African-Americans in the Ballroom World

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by DanceMentor, Dec 20, 2003.

  1. steevydance

    steevydance New Member

    Black ballroom dancer


    :)
    · Your right they aren’t too many African American doing Ballroom dancing but black in general yes, there are a few mostly Haitians. Haiti is located in Caribbean, western one-third of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, west of the Dominican Republic, in the timezone GMT -5. The country has boundaries of 360 - Dominican Republic 360 (km), and a coastline of 1,771 (km). Major urban areas: Port-au-Prince, Cap-Haitien, Gonaives, Jacmel, Port-de-Paix. My name is Steeve Jean Louis originally from Haiti I came to the USA 5 years ago become a US Citizen. I’m one of the best ballroom dancers in south Florida; I’m not the only one the most famous of us is Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine Arthur Murray Rhythm Champion 2007
    · Winner of numerous Professional Rhythm Championships in 2006-2007, including...
    o Ohio Star Ball DanceSport Championships
    o Embassy Ball DanceSport Championships
    o Holiday Classic DanceSport Championships
    o Heritage Classic DanceSport Championships
    · Featured on "Dancing With the Stars" in 2006
    · Featured on PBS-TV "America's Ballroom Challenge"
    · World Professional Mambo Champion 2005
    Please guys do some more researches and also check out my video on YouTube just put my full name STEEVE JEAN LOUIS (Steeve with 2 EE).
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    welcome to df
  3. dlgodud

    dlgodud Active Member

    Welcome to DF!
  4. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Happy to have you on DF steevydance, but please do some basic research before asking us to do more. You are quoting a post from 2003, meaning it would have required time travel to have included that information about E P-A. ;)
  5. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    welcome steevydance!
  6. jump'n'jive

    jump'n'jive Active Member

    thats quite a stretch isnt it? i am all for self confidence but lets be realistic esp since some of us here know you. :eyebrow:
  7. taylor1990

    taylor1990 New Member

    Haha, new yorkers are deffinately known for speaking their mind, and I guess that's why people sometimes think they are mean, no we're just honest. Sometimes brutally haha. As far as being politically correct, African Americans are also black, so why not just ask if there are any black people? Why would someone get mad or offended for being called what they are? I don't know, that wouldn't make sense to me.
  8. reb

    reb Active Member

    Welcome to Dance Forums Steeve. We hope to hear of you someday.

    We know Emmanuel and respect his capabilities and accomplishments.

    Good luck in your endeavors - please let us know of any results in open competition you achieve.
  9. Lavenderhawk

    Lavenderhawk New Member

    Hey Everyone,

    I am a filmmaker who is considering doing a documentary on the subject of Black ballroom dancers that will also explores the african roots of some of the competition style dances. This forum has been very helpful. I am not a dancer so I will be doing a lot of research before embarking on this project.

    If you know of any "must have" people that should be interviewed or featured for a project like this, please let me know.

    And to add to the Black vs African American debate my opinion is that there is no real concrete term for us. So as long as you don't say colored or negro or anything else outdated you should be fine. I had a White friend who was chastised by another White person for saying Black instead of African American. She got really upset and asked me for my opinion, I thought the whole thing was very funny. To me Black refers to anyone of African decent no matter what country. African slaves were sent all throughout the new world and you will find black people in north, central, and south america as well as throughout the caribean. But this doesn't apply to eveyone either because I have heard Australian aborigines refer to themselves as Black. So it's all up to interpretation.

    I have been to Africa and though Black Americans are 300 or so years removed we have held on to a lot more of the culture than you would think, but you really don't see it unless you go there or you study it. The problem is that we have always been taught to see anything African as negative and so we try to put as much distance as we can between us and Africans. There are major differences as well, we are descendants of slaves who have been in this country since before it was a country. When I was living in Europe African people would always ask me where I was from and I would say Chicago. They would say but where are your people from and I would say Arkansas and Tennessee. What they really want to know is what part of Africa are my people from and we can't answer that question. That definitely makes us different. But when you go there and see people who look like people in your family or from your neighborhood and have similar mannerisms and laugh the way you do, you will see that we are not that much different. :)
  10. robertje06

    robertje06 New Member

    In IIDSF International Latin, There is one couple, of whom the lady is black, and they dance very well :) eg, they are 11th in the world.

