Dancer. choreographer. educator. Scholar. movement researcher
"Collaboration is the key to breakthrough innovation."
Admittedly, I am a lot of things. I was born and raised in Washington DC to an educator, my mom, Dr. Rosa Trapp-Dail, and a PR guru and Civil Right Activist, my dad, Ofield Dukes. I am an only child, but a wife and mother of three. While titles are always difficult for me, today, I am a proud Hip Hop feminist with a passion for dance arts and dance scholarship. I'm currently working on my Ph.D. in Dance and Performance Studies, and I hold a BFA and an MA in Dance Education. I love music and visual art, and am happiest curled up with a good book listening to my children play -- quietly, or in the studio creating with dancing bodies, music producers, and all-around creatives. My life's work, in all of its iterations, is to uplift and support Black people first. I seek to illuminate through my scholarship, creative works, and teaching, the beauty, power, and genius that emerges from Black diasporic people and our unique cultural expressions. Say it Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud, Ultra Black! Thanks for stopping by my website. I'm not totally a fan of self-promotion, but I'm trying. How did E.Badu say it?, "I'm an artist, and I'm sensitive about my shit!." Take a look around, and if you're so inclined, "Let's Connect." I look forward to hearing from you. Peace.
"Mamas Gun: The Choreography of Mothering While Black" began as a one-woman piece that explores the heart and physical labor of mothering from infancy to adulthood. It further complicates the exploration by inserting the lens of mothers of unjustly slain black and brown youth.
Through the work, I aim to illuminate through cathartic movement connectivity what black and brown mothers experience when a child is lost to racial violence. At its inception, "Mothering" began as one of a suite of 4 pieces currently in workshop with my dance company, Nyama Contemporary Dance Company. In workshop during our residence at the Kennedy Center in February 2022 as a recipient of the Office Hours at the REACH residency and fellowship the piece transformed into a full-length piece of hip-hop dance theater. Mothering meets at the intersection of concert dance, hip hop theater, and performance activism.
"There may be moments where this work is uncomfortable. We will meet those together, and I pray that we breathe them in with a quiet examination of why we are uncomfortable. Most importantly this work is meant to be a different kind of fun, a different kind of healing, and a chance to build a community around safe creative spaces, dialogue, empathy and truth.
This work is a prayer.
This work is dance and protest."
The choreography of mothering while Black
I am a Black woman. My mothering in many ways is colored by my cultural expressions and experiences, feelings, biases, oppressions, insecurities, and strengths - all held within the space I own in my Black female body. Mothering my children, my Black children, inspires this work.
the choreography of
mothering while black
Public Service Initiative
Mama's Gun, the creative work, offers audiences an opportunity to consider motherhood as a an action and active undertaking for social change. We value the impact of mothering on interpersonal community relations that can have broad and universal implications for positive and equitable social change. Our social impact initiatives focus on community support in 3 areas.
Mothering, a verb. Mothering for social change is the intentional action of mothering in a manner that promotes equity and anti-racist practices in homes and communities.
Mothering for Social Change
Action & Activism at Home
movement. music. mothering.change
"Raising children is a social responsibility,
one that requires robust community support.
Black Maternal Health
The United States has the worst maternal mortality rate among developed nations. Each year, approximately 17 mothers die for every 100,000 pregnancies in the country, with rates much more common among Black womxn than other racial groups. In Louisiana, maternal mortality for Black womxn is four times that of White women.
The Louisiana Department of Health is actively working to implement strategies to eliminate these inequities. The Department is focusing on policies, systems, and environmental initiatives throughout the agency to drive change for mothers and infants and the systems they encounter.
Key to these efforts is an approach that includes analyzing the data, aligning resources and efforts, building coordinated partnerships, and developing, testing, and spreading solutions to make an impact. Through the creative work of Mama's Gun..., and in support of the Reproductive initiatives set forth by the Power Coalition, Victorian seeks to further illuminate disparities of race that have a harmful impact on Black Maternal and Infant Health.
Maternal Mental Health (MMH)
Mindful Mental Health & Community Support
1 in 5 women will experience MMH conditions during pregnancy or 1st year following pregnancy.
75% of women who experience MMH symptoms go untreated. Cost of not treating MMH conditions annually is $32,000 per mother-infant pair– adding up to $14 billion annually.
The black and Latina population suffer from postpartum depression at double the rates of white mothers and are up to 57% less likely to receive treatment.
