Artists of Daring Dances for Surviving and Thriving



Daring Dances for Surviving and Thriving

We can keep dancing. Dancing at home, with family and friends, has always been a tool of survival for many communities, especially communities of color. There are MANY ways we can dance at home.

To help us all move through this moment together, each month Daring Dances is commissioning short online dance tutorials from Midwestern dance artists.

March: Leila Awadallah  |  April: bree gant  |  May: Anna Martine Whitehead  |

In Memoriam Edition: Clare Croft for Chrystelle Trump Bond (1938 - 2020  |

June: Mario Quinn  |  July: T. Ayo Alston  |  August: Miryam Johnson  |

September: Al Evangelista & Family

September 2020 Edition: Al Evangelista & Family (Cleveland, OH)

Al Evangelista ia performer, choreographer, and educator. He is the choreographer of hallow hollow, The Loneliness Project, Saeculum, red, and Displacement. Al's artistic practices on queer performance, diaspora, and community-engaged topics have been performed at Moss Arts Center, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, American Theatre Company, and Links Hall. He also works in theatre, documentary-based work, and improvisatory collaboration. He has performed at Steppenwolf, Adventure stage Chicago, Haven Theatre Company, Chicago Opera Theatre, Moss Arts Center, as well as, danced in works for Dance Exchange, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, The Inconvenience, Links Hall, among others. Enormous thanks to Clare Croft and the Daring Dances team that helped produce this project.


The Evangelista family is amazing and likes to Electric Slide as much as possible.

Electric Slide with Al & the fam!

Music Credit Infiltrators by Nathaniel Wyvern


August 2020 Edition: Miryam Johnson (Detroit, MI)

Miryam Johnson is a Detroit based Dance Artist, Educator and Organizer. With degrees from Eastern Michigan University in Dance and African American Studies, Johnson’s work explores the intersection between improvised Black movement vernacular and creating a communal connection. She’s received multi-genre dance training through The Dance Institute, while attending performing arts public schools, from Alvin's Ailey's "The Ailey Extension," and Urban Bush Women's "Summer Leadership Program." Since, she's performed as a guest artist with The Sphinx Organization, DDCdances, People Dancing, and Kristi Faulkner Dance, as well as had the honor of showing her work at The Charles H. Wright Museum, Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, The Masonic Temple, and Sidewalk Festival. She currently serves as a teaching artist with Living Arts, the Student Fellowship coordinator with Daring Dances and as a Co-Founder of Collective Sweat Detroit. A committed educator, artist and community member, Miryam believes in using her body and her art as protest.


July 2020 Edition: T. Ayo Alston (Chicago, IL)

T. Ayo Alston teaches and practices a signature theatrical style of West African drum and dance culture that captures the strength and power of women and community. Ayo is the founder, executive director, composer, and choreographer of Ayodele Drum and Dance, a performance training organization created for women to affirm their self-confidence and strength. Through Ayodele, she has performed, educated, fostered interpersonal healing, and created artistic work from a foundation of traditional African cultures fused with contemporary dance styles. 

As Ayo passes on her artistic experience and excellence to others, she honors, respects, and expresses tremendous gratitude for her own teachers, including Youssouf Koumbassa, Mouminatou Camara, Baba Chuck Davis, Jawolle Willa Zollar, Rosangela Sylvestre, her mother Sarah, her sisters, women around the world, and LIFE!​

Learn more about Ayo here


Learn more about Ayo's 2020-22 Artist-in-Residence with Daring Dances here


June 2020 Edition: Mario Quinn (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mario Quinn is the Co-Founder / Executive Director of Level Up Studios, a creative arts studio in Pittsburgh that focuses on enriching the educational and artistic experiences of African American youths. Level Up Studios uses a range of creative disciplines, including Hip Hop Dance & Martial Arts, Creative Writing, Studio Production, and Visual Arts, to bring another dimension to learning for children and teens growing up in disadvantaged circumstances and difficult environments.


Focusing mainly on hip-hop and contemporary movement, Mario offers his clients step by step training on the latest styles within the genre. His goal is to not only help in advancing his students' talent but also encouraging confidence within their attitude and outlook on life. Currently Mario has a unique popping and animation technique, stylistically combining body control, isolations, tutting and boogaloo.

Learn more about Mario at

Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @themindofquinn

Learn more about Level Up Studios at

Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @leveluppgh

Support Level Up Studios here


In Memoriam Edition: In loving memory of Chrystelle Trump Bond (1938-2020), Clare Croft (Ann Arbor, MI)

Clare Croft is the founder and curator of Daring Dances, as well as Associate Professor Dance & American Culture at the University of Michigan. She is one of many dance historians across the US mentored by Professor Chrystelle Trump Bond, an intrepid dance historian, a committed advocate for dance in academia, and the founder of the Dance Department at Goucher College.


A Polka for Mrs. Bond


May 2020 Edition: Anna Martine Whitehead (Chicago, IL)


Anna Martine Whitehead does performance. Her work considering a Black queer relationship to time and space has been presented throughout the United States and in a range of publications. She has developed her craft by working closely with artists, musicians, choreographers, writers, architects, geographers, and community members. She is based in Chicago, IL.

Dancing Through Darkness

Dushaan Gillum, choreographer

Sarah Dahnke, Director of Dances for Solidarity

Learn more about Dances for Solidarity at


April 2020 Edition: bree gant (Detroit, MI)

bree gant is an artist. She was born and raised in Detroit, and graduated from Howard University with a BA in Film. bree documents all types of movement work, from dance to transit, with organizations like Allied Media Projects, GirlTrek, Institute for Dunham Technique Certification, The Work Department, and Reimagining Civic Commons. She directed the 2018 short film Riding With Aunt D. Dot, which screened across the country at BlackStar Film Festival, Princeton University, Facing Race Conference, and more. She is a member of The Gathering, an intergenerational collective of Black womenfolk dance artists. bree is currently staying at home, googling quickbooks tutorials, and developing a short dance film. 

Click here for bree's short dance film offering of breathing and movement exercises for staying in bed.

March 2020 Edition: Leila Awadallah (Minneapolis, MN)


Leila Awadallah's movement research is rooted in the study of embodied Arabic calligraphy; where repetitive writing with the body becomes a practice towards carving out and engraving connections among home, language, and ancestral lineage.


Click here for Leila's Arabic-Rooted Contemporary Dance Online Lesson

University of Michigan Dept. of Dance

3501 Dance Building, 1310 N University Court, Ann Arbor, MI 48104