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"Visionary Instigator" of Street Dance Activism and Global Dance Meditation for Black Liberation, Dr. Shamell Bell is a mother, community organizer, dancer/choreographer, and documentary filmmaker. Bell received her PhD in Culture and Performance at UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures/Dance department. She received her M.A. in Ethnic Studies from UC San Diego and B.A. with Honors in American Studies and Ethnicity specializing in African American Studies at the University of Southern California. Dr. Bell is currently a Lecturer of Somatic Practices and Global Performance at Harvard University and formerly a Lecturer of African and African American Studies and Theater at Dartmouth College. Her work on what she calls, "street dance activism" situates street dance as grassroots political action from her perspectives as a scholar, dancer, and choreographer. Shamell’s research examines street dance movements in South Central Los Angeles through an autoethnographic and performance studies lens. Her street dance experience includes featured roles in music videos, award shows, and tours. An original member of the #blacklivesmatter movement, beginning as a core organizer with Justice 4 Trayvon Martin Los Angeles (J4TMLA)/Black Lives Matter Los Angeles to what she now describes as an Arts & Culture liaison between several social justice organizations. She also consults for social justice impact in the tv, film, theater and music industry. Most recently featured in the NYTimes: THE NEW BLACK JOY, a Virtual Event Celebrating Juneteenth. As well as provided background vocals and insight for Esperanza Spaulding’s Formwela 8 project. Fall 2021, Dr. Bell along with 5 other artivists were featured in the Lavazza “Change The World” Calendar where she activates, “As we dance our lives together, we are lifting frequencies and lifting vibrations that, with action, will create a shift in the world.” 


Website Link:


Social Media Handles:


   @shamellbell and @streetdanceactivism

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