This was my first year attending Collegium for African Diaspora Dance (CADD). As soon as I arrived I was greeted by my colleague Janet Schroder. We ate lunch together then walked over to Duke University where the opening ceremony happens. I instantly felt the love and presence of Baba Chuck Davis in the opening ceremony. The panel gave us a personal and professional look at the life and mission of Baba Chuch Davis.
For three days we filled up the many rooms with panels, workshops, and papers that touched on the many connections of Afro-Diaspora. I attend a panel about Spelman College dance program transformation., an artist’s personal and creative practice, a night dance class, and intro to Soca Dance.
My mind, body, and spirit were acknowledged and FED!
Even though this was my first CADD conference, I submitted and was accepted to present my Afro-Pop class. This class I focused on dances represented in Afrobeats dance and music. I shared where you can continue to learn and take classes. Also, shared Instagram people to follow who are pushing the movement forward.
Also, I was asked to speak on a panel about higher education and the diaspora. This was filled with heavy hitters of the academy to the community near and far. We discussed tenure, to be academic or not, how to get your work published, and how to stay connected to one another. I shared my experience as a Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA) and received feedback on my teaching and professional career.
I was fortunate enough to volunteer to get my conference paid for. I was stagehand for the artist performance. I would sweep, get dancers ready, and prep the stage for the next act alone. Some say that was a performance in myself. Working with Andrea E. Woods Valdés (who is an OSU ALUM) on this show was a blast. It was also a pleasure to meet someone who shares a similar academy story and is willing and open to mentoring and comforting you.
Stay tuned for CADD 2020 held at Duke University