UNCG Magazine

What’s National Dance Day GSO Without UNCG?

JOYEMOVEMENT Dance Company member Milanda McGinnis

This year’s National Dance Day GSO has UNC Greensboro written all over it.    

Greensboro Downtown Parks, Inc. (GDPI) plans a fully in-person celebration this fall – and they will kick things off with the premier performance of “A Wicked Silence” from GDPI’s Artist-in-Residence, and UNCG alumna, Alexandra Joye Warren ’06 MFA.

Warren and dancers from her JOYEMOVEMENT Dance Company will perform Friday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m. 

Their “choreoplay” will explore the consequences of the eugenics program in North Carolina, which promoted forced sterilizations on those considered “inadequate” up until 1977. More than 7,600 people underwent forced sterilizations, according to the North Carolina Encyclopedia

“As a Black woman, a mother, as a descendant of enslaved West Africans in America, the stories of those who experienced forced sterilizations in North Carolina, where many of my ancestors are from, was meaningful to me,” said Warren. 

“I am overjoyed to present this work which is the first installment of a three-part series which we hope to present in different venues and formats over the next few years: first to understand what happened, second, to make sense of the facts and implications, and third, to identify the course of action and find new solutions.”

Some of the members of JOYEMOVEMENT Dance Company

The Sept. 17 dance performance will start in Carolyn’s Garden in LeBauer Park and move throughout various locations in LeBauer and Center City parks. Warren’s residency, which began in January, is serving as a pilot for the official launch of a permanent artist-in-residence program at GDPI.

On Saturday, Sept. 18 – which is the official National Dance Day – visitors can look forward to a “movement wave.” In conjunction with the North Carolina Dance Festival’s 30th anniversary season, Dance Project will present a moment of connection across the state. Visitors will join in learning a choreography sequence that will be danced and ‘passed’ to other locations around North Carolina.  

Dance members at Elsewhere Museum, a sponsor and artistic collaborator

Important to highlight: This 30th anniversary celebrates the founding of the NC Dance Festival by UNCG professor John Gamble and UNCG professor and alumna Jan Van Dyke ’89 EDD, in 1991. Van Dyke, who died in 2015, was also the founder of Dance Project, which runs the NC Dance Festival. After she stepped down, two of Van Dyke’s proteges – alumni Lauren Joyner ’05 and Anne Morris ’11 MFA – became co-executive directors. They’ve led Dance Project for the last six years.

Also on that Saturday, from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on LeBauer Park’s Great Lawn, visitors can join professional dancers on the dance floor to learn from and dance alongside one another. GDPI notes that food trucks and vendors will be on-site.

So dust off your dancing shoes and pair them with your Spartan blue and gold. National Dance Day GSO is definitely a UNCG festivity. 

To learn more about Alexandra Joye Warren ’06 MFA, check out this feature from the UNCG College of Visual and Performing Arts.

By Brittany Cameron, UNCG Magazine staff writer
Photos by Hannah Long Photography

UNC Greensboro logo