"The purpose of 'Street Dance Activism' workshops, featuring Shamell Bell, is to provide the foundational tools for the use of street dance in demonstrations as a form of self-care, resistance, and team building. Bell, a core organizer and Arts & Culture liaison with the Black lives matter network, will conduct a brief interdisciplinary “Street Dance Activism” workshop, featuring Bell. The workshop will demonstrate the possibility for performance to disrupt social, economic, and historical paradigms and present street dance as an alternative strategy for radical social change. We will explore the use of these dances struggles for liberation that traces them to African diasporic traditions and war dances. During the workshop, dancers will learn basic hip-hop moves, but will also engage in team-building activities as they break into dance battle/community organizing groups. Shamell’s work on what she refers to as “street dance activism” situates dance as political action from her perspectives as a dance and performance scholar, a dancer, and an active member and choreographer for the Black Lives Matter movement. Shamell’s doctoral research uses a performance studies lens and historio-geographical analysis of street dance movements in South Central Los Angeles to create a dialogue between the street dance community, activist community, and the academy that includes the street dancer’s actual presence at academic institutions in the form of dancing, speaking, teaching, and writing."
-Pieter Conversations, 2016