographers.

Dallas Black Dance Theatre has performed in 30 states, 14 countries and 5 continents; the Company has toured Peru, South Africa, Austria, Uganda, Japan, Great Britain, Italy, Canada and many other countries elevating its international reputation. DBDT has been designated as an "American Masterpiece Touring Artist" by the National Endowment for the Arts."

During its history, DBDT has brought national and international acclaim to the City, State and Nation through the artistry for its performances to over 3 million arts lovers that span the globe; and has impacted more than 2 million students through dance training and educational outreach programs in Dallas and around the world.

Executive Director, Zenetta Drew, collaborates with a 50 member Board of Directors, whose primary responsibilities are fundraising and fiduciary oversight. A professional administrative/artistic staff of twelve is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company. Drew is responsible for the management of the organization's $2.3 million budget.

The 40 year old Dallas Black Dance Academy is the official school and training academy of Dallas Black Dance Theatre and offers classes (3 levels each) in ballet, jazz, tap and Liturgical disciplines for ages 4 and up. DBDT's academy offers classes four evenings per week and Saturdays during the school year and summer. Some of our top students from the Academy are members of the three performing ensembles: the Junior Performing Ensemble, Bloom and Allegro. These ensembles travel throughout the city provide performances throughout the community. The Academy trains over 450 students per week in year-round classes.

Moving to the Dallas Arts District continues the legacy of Founder/Artistic Director, Ann Williams. In January 2008, the former Moorland YMCA became the first permanent home for DBDT's rehearsal studios, training classrooms, and administrative offices. In the 2009, Dallas Black Dance Theatre became one of the three resident companies to call the AT&T Performing Arts Center's Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre home.