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In Chicago, Keeping the Heritage of Black Dance Moving

By Emma R. Cohen
Reporting from Chicago.

Aug. 28, 2023

An initiative started in 2019 helps to address funding disparities and offers a vision of Black dance as a form whose categories refuse to be static.

On a warm July afternoon, Princess Mhoon, the director of the Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project, was sitting in a bustling cafe on the outskirts of the University of Chicago’s campus in Hyde Park. Wearing a purple and orange dress that billowed around her arms, she gestured out of the window to show me where she went to high school — Kenwood Academy, not quite visible from where we sat, but less than two miles away.

“I was a theater baby,” she said, describing the Chicago arts world in which she grew up. Her parents met in an African dance class, and her father was a drummer for local dance companies. “I have memories of sitting in the theater during tech rehearsals,” she continued. “We could not eat candy. In the Black Arts Movement, there was no junk food. So, we had cherry vitamin C — that was my candy.” READ MORE...



Princess Mhoon Is Celebrating Chicago’s Black History Through Movement And Technology This Summer


By: Keyaira Boone

Updated: Sept. 2, 2023

Princess Mhoon is being watched.

Immortalized Titans peer at the choreographer turned director and her daughter through a window of Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. Mhoon brought the ten-year-old to an interview promoting her film. The child gazes at bronze busts curiously as her mother describes her vision for The Big Bang: Movement Theory + the Black Dancing Body.

“Mommy, who is that?” 

Mhoon pauses before facing Marshall Field and Frank Winfield Woolworth. Later, she tells a crowd that after a lifetime of Black Chicagoans learning their stories, these lauded men are about to learn theirs. READ MORE...

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In Motion: Metamorphosis explores the intersection of art and technology

August 23, 2023

As the leader of the Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project, Princess Mhoon is on a mission to raise awareness around the necessity of Black dance in the city and beyond.


CBDLP was launched by the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago and the Joyce Foundation in 2019, in response to a report titled “Mapping the Dance Landscape in Chicagoland,” which revealed that in 2015, 56 percent of grant dollars awarded to local dance organizations went to three predominantly white companies. The multiyear initiative is dedicated to reducing those clear inequities by empowering a select cohort of Black-led dance organizations throughout the city.

With Mhoon—a nationally renowned choreographer, director, and scholar—at its helm, CBDLP has worked to celebrate the historic impact of Chicago Black dance, while strengthening its reach for future generations. READ MORE...

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Friday, March 5, 2021

This pillar of the DC dance community is the Founder and CEO of the acclaimed Princess Mhoon Dance Studio whose mission is to educate, unite, transform, and heal our community through the power of dance.

Washington, D.C. – Each Quarter of the year the District of Columbia Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME) highlights the achievements of a District of Columbia resident who exemplifies excellence in the area of creativity, education, creative entrepreneurship, economic revitalization of creative businesses, social justice or racial equity. OCTFME is delighted to recognize Princess Mhoon as the DC STAR.

Princess Mhoon is the Founder and CEO of The Princess Mhoon Dance Institute (PMDI), an acclaimed dance institute located in Washington, DC. Having served thousands of families through in-studio and off-­site programs, PMDI’s mission is to educate, unite, transform and heal our community through the power of dance. READ MORE...

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