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Virginia Black Dance Festival provides community building and networking opportunities for members of the Black, Indigenous, and Afro Latina dance community in Virginia. With workshops and performances that highlight the diversity of dance genres cultivated as part of Black Dance culture in the diaspora, it honors the traditions of multigenerational dance performance and practice. Virginia Black Dance Festival accomplishes this through workshops, panel discussions, professional workshops as well as juried, showcase performances.

 A full day of  dance  with classes, workshops,  panel discussion and performances with Black Dance professionals.

Classes and workshops 9am-4pm.

Performance 7pm

Early registration available until March 18:

$65 includes all classes, panel discussion, and performance

Performance only:  $20 for adults $10 for Students

a la carte classes and workshops $10 per class 

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Virginia Black Dance Festival Receives Funding!!

Virginia Black Dance Festival at Dogtown Dance Theatre Awarded Boost Investment Fund Opportunity from the Community Foundation 

Second Subject line: An Investment from the Community for the Community


Boost Investment is a donor driven grant opportunity to support small nonprofit organizations seeking funding to test new concepts or prepare their organization for future growth.  The Boost Investment grants will support nonprofit organizations and projects focused on:

• Social justice and/or helping low-wealth or marginalized communities

• Testing a new concept or building a new capability that, if successful, would allow the nonprofit to continue the concept/capability after the Boost Investment is exhausted

• Taking risks and testing new ideas to help meet the organization’s mission.


Dogtown Dance Theatre applied for funding for the Virginia Black Dance Festival (VBDF), a program spearheaded by Dogtown’s Program Director, LaWanda Raines. The increased awareness in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and too many others led to many organizations and individuals rethinking the  marginalization of Black people not only in the broader  history but in their fields. Black dancers have been creatively marginalized in the predominantly white institution of professional dance. There are twice as many Black Americans (11.7%) than Black dancers (6.7%) (datausa). Yet, dance is often considered iconic of the grace and beauty of Black culture.Dance transcends language and ethnic barriers, is the perfect vehicle for strengthening and bonding communities, positive engagement, learning to appreciate differences, and reaching people with diverse interests in resonating ways.


Raines came to Dogtown In 2021 with a proposal to empower these traditionally marginalized dancers – young and older – today, wrapped in a blanket of very important cultural discussions. VBDF was born from these discussions and the Boost Investment Fund will  support VBDF to drive equity for traditionally marginalized BIPOC dance artists via performances, educational seminars, community discussions, a resource website, panel discussions, and mentoring programs for three seasons.


William Sterling Walker-williamsburg Ballet

Agua Dulce Dance Theater 

Photo by Dave Parrish Photography

Register Here
Apply for mentorship Program

Ajna Tribal Belly Dance Troupe

Photo by Dave Parrish Photography

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