Mama's Gun has partnered with local organization Conscious Moms, Baton Rouge to create and financially support local engagements and initiatives that bring attention to the inequities concerning MMH. A portion of all sales from Mama's Gun are used to support these community efforts.
Mama's Gun facilitates "Sister Sharing" workshops for mothers in local communities that center mindfulness and somatic exercises alongside conversations on mothering and race relations that promote racial healing and intentional mothering for change.
creme de la rouge
In order to foster equity and inclusion,
we must create environments where that is possible.
Creme de la Rouge is an All-District Holiday Ballet I produce in my current role as Content and Instructional Specialist for East Baton Rouge Parish Schools. The ballet and program design are modeled after the American Ballet Theater's "Make A Ballet Program," their ballet "Whipped Cream," and Debbie Allen's "Hot Chocolate Nutcracker." In its inaugural year, we were successful with partnering with The American Ballet and international platform Brown Girls Do Ballet Inc., along with local vendors and businesses. Boasting a participation rate of 99% students of color, the ballet provides the experience free of charge to student dancers and parents. In year two the ballet served a total of 115 students across the district from 14 different schools, 7 of which are designated Title I schools.
event planning & production management
Since 2001, I have worked in production management and event planning. From humble beginnings as a production assistant at the National Black Theater Festival working with thethen Hip Hop Theater Junction, I have grown into lead project manager and festival producer. A fan of all things the arts, producing a successful event is an art itself.
There's nothing like a good clipboard and a walkie talkie to makeme feel at home. My most memorable moments in Production Management were when working as a Talent Coordinator for HBO's Def Poetry Jam. Having the opportunity to work with artist like Dave Chappell and Mos Def to observing Stan Lathan's candor and genius as a producer remains a highlight of my career.
In My Masters research project, I explored the creative methodologies and work of Black women choreographers engaging in dance activism, and creating dance works for social change. The following questions guided the research.
How do Black women choreographers who self-define their dance practice and choreography as a form of protest and activism perceive and describe their lived experiences of dancemaking and performing? Further, how might they describe their teaching and identity concerning this work?
I will present my research for the first time at the 2023 International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference in Ontario, Canada.
I view my scholarship and creative works as interrelated as I investigate the efficacy and importance of Dance Activist performance presentation, with the hopes of lending my voice alongside colleagues working with similar intentions.I am inspired by the women of this study and encourage you to explore and support their creative efforts.
Words cannot express how much I enjoyed my month-long engagement with Urban Bush Women, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar as a member of the 2022 Summer Leadership Institute. Jawole is a pioneer of the work I engage in, andan inspiration in the field. Urban Bush Women’s 2022 Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) in New York City is an intensive 10-day convening where renowned dance artists learn effective ways to deepen work as artists who want to connect art works to community organizing and progressive social change strategies.
The SLI forges an “artist as activist” methodology that offers a complex set of competencies and techniques that have evolved from a 35+ years of practice in art-making.
My experience was invaluable to my practice and research. Alongside scholars, creatives , activists and dancers from all over the world, I was immersed in the work of creating for social change for 8 hours a day, including intensive workshops lead by PSAB (The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond) on cultivating anti-racist engagements and conversations for transformative social change.
teaching & residencies
summer leadership institute 2022
urban bush women
"movement is the foundation of life. Dance takes this human imperative to an expressive imperative that supports our ability to make meaning and deepen our understanding of this world."
-Jawole Willa Jo Zollar
teaching & residencies
residency & fellowship
"Social critique, autobiography, dance, and hip hop enable me to sift through difficult emotions surrounding motherhood and change while navigating the racial complexities of the deep south."
at the REACH
Creating at home again...
As a Kennedy Center Office Hours at the REACH fellowship recipient, I was awarded $10,000 to travel with my company, Nyama Contemporary Dance Company to create for a week at the Kennedy Center. At the time Mama's Gun, in my mind, was a short solo performance work. What emerged during the week was a Hip Hop dance theater work that returned me to the roots of my artistry. With creative development support from my creative partner N'Sangou Jikam, and Professor Sybil Roberts what began as just movement with text to help frame building the work emerged as a theatrical presentation and expansive piece of theater. In process we engaged Howard University theater and dance students as audience and creatives through movement lead story circles and creative exercises to inspire movement and connectivity. Still in process, the work will debut at the Manship Theater and Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton Rouge in the summer of 2023 commissioned by ThePower Coalition of New Orleans. Learn more about the work here.
teaching & residencies
methods and pedagogy
"I celebrate teaching that enables transgressions - a movement against and beyond boundaries It is that movement that makes education the practice of freedom."
