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Thu, Oct 20



Honoring Hip-hop’s Roots: 100 Years of Black Social Dance

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Honoring Hip-hop’s Roots: 100 Years of Black Social Dance
Honoring Hip-hop’s Roots: 100 Years of Black Social Dance

Time & Location

Oct 20, 2022, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM EDT


About the event

Class Description: Traci Bartlow is an EMMY award winning documentarian whose passion is to document and preserve black dance and culture.  With an emphasis on the history of Hip Hop, she has researched, studied, and performed African American social dances that date back to the early 1900's. Her movement based lecture moves through 100 years of the black experience to honor the aesthetic, culture, and liberation felt in African American social dances and how they set the stage for the phenomenon that is Hip Hop. This class may be participatory so please be prepared to dance.

BIO: Traci Bartlow: Dance, Choreographer, Business Owner, Cultural Documentarian

A native of Oakland, CA Traci Bartlow is an artist and entrepreneur with a longstanding career

as an activist, business owner, photographer, dance educator, lecturer, curator, and cultural


Ms. Bartlow has the unique experience of developing cultural institutions in the Bay Area. As a

youth dancer at Citicenter Dance Theater at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, Dr.

Halifu Osumare, and Leon Jackson, then became a faculty member and later served on the

board of trustees. She is also a founding member of Eastside Arts Alliance and Eastside Cultural

Center in Oakland where she helped build the center from a gutted-out store front to a state-

of-the-art cultural center. She developed and curated many programs including festivals, dance

conferences, choreographer showcases, and youth and family programming. It is through this

work at Eastside where she trained and mentored many dancers, activists, and arts


Traci Bartlow, a dancer who is proficient in many styles, has a passion a to document and

preserve black dance and culture. She and has been a principal dancer and soloist for dance

companies and international theater and television productions. Growing up in Oakland,

California she learned early Hip Hop dance styles from some of the originators in Hip Hop

culture. She also has studied and performed traditional African dance with Ceedo West African

Dancers & Drummers, Linda Johnson, and Malonga Casquelourd. As a teenager she won a

scholarship to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in New York City where she enhanced her

career as a professional dancer. By day she studied with world renown teachers at the Ailey

school, and by night she kept her Hip Hop foundation evolving by dancing in legendary Hip Hop

and House music dance clubs in New York City such as The Tunnel, Kilamanjaro, and the


As a dance educator Traci has worked with Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Ma, Cal

Shakes in Orinda, CA, See Black Women of Oakland, Ca, Illadelph Legends Dance Festival in

Philadelphia, PA and the Herrang Dance Camp in Herrang, Sweden. In San Francisco she has

presented her work at the San Francisco International Hip Hop Dance Fest, Lorraine Hansberry

Theater, African and African American Cultural Complex, De Young Museum, and Museum of

the African Diaspora. Ms. Bartlow has received the Frankie Manning Ambassador of Lindy Hop

award for her work in preserving and sharing the rich heritage of vernacular jazz and Lindy Hop

with the black community in the Bay Area. In addition, she has been a teaching artist for a host of youth programs in the Bay Area, she has also been a guest faculty and lecturer for UC Davis,

UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and the University of San Francisco. In 2022 Ms.

Bartlow was a part of an EMMY award winning film short, KQED’s If Cities Could Dance Oakland

Boogaloo: The Funk Freestyle Dance that defined the town. Her contributions to the film is as

story consultant, contributing writer, featured dancer, voice over.

Ms. Bartlow’s choreography has been presented at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival,

Collage de las Cultures African Dance Festival in Oakland, and the Malcolm X Jazz Arts Festival

also in Oakland, CA. Other highlights are choreographing The Sisyphus Syndrome-A JazzOpera

by written and directed by Amiri Baraka and composed by David Murray. She has also

presented her work at the Montreal Swing Riot and won the All That Jazz dance competition is

2015. She has received commissions for her choreography from the Illadelph Legend Dance

Festival in Philadelphia, City of Oakland Cultural Arts Department and, the Eastbay Community

Foundation. In 2015 Traci Bartlow’s Starchild Dance Lindy Hop Project was listed in the San

Francisco Chronicle as one of the 10 Best Performances of 2015 for her fusion of Lindy Hop and

Hip Hop dance styles. Ms. Bartlow has also choreographed for recording artist such as Dessy Di

Lauro, Martin Luther McCoy, The Coup, and S.I.L.K. E.

As a photojournalist Ms. Bartlow has documented and archived of thousands of images she

shot in the Bay Area during the 1990’s as Bay Area artist were making their indelible mark on

the culture nationally and internationally. Her photos were featured in The Source, Vibe, Rap

Pages, 4080, and Black Enterprise magazines during this era.

She is currently she is the owner of B-Love’s Guest House in west Oakland. It is a boutique

hotel with an art gallery and exquisite urban garden. In the summer of 2022, B-Love’s Guest

House will premiere Oakland Picture Lady: Tales of a 90’s Girl, a collection of Ms. Bartlow’s

photographs, collages, and short stories of her fascinating life experiences as a hip hop

photojournalist from 1992 -1999.

With a longstanding career in arts and activism she has consulted with many arts and social

justice organizations in developing, maintaining, and scaling their cultural impact on their

changing neighborhoods.   She continues her work of healing, empowering, and telling the

vibrant and compelling stories of black people through performance and visual art.


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