This year, the theme of Black History Month at the White House is “Honoring the Past While Celebrating the Present; 7 Years of Living African American History.” As part of this celebration, First Lady Michelle Obama will highlight the contributions African American women have made to dance by hosting a day-long dance workshop for local students.
Today, the First Lady welcomed 51 local Washington, D.C. students to the White House where they took dance lessons from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Judith Jamison, Debbie Allen, the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Virginia Johnson, and Hip-Hop choreographer Fatima Robinson. Debbie Allen even posted pictures and videos of the dance lessons on her instagram account @therealdebbieallen. There is also a searchable hashtag to accompany the event #danceatthewhitehouse.
The event began with a panel discussion that included the First Lady, Judith Jamison, Debbie Allen, Virginia Johnson, and Fatima Robinson.The panelists took questions from the students in the audience on a variety of topics including self-confidence, health, hard work, and overcoming adversity. Later In the evening, the First Lady delivered remarks and introduced a student presentation. As a culmination of the workshops, these young dancers will tell the story of African American history and culture through dance.
Debbie Allen posted the below photo of herself this afternoon on her facebook page. In the middle is Debbie, Fatima is on the left, and Virginia Johnson on the right. You can check out more photos on Facebook when you search #danceatthewhitehouse.