Why We Stand Against Racial Inequality

Jun 2, 2020

It’s not enough to say that “we stand with you.” We stand with the black community because it is part of our community, because our lives would be unrecognizable without the students who we love, the music that moves us to dance, even the movements themselves — some of which have deep roots in black culture. It’s hard to even imagine what our classes would feel like without the myriad of cultures that enliven them. We wouldn’t be shimmying along to Middle Eastern music in Belly Dance, unlocking the joyful collision of Bhangra and hip-hop in Bollywood Fitness, exploring Latin rhythms in Zumba or celebrating African American culture in Hip-Hop.

We deeply value the black community and all people of color not just for the gifts they’ve given to the world, but for their inherent humanity. Black lives matter. Of course. But we repeat this, again and again, because the patterns of racist violence and oppression also repeat. The police brutality and unwarranted violence repeats. Eric Garner dies. And Michael Brown. Philando Castile. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. George Floyd. Hundreds of others.

We echo the call to end racism. But we also know that no matter what is said, some people will never let go of the deep-seated racism in their hearts. So we implore our students, everyone who cares, to also join in the fight to end policies that perpetuate systemic racism. We must have the courage to choose leaders who will take action against these policies, and to put pressure on leaders who might shirk in the face of the responsibility to do so. Vote. Sign petitions. Speak out. Listen.

We will continue to support our community by doing what we do — bringing people together through dance & fitness. To have the strength for a long battle, you need a little joy along the way. We hope that dancing together will help us get through these difficult times. We are with you.