Time to Dance with Movement & Melanin

Dancing is art. Dancing is community. Dancing is life – at least from what I’ve heard from others. I’ve identified as a wallflower for most of my life, taking sips of my Coke, while bopping my head to the beat. So when my friend invited me to spend the last few days of 2022 at Movement & Melanin produced by Black Soul Summer, I thought, “Why not take a chance?”

I walked down the streets of Philadelphia and instantly felt the magic appear before me. Ethereal beams of tri-colors greeted me at the door as I got my ticket. As I stepped inside, Afro-beats vibrated through the floorboards. In the middle of the dance floor… a circle of people. I shimmed over to get a better look and was swept up by bopping bodies, winding me into orbit. Reflecting colors of red and blue pooled onto their faces and I couldn’t help but melt into the ocean of people. DJ Reezey kept the vibes high as brown bodies glistened and shook on the dance floor.

The night unfolded with group lines, break dancing, and even a mini class on a Congolese traditional dance. I tried to keep up. And sometimes I didn’t, but the crowd was always there to help me, encouraging me and my moves.

Having a space for Black and brown folks to come together in community is the ethos of Black Soul Summer, centering on cultural community, mainly through dance – wich holds historical and cultural significance in our community to spread love, joy, and collaboration. After the past few years of social, political, and global heartache, people want to feel healing energy. So they dance and dance and dance – to remind themselves: this too shall pass. And dancing is the remedy.