Imani Williams

Interview Highlights
Q: How can dance be a platform for social justice issues?
I think dance is so healing and such an expressive art form that using it and making art that is representative of what is going on in the world is a good way to help inform and fight social issues. Anger is not a bad thing when it comes to social justice, but without using protest and violence, putting that energy into an art form that allows a more broad perspective on the issue.

Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you as a performing artist?
...I remember feeling bad because I felt devastated and I wasn't feeling motivated to take class or do anything. I was in a head space of what is this, how can this happen, why is this happening. I felt bad. I reached out to my mentors and one of them told me you are not a bad dancer because you don't want to take an online class, you are a human first, you are going through something devastating. We are devastated in the arts community by this and we are so used to keep pushing no matter what. So when I didn't react the way I normally do when something happens and I didn’t just want to keep going, I was very confused. But this is something that is unheard of what is going on right now. There is no way to react correctly. We all need to figure out what we need right now, and I think we need to give ourselves that time and space to not judge it...
Read full interview here

IMANI WILLIAMS, from Atlanta, GA, started dancing as a junior in high school and developed his passion at Sugarloaf Performing Arts. After graduation, Imani accepted a full scholarship at Joffrey Ballet School’s (New York) Jazz and Contemporary Program directed by Michael Blake, where he had the honor of dancing in works by Jennifer Archibald, Bradley Shelver, Matthew Powell, Nathan Trice, and Kevin Wynn. He has worked with former prima ballerina Margo Sappington, Tony Award-winner Chet Walker, and choreographer of Rent, Marlies Yearby, and performed pieces by Emily Bufferd, Lane Gifford, Tyler Gilstrap, and Sekou McMiller. Imani was featured in Joffrey Ballet School photos by Lois Greenfield and was selected to showcase his choreography at The Ailey Citigroup Theater. Imani spent two seasons with Florida Dance Theater and one season with Giordano II. Imani joined DanceWorks Chicago in September 2018.