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2700 Ann Williams Way
Dallas, TX 75201
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With vivid performances and inclusive classes, Dallas Black Dance Theatre positively impacts lives and bridges cultures through the transformative power of dance. Since its founding in 1976 by Ann Williams as a small community-based dance troupe, it has grown to become Dallas' oldest and largest professional dance company and the tenth largest arts organization of color in the nation. It has toured numerous Texas cities, 31 U.S. states, and 15 countries on five continents, including performances for Queen Elizabeth II and President Nelson Mandela. DBDT was named "Best Dance Company" by D Magazine in 2018.

The company's repertoire is broad from masterworks by Alvin Ailey and Twyla Tharp to an aerial ballet and silent disco experience. Dance styles include contemporary modern, ballet, jazz, and African. The organization consists of five performing ensembles-the main professional company, the second professional company DBDT: Encore!, and three elite student performing ensembles from the Academy.

The official training school of DBDT, Dallas Black Dance Academy offers more than 50 classes weekly from beginner to pre-professional levels for children and adults. Taught by dancers of both professional companies, classes are available in ballet and modern, among others. Academy alumni continue dance training at The Juilliard School and national universities. In 2017, Dallas Black Dance Theatre received the Texas Medal of Arts Award in arts education.

DBDT has partnered with arts organizations throughout Dallas, including Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Dallas Opera, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Theater Center, Nasher Sculpture Center, TITAS, Bruce Wood Dance, and Dark Circles Contemporary Dance.
Dallas Black Dance Theatre and its Academy make it possible for dancers, like my daughter McKinley, to achieve their dreams of becoming professional dancers. The company first introduced McKinley to the beauty of dance when she began taking Academy classes at only 7 years old. Through the encouragement of the dance instructors, McKinley developed more than just technical skills and creative expression; she developed a deep love for dance.

At 10 years old, she joined DBDT's Academy Performing Ensemble and received her first glimpse at performing in a real company. During her five years as an ensemble member, she grew not only as a dancer but as a confident and self-disciplined young woman. She benefited from opportunities she would not otherwise have gained, including the chance to perform in Africa her sophomore year.

It was her early training in the Academy that allowed her to successfully audition and be accepted to Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. As her love for dance grew, she decided she wanted to pursue it as a career. Once the decision was made, McKinley used the training she received to secure scholarships and opportunities to help her reach her dream.

In 2010, McKinley received the Texas Commission on the Arts Young Masters scholarship for dance before making her debut with the Bruce Wood Dance Project and beginning her career as a dancer. Today, McKinley is now in her fourth season with Dallas Black Dance Theatre's main company, performing across the globe for audiences of all ages.

I am grateful my daughter had the opportunity to see the professional dancers at DBDT as inspiring role models. As I watch the young girls at DBDT performances, I am proud to know my daughter is now inspiring the next generation to realize their dreams.

-LaTricia Willis