Long Beach Black Dance Festival returns for weeklong stay

A dance festival exploring the value of Black dance styles and their origins will return to Long Beach next week.

The third annual Long Beach Black Dance Festival will take place from Sunday, Aug. 7, to Aug. 14 in venues across the city. The Long Beach Playhouse will be the festival’s headquarters, with the Port of Long Beach the primary sponsor.

The festival’s organizer is the CRayProject, which began in 2015 and is, according to its website, “a black empowerment movement that allows artists to have a platform to be themselves.”

“The festival is a continuum of celebrating Black culture, amplifying dancers of color and occupying spaces for our voices to be seen, felt and heard,” LaRonica “Ronnie” Southerland, CRayProject’s assistant creative director and development manager, said in a press release.

Locations for events are provided only after tickets are purchased at lbbdf2022.my.canva.site.

The week will begin with a networking potluck for Black artistis on Sunday, Aug. 7. From Aug. 8 to 13, there will be meditation, community dance classes, workshops and performances.

Live performances will kick off activities at 1 p.m. on Aug. 12. The PINS Boutique Show & Speakeasy, a fundraiser for those 21 and older, will begin at 8 p.m.

There will be another live performance on Aug. 13, followed by a community skate party. The festival closes with a community dance concert at 3 p.m. Aug. 14.

“The CRayProject has invited local teachers and choreographers to showcase their work and teach some of the community classes,” Southerland wrote. “Participants will be able to take classes from West African, Jazz, Hip hop and many more.”

For more information, go to crayproject.org.

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