    They danced semi final in blackpool, several finals and semifinals in grandslams and mostly finals in "normal" idsf events. Even winning some recent comps...

    They come out for Germany, and their names are:
    Timo Kulczak / Motshegetsi Mabuse

    Very nice couple to see them dancing, really showing the essence of each different dance.
  11. suburbaknght

    suburbaknght Well-Known Member

    Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine. World mambo champion and rhythm finalist at Ohio Star Ball.
  12. Sash

    Sash New Member

    There is a girl who did(maybe still does) who dances for germany. She was in one of the top amatuer couples in the championships can't remember her name.
  13. emkey

    emkey New Member

    thats mambuse
  14. Benji

    Benji New Member

    Here's my take on the subject. (Don't forget, small island....got small island experiences:p)
    When I started Ballroom....I was basically the only black guy in my group. It felt really awkward cause I too used to think that Ballroomdancing was mainly for rich white people. The fact that my instructor is also white didn't make me feel any better. During the classes I noticed that the awkward feeling was because of none but myself. So after talking to a few other guys, it hit me.
    They were just regular guys who liked dancing just like me...and got tricked into dancing the same way I got tricked into it.
    I regularly trained with my partner at school....Some kids saw us dance, they liked it and wanted to join, including a few of my friends and my youngest brother. At this moment I can actually call myself the best male black ballroomdancer on my island (again, my tiny-unkown-to-the-rest-of-the-world-island:p)

    ANYWAYZ, long story short.............
    I think that because of the common misconception that Ballroomdance is for rich white people (not my words), black people tend to stay away in fear that they might be rejected or treated differently
  15. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    Benji - your island isn't that unknown, lol. One of my husband's co-workers and game buddies is Curacaoan.
  16. Benji

    Benji New Member

    Oh cool, you should let the co-worker read this then

    Kumindamentu di Korsou ;)
  17. Iolane

    Iolane New Member

    I am a lurker, first time poster who's been reading this thread and finally decided to jump in.

    I am a Black American who ballroom dances and I've never experienced overt racism. What I do experience from time-to-time is people seeming surprised at my skilll level. I am by no means advanced, but I am not a beginner either. When I attend a dance party at a studio other than my own (or when we have visitors to our studio) I often get surprised compliments (more so than other non-Black students at my same level.)

    I will also concur with the person who posted that I prefer Black American over African-American. I have been to Africa, I felt more American than ever while I was there, and I couldn't wait to get back home. With that said, I am not offended by the term African-American, it's just not my preference.
  18. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Welcome to DF Iolane, and thanks for sharing your perspective and experiences with us! :cheers:
  19. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome to DF Iolane!
  20. SwingingInTheHood

    SwingingInTheHood New Member

    I disagree. I taught Salsa for several years. We would get Black guys all the time. They would come to one or two sessions, couldn't pick up the basic steps, didn't like the music, and they wouldn't come back. Many of these same guys would then take "Urban Ballroom" or "Chicago Style Step", pick it up during the first session, and that's what you'd see them doing. In addition, these dances are danced to music they are more familiar with and in environments they are more comfortable in.

    I'm sure what you say is true too a degree, but I argue that it is equally, or even more true that many Blacks don't take up traditional Ballroom dancing for more practical reasons: They don't care for the music, it's not something you can pick up in a session or two, and you can't dance it at most (Black) dance venues.

    If that sounds racist, I'm sorry, but it's real. I taught Salsa in Inglewood / South Central LA for 3 years about the same time that Chicago Style Step and "Urban" Ballroom were starting to become popular in that predominately Black community. I talked to many a Black woman who referred to "Step" as "sexy" and "elegant". Not Argentine Tango or Rumba. So, where do you think the Black guys who you can convince to take up a dance at all are going to spend their effort?

    Also, if the DJs aren't going to play Salsa/Hustle/Waltz/Foxtrot where you normally go to dance, why learn it? Unless, you are willing to step outside of your comfort zone.

    And, I'm not just sitting on the sidelines hating. I spend a considerable amount of time trying to promote awareness of traditional Ballroom Dancing in the Black community where I live. It ain't easy.

    -ron

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