Associate Professor of Dance, Jordan College of the Arts
Years at Butler: 7
What does Black History Month mean to you?
To me, Black History Month means that we still have a long way to go. When we, as a country, are at a place where Black History is no longer whitewashed and is taught as a part of American History every month, there will no longer be a need to relegate the shortest month of the year to celebrate all of the wonderful contributions and achievements made by African-Americans in making America what it is today.
How would you describe what you do at Butler?
As a Professor of Dance, I teach every level of Ballet Technique, Musical Theater Dance, and Professional Practices. I also teach Partnering (Pas De Deux) and a Social Justice and Diversity (SJD) course I developed. I also contribute to the choreography of our department’s major productions.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is seeing how our students benefit from my work. I work with them to measure their progress. This journey starts when they arrive on campus and continues until they graduate and are hired by the dance company of their dreams.
Share one thing that you are most proud of that you have accomplished here.
I’m most proud of my work with our students in the SJD course. I am allowing our students the opportunity to become critical thinkers. I encourage them to use their voices and become the change they’d like to see. In the course, they see what they’ve been indoctrinated not to see and become more empathetic in the process.
What can people do to celebrate Black History Month?
We can celebrate Black History Month by creating or participating in local events that celebrate Black heritage, traditions, and achievements, supporting Black-owned businesses, and teaching or learning the un-whitewashed history of America. We can also support Black authors such as Michael Harriot, who offers us an opportunity to learn the true American History in his book Black AF History: The Un-Whitewashed Story of America.