I am passionate about:
meeting my dance students where they are
being culturally and artistically responsive
differentiated learning strategies
I believe that among students of any age, dance education has the potential to foster social-emotional development, life-long learning skills, and assist in learning to develop meaningful relationships with themselves and others.
I ground my methods in the classroom/studio space on the belief that students learn best when there is an interactive relationship between student and teacher (engaged pedagogy), and a practice of caring that includes concern for the students’ person and performance, both in dance and their core or other academic subjects.I value personal integrity and accountability as an integral part of the student/teacher relationships Inourish.
I think often about the level of willingness to engage in lessons and thus strive to avoid boring, monochromatic lessons and work diligently to incorporate multiple levels of engagement. Inside the discipline of dance, I am committed to dance history and technical proficiency as a part of my curriculum design, and provide instruction that supports students’ further study of dance at the collegiate and professional levels should they choose. While some students typically lack interest in traditional Western forms of dance (ballet, modern). I aim to impart the value of ALL dance forms inside my instruction and equip my students with a “tool kit” for success in the discipline that includes appreciation and technical proficiency in the studied styles and genres.
I also aim to build physical and cardiovascular strength and stamina inside the studio/classroom. I champion mental and physical discipline toward the development of a healthy student work ethic in artistry, academia, and life.
In the dance studio/classroom, I have developed a philosophy and personal pedagogy based on the belief that no matter the subject matter, the relationship between student and teacher has the potential to awaken a sense of self and accountability that can be beneficial in any environment.
1514 Stoneliegh Drive Baton Rouge, LA
July 28-29, 2023
100 Lafayette St
Baton Rouge, LA
Choreographer Roxi Victorian & Nyama Contemporary Dance Company
movement. music & mothering for social change
the choreography of
mothering while black
SPONSORSHIP & PARTNERSHIP
Big mama money! Our "Gigi" level sponsorship is named for Rosa Trapp-Dail, and Kathy Victorian, the mother, and mother-in-law of our Artistic Director and Founder. Gigi's are too fly to be grandmothers, yet love their grands with the same deep intensity. They are community shakers and world travelers. Our Gigi sponsors encourage us to dream big and work towards maximizing our community impact. We name our "Gigi" level sponsors our forward sponsors, as they support us with the capital to propel the movement forward to greatness. Our Gigi-level sponsors are offered priority access to our performances and engagements, 10 tickets to each performance, a logo included in promotions and advertisements, and a full-page program ad. Gigi-level organizations receive discounted workshop and performance rates.
The Mimi Sponsorship is named for Jacqueline Yvonne Blaney - the Mimi and mother-in-law to our Artistic Director and Founder, Our Mimi sponsors represent our "bonus" mothers in life. Those that love and support unconditionally regardless of blood relation. Jackie Blaney is a life-long social worker and in-home healthcare provider. She is always mothering and advocating for social change. We name our "Mimi" level sponsors our grow sponsors, they plant the seeds that grow our gardens. Support sponsors are offered 5 tickets to each performance, logos included on promotions and advertisements, and a half-page program ad.
Some moms have a knack for planning parties and full, fun experiences.A gift for packing lunches and scheduling activities. Moms are knee-deep in the choreography of mothering. Our "mom" level sponsors assist in making sure our performances, workshops, and community offerings are well-organized, thoughtful, and sustainable. We value our "Mom" level sponsors and name them our support sponsors. Support sponsors are given priority access to workshops and ticket sales, two complimentary tickets, a reception drink package, and a listing in the performance program.
We all remember the infamous mom question..." do you have McDonald's money?" A phrase familiar to children around the world negotiating after-school snacks. The rides to and from school, and general moments of travel are precious moments between mothers and children. McDonald's money and moments go a long way. We value our McDonald's money "Ma" sponsors and name them our foundational sponsors. Foundational sponsors are given priority access to workshops and ticket sales prior to the general public, and a listing in the performance program.
EXPANDING Our REACH & Maximizing our impact
The success of the production and workshop offerings can not sustain themselves on ticket sales alone. We need the support of community partners like you to maximize our impact and truly affect change.
For next steps to move forward in securing your donation and partnership, please complete the google form link below.
Donations of $250 or lower or donors that do not require a Donation receipt or tax deduction may make donations using our CashApp and Paypal donate handles. $NyamaDance
Donations of $300 and higher requiring a tax-deductible receipt are to be paid to our fiscal agent Brown Girls Do Ballet, and may be submitted via check, money order, or wire transfer.