Silver Spring dance studio offers virtual dance classes, performances for Black History Month

A Maryland dance studio is using movement and the arts to educate and celebrate during Black History Month.

Ever wanted to try ballet, African or jazz dance?

Maryland Youth Ballet in Silver Spring is offering free and low-cost virtual dance classes with a focus on history and education for Black History Month.

This is its second annual event and the virtual options have expanded this year.

And no worries if you’re not a dancer: There are classes for beginners as well as experienced artists.

“Maryland Youth Ballet has released a complete and robust schedule for Black History Month and is offering virtual classes, live roundtable discussions on Zoom, virtual concerts, and more for a full month, including many low-cost class offerings,” said Pascha Barnwell, Maryland Youth Ballet’s Black History Month 2021 coordinator.

Ballet, West African dance and an introduction to choreography are among among the classes being offered this week.

There’s also on-demand viewing of the documentary Black Ballerina that is available online for the rest of February at no cost.

Two short videos featuring current and past Maryland Youth Ballet students discussing their experiences as dancers of color are available to stream throughout the month too.

Maryland Youth Ballet has a “Blacks in Dance Directory” that serves as a compilation of biographies and video footage of dancers, choreographers and dance companies of color.

It said the resource will continue to be updated and become a permanent part of the studio’s outreach efforts.

The Black History Month celebration ends with a free virtual concert Friday through Sunday that features dancers and schools from across the U.S.

Area schools and dance companies participating include the Princess Mhoon Dance Institute in D.C., Ballet Nouveau School and Morton Street Dance in Baltimore, Daughters of the Baobab in Upper Marlboro, and the University of Maryland College Park.

National companies include the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program and dawsondancesf in San Francisco and the Putty Dance Project in Philadelphia.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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