For the past week, the Savannah State University community has been celebrating dance.
LaQuinda Grimes, instructor of dance at SSU, has curated an exhibit of work in the Social Science Building art gallery and screening the documentary ‘Brains, Beauty, and Blackness: An Exhibit of HBCU Danceline History, Culture and Style' through the past week.
The events will conclude with a closing reception on Tuesday, April 30, at 5:30 p.m.
Each day and event has been created to showcase the importance of dancing in the HBCU culture.
The week of events started Tuesday with a screening of the documentary. On Wednesday, there was a watch party of Beyoncé’s film 'Homecoming.' On Thursday, there was the dance workshop and screening, and on Friday, there will be a second dance workshop and screening, for those who missed the previous opportunities.
Admission for most days of events is $2 and the events start at 5 p.m.
“As a Savannah State Tiger, I feel as though these events will provide freedom of expression and a chance to be free from this stressful end of semester feeling,” Savannah State junior Jalia Prayor said. “It is easy to know the culture of dancelines at an HBCU when you’re on the danceline. But those of us who have no idea, this can give us the chance to be more culturally aware."
The last two events will take place next week. On April 29, there will be a private screening for Local Dreams Do Come True Cheer and dance competitors. Tuesday is the closing reception screening and Q&A. Admission for Thursday will be free and the start time is 5:30 p.m. All events are located in the Savannah State University Social Sciences Building Gallery.
Ashtin Baker, also a junior, said the documentary and its mission are important to both men and women.
“It is important for young women, of course, but I feel our young men could learn more in-depth of why it is so important that HBCU’s have dancelines," he said. "Most guys see the girls dancing and they might not get it’s more than just them out there looking good. Dancing is also something guys do as well, and these events will help them understand better.”