I grew up in the segregated south. The dancing I saw on TV was the era of Carol Burnett and musical theater television shows. I saw the nutcracker live. So, really early on I wanted to be a dancer, like first grade. But I did not have the opportunity to train until I was much older. The first studio I trained at was typical of black studios, they were training you how to be a showgirl. We took tap but no technique class. You learned a routine and went home.
I’m afraid to ask how my friends are doing all over the world. I feel guilty because I have a paycheck. As a working artist, it had less direct impact than it has been as a teaching artist. If it weren't for the check I was getting, all the gigs would be gone. As a teacher, I really don't enjoy teaching remotely since teaching the arts is about interaction and I am aware of those who don't have access.
Robin Wilson, is a gifted choreographer and dancer who has collaborated with the Carr Center for many years now. An Associate Professor of Dance at the University of Michigan for over 25 years she sees teaching, artmaking and activism as easy bedfellows – giving voice to untold stories and giving tools for others to speak their truth. “I make dances because I have something to say. I teach dance so others can have voice and know where they come from. And I perform because I have to – it’s in my blood, in my DNA and it allows ME to shine through; because dancing is how I breathe.” A founding member of the revered dance company, Urban Bush Women, Robin Wilson is many things at once… Choreographer, teacher, performer, historian, mother, mentor, arts advocate, liturgical dancer, activist She sees no contradiction between making art, teaching others to discover the artist within, teaching others to understand their history and connection to the greater good and being an advocate for the arts and communities.