In 2018, Daniel Gaymon was cast in the world-famous musical Hamilton, but the long journey that led to Daniel working professionally as a dancer of color almost never began. When Daniel was just 9 years old, he was spotted by his future dance teacher, Ms. Dale Lam at an after-school program at his elementary school. Ms. Dale saw undeniable raw talent in Daniel and wanted him to train at her South Carolina studio, Columbia City Jazz. Unfortunately, Daniel’s family was not able to afford his dance training. So, along with he and his father cleaning the studio, a group of local donors worked together to fund Daniel’s dance training from age 9 to age 18. Now Daniel’s a Broadway star.
Kate Harpootlian danced with Daniel at Columbia City Jazz when she was growing up. She saw firsthand how dance and the opportunity to experience it completely changed Daniel’s life. Daniel and Kate shared their story with a group of professional dancers, choreographers, and arts producers and the result was the creation of the new non-profit foundation Share the Movement.
Share the Movement’s mission is to increase diversity in the professional dance community by providing financial, educational and inspirational support to promising young dancers of color.
We plan to partner with high quality dance studios in areas with diverse populations to locate young dancers who possess the potential to be professionals but who do not have the funds to pay for dance training. We would then scholarship those students, offering them the opportunity to train at our partner dance studio free of charge. Additionally, we plan to offer a scholarship to a current student of color at each partner studio who is in need of funds for training.
We plan to provide inspirational support to young dancers through our Share the Movement ambassador program. Our ambassador program will highlight and share the stories of professional dancers of color throughout the dance world so that young dancers have more opportunities to see professional dancers who look like themselves. Additionally, our ambassadors will be paid by Share the Movement to teach free virtual classes that will highlight various genres of dance, especially those whose origins come from communities of color. In the future, we also plan to offer complimentary weekends of dance training taught by our ambassadors that would take place in-person in our partner studios’ communities.
Share the Movement’s board includes, both Kate and Daniel, dancer/choreographer and the first black female Dancing with the Stars pro Britt Stewart, producer Nikole Vallins, dancer/creative producer Pam Chu, theatrical general manager Brad Bauner and dance educator Ashley Lindsay