Oct. 24: Dallas Black Dance Theatre Celebrates African American Dance Masters

Dallas Black Dance Theatre (DBDT) celebrates African American dance masters in Tribute, an inspiring work for the ages. Matthew Rushing Associate Artistic Director for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater choreographed the work. Sponsored by the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture, the Legacy Series + Dancemaker’s Discussion is scheduled for Saturday, October 24, 2020, at 7:00 pm CDT. Tribute was originally developed/produced/premiered at Dallas Black Dance Theatre in November 2016 with support from the TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund.

DBDT dancers take you back in time through 100 years of African American dance masters like Talley Beatty, Pearl Primus, Donald McKayle, Katherine Dunham, and Alvin Ailey in Tribute. Set to an original music score, the work is a collective testimonial that pays homage to the decades of generosity and inspiration by these extraordinary dance legends and mentors. In developing the work, choreographer Matthew Rushing and DBDT dancers collaborated in conversation to develop their shared point of view through the historical reflection of nostalgic dance themes, text and connection.

Mr. Rushing joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1992, became rehearsal director in 2010, and was promoted to the associate artistic director in January 2020.

He has performed for Presidents George H. W. BushBill ClintonGeorge W. Bush, and Barack Obama.


Saturday, October 24, 2020 Virtual Performance starts at 7:00 pm CDT/ 8:00 pm EDT. Tickets are $20 per household.

To RSVP for a Zoom link and more details visit DBDT.com.

2020-2021 | DBDT Season Sponsors

Legacy Sponsor: Simmons Sisters Fund at Texas Women’s Foundation.

Season Sponsors:  Office of Arts and Culture – City of Dallas, Texas Instruments, NBC 5, The Downtown Business News, Texas Metro News, The Dallas Morning News, NorthPark Center, TACAAmerican Airlines, The Shubert Foundation Inc., DART, and The Dallas Weekly.

2020 – 2021 | DBDT Season Supporters

Texas Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Lexus, Elite News, FYI-50+, The Dallas Examiner, The Dallas Post Tribune, OverseeMyIT, Trendy Africa, and Arts+Culture.

2020-2021 | DBDT COVID Resilience Sponsors

Anonymous, LKS Foundation, Mid-America Arts Alliance United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund, Office of Arts and Culture – City of Dallas Coronavirus Relief Fund, National Endowment for the Arts CARES Act, Dallas Black Dance Theatre Board of Directors, Henry C. Beck, Jr. Donor Advised Fund at Texas Women’s Foundation, Kate Wilson Davis Fund at Texas Women’s Foundation, The Eugene McDermott Foundation, PNC, Wells Fargo, Anonymous, Communities Foundation of Texas/North Texas Giving Day, Chase, Deedie Rose, TACA Emergency Arts Relief Fund, Sally Pian & Ira Silverman, Lucy and Henry Billingsley Fund at Texas Women’s Foundation, Ford Reynolds Fund of the Southwest Community Foundation, Keron Wright. 

ABOUT DALLAS BLACK DANCE THEATRE: Dallas Black Dance Theatre (DBDT) is an internationally recognized professional dance company that engages the cross-cultural community through contemporary modern dance presented from the African-American experience. The National Endowment for the Arts designated the 44-year-old company as an American Masterpiece Touring Artist in 2008. The company also received the Texas Medal of Arts Award for Arts Education in 2017. As Dallas’ oldest and largest professional dance company, DBDT ranks as the 10th largest minority arts organization in America and the fourth largest black dance company in the nation. 

Ann Williams founded Dallas Black Dance Theatre in 1976. Melissa M. Young took over the helm as Artistic Director in 2018 after starting with the company as a dancer in 1994. Zenetta S. Drew has led the administrative side of the company since 1987 as Executive Director.

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. The virtuosic dancers of Dallas Black Dance Theatre have mesmerized 4.3 million arts patrons across 16 countries, including two Olympic Cultural events.

Five performing companies comprise Dallas Black Dance Theatre and its training Academy. DBDT consists of 13 full-time salaried dancers performing a mixed repertory of modern, jazz, African, and spiritual works by national and international choreographers. DBDT: Encore! features eight artists of rising excellence from across the nation who support DBDT’s growing local and regional educational outreach. 2.7 million students, grades K-12, have experienced the dance company’s performances and educational outreach programs. 

Dallas Black Dance Academy, the official school of Dallas Black Dance Theatre, celebrates 47 years of delivering dance instruction to a community of diverse backgrounds. The academy was the first in the nation to train a student who received the Presidential Scholar Award in Dance in 1980. More than 500 students participate weekly in 50 dance classes, which include ballet, jazz, tap, modern, and African. Classes are held at DBDT’s studios and are open to students ages four to adult. The academy has three performing ensembles: Allegro Performing Ensemble, DBDT’s premier academy ensemble, Senior Performing Ensemble, and Junior Performing Ensemble.

Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s primary home in the historic Moorland YMCA building in the Dallas Arts District includes dance studios, training facilities, and administrative offices. Dallas Black Dance Theatre is a resident company of the AT&T Performing Arts Center and its performance home is the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre.

For more details, visit  www.DBDT.com and www.dbdt.com/academy.  

(Since 2001 SocialWhirl has dedicated untold hours publishing stories, personal accounts, press releases and more spotlighting the Charity Lifestyles© of those involved in nonprofits and small businesses in the greater Dallas area with national and international news sprinkled in.  Over 4,200 unique viewers read this website each month, visiting over 16,400 times. Your support is the foundation of our success. Contact adamscomm1@aol.com to see how you can participate through a Featured Post, ad or sponsorship, where you can share your story about your favorite nonprofit or business. Remember to share this story on your social media! Thank you!)


Principal of Philanthropy Lifestyles (formerly SocialWhirl.com), the award-winning eBuzzNewsletter and Adams Communications Public Relations, a boutique PR firm specializing in media and community relations for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Sharon is also a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Dallas Business Journal, Katy Trail Weekly, People Newspapers (Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People/North Dallas People), Preston Hollow Life magazine, The Park Cities News, White Rock Lake Weekly, numerous blogs and websites and more.