Addressing Racialization in Ballet

Art has always been an expression of the human experience. But when an art form fails to respect the dignity of others, it fails as an art form. Ballet wields significant cultural capital and needs to be more inclusive for audiences, performers and management. Without discussion, adaptation and evolution, we will not heal as an art form and as society. Organizations can lead this work toward systemic change through sustained commitment to the legitimacy of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).
In Winter 2022, Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS), the Dance Institute of Washington (DIW) and Lauri Fitz-Pegado will host Addressing Racialization in Ballet, the inaugural Canada-United States symposium to engage in meaningful and solutions-oriented discussions of equity, diversity and inclusion in the sector, with a focus on three pillars that support the credible pursuit and implementation of the concept: business success, subjectivity of ballet, and the ethical responsibility of the art form.
This online symposium will convene lived experiences, areas of expertise and innovative ideas from a diverse range of multi-generational speakers, panelists and facilitators from Canada and the United States, representing many facets of the arts sector, including administration, performance, instruction, education, and consulting. Speakers will also include experts on history, anti-racism, equity and inclusion.
This symposium is ideal for arts administrators, dance teachers, artists and students.
Symposium Objective: To enrich ballet through a comprehensive and holistic exploration of racial equity, diversity and inclusion; to increase understanding of history and context
Attendees of the symposium will:
  • Advance understanding and practice of three EDI pillars that inform why equity matters.      
  • Gain increased historic knowledge, information and facts, context, and empirical information about ballet as it relates to EDI.
  • Experience shifts in awareness and perception of EDI in dance.
  • Gain opportunities for community building and networking.
  • Engage in a space to examine equity by gaining more understanding across cultures, political systems and national histories.
  • Strengthen relationships, increase self-awareness, and enhance understanding of purpose, influences, values, leadership styles, and assets as they relate to EDI.


Four Days, Two Countries, One Shared Purpose

6:00 pm Welcome
6:10 pm Keynote – Ballet is Cultural Capital
6:30 pm Presentations – History, Ballet and Race
6:55 pm Presentations – Theory and Implementation of EDI in the Arts
7:15 pm Stretch Break
7:30 pm Panel
8:15 pm Panel – Voices of the Next Generation: Conversation with Emerging Artists
8:50 pm Closeout and Prep for Day 2
9:00 pm Adjourn

All times are in EST
10:00 am Opening/Welcome & Recap
10:25 am Keynote – Why Equity Matters
11:15 am Panel – Responsibility and Aspirations to Advance Equity in Ballet
12:05 pm Stretch break
12:15 pm Presentations – Pedagogy and Teacher Training
1:30 pm Facilitated “Share & Capture” of Questions, Ideas and Reactions
2:00 pm Adjourn

All times are in EST
6:00 pm Opening/Welcome & Recap
6:15 pm Panel – Voices of Current Dancers: Changing Environment...or Not?
7:00 pm Panel – The Role of Awareness and Cultural Competence in Teaching Ballet (Teacher Perspectives)
7:45 pm Break
7:55 pm Panel – Why EDI is Good Business: Opportunities and Strategies (Administrative Perspectives)
8:35 pm Closeout and Prep for Day 2
8:45 pm Adjourn

All times are in EST
10:00 am Opening/Welcome & Recap
10:25 am Introduction – From Learning to Action: Tools and Resources to Make EDI Happen
10:30 am Theory of Change
11:30 am Evaluation & Monitoring
12:30 pm Break
12:45 pm Learning and Lexicon: EDI Fundamentals and Communications Strategies
1:45 pm Wrap Up & Closeout
2:00 pm Adjourn

All times are in EST

Full Symposium Registration *

Session 1 General Registration *

Session 1 Student Registration *

Session 2 General Registration *

Session 2 Student Registration *

* Prices are in Canadian Dollars