Take A Leap: Celebrating Black History Through Dance

dancers posing on stage in front of a pink background.


In 2023, the Gordon Center, in partnership with the Baltimore Black Dance Collective, hosted a celebration of Black Dance in America throughout the month of February as part of Black History Month.

On February 7-8, over 1000 Middle and High School students at Baltimore County Public Schools experienced the Sole Defined dance company on the Gordon stage, followed by a public performance on the evening of Wednesday, February 8. Based in Washington D.C., Sole Defined is the area’s leading arts organization specializing in percussive dance — using the body as an instrument to create musical expression. Advancing styles such as Tap, Stepping, Body Percussion, Sand Dance and Gumboot, this BIPOC led company infuses powerful skills to delight and inspire audiences.

On Thursday, February 16, the Gordon Center hosted CELEBRATION: Uplifting and Honoring the Culture and History of Black Dance, featuring original dance performances by local artists, companies, and dance studios, in a celebration of the history, diversity, and beauty that resides within African American Culture through the voices of community artists from around Baltimore County. The showcase highlighted select dance works from the wonderfully diverse and eclectic range of our local dance community. Companies include: Full Circle Dance Company, Keur Khaleyi African Dance & Cultural Institute, Inc., Stephanie Powell Danse Ensemble, and Dance Baltimore.

On Tuesday, February 28, the Gordon welcomed the innovative touring company Hiplet Ballerinas to the stage for a public performance. Fusing classical ballet pointe technique with African, Latin, Hip-Hop and urban dance styles that are rooted in communities of color, Hiplet performances showcase their trademark sass, hip movements, and struts against popular music from Black Violin to Beyoncé.