Past Events

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Workshop

SDW wants to give a HUGE shoutout to the entire team at Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center for their excellent partnership in giving dancers from our dance community the opportunity to take classes on February 17, 2024 with company members (Mr. Solomon Dumas & Ms. Alisha Peek) from the legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. A HUGE shoutout also goes to Therese Laeger at The Dance Foundation for allowing us to use their beautiful large studio spaces for the classes. Last, but not least THANKS to our SDW Artistic Director Germaul Barnes for making this huge endeavor possible. WE ARE GRATEFUL!!!!!

Susan’s Salon South, February  11, 2024

Susan Hefner hosted a salon with pianist Gordon Beeferman, dancer Germaul Barnes, performer Lady Freedom, dancer Rachael Inman, musician LaDonna Smith, and visual artist Celeste Pfau. The performance begin at 7:00 pm at 1600 15th Ave S on Birmingham’s Southside. 

Birmingham African American Genealogy Group Heritage Fair, February 3, 2024

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM at The Birmingham Public Library Downtown. 

Germaul Barnes performed his tour-du-force solo “When the Brook Meets the River.” 

on the 1 | a dance class series,  January 25-27, 2024

Germaul Barnes was a guest teacher for this curated series of dance classes for all levels in Memphis, TN and hosted by International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD). 

Dance classes were $20 (USD) per class for IABD Members and $25 (USD) per class for the general public.

Alabama Dance Festival, January 19 – 21, 2024

Dancing into Success: Careers on the Stage & Beyond 

8:30 AM-10:00 AM in the Alabama School of Fine Arts Lecture Hall

Germaul Barnes was one of the panelists for this comprehensive discussion of the valuable hard and soft skills dancers develop throughout their training. We delved into how these skills can support dancers in pursuing professional careers both within the dance field and  beyond. Our aim is to empower dancers by helping them recognize and leverage these skills as “superpowers” that can contribute to both their professional and financial success. The discussion encompassed a range of specific career paths, including  teaching in academia, teaching at private-sector studios, and non-dance careers. In addition, we covered a variety of essential skills such as empathetic leadership; recognizing work value and negotiating for fair compensation; building a strong brand through social media and internet presence; crafting effective resumes/CVs; mastering audition techniques; and much more. 

Tiny Danz

The first of three choreography showcases was held July 28 at East Village Arts, the second event was August 25, and the final showcase was September 29, 2023. Led by internationally recognized artist Germaul Barnes, Tiny Danz was  designed to give established and emerging choreographers the opportunity to create and present new dances in the intimate space of East Village Arts, a non-profit artist collective. One of the choreographers was selected to create a work for the Southern DanceWorks company’s 2024 season.

Looking Back to Move Forward

With the hiring of Germaul Barnes as new Artistic Director in 2021, leadership transition for a company with a long history like Southern DanceWorks (SDW) provides opportunities to explore the creative aesthetics of the new artistic director while reflecting on the company’s past accomplishments, strengths, and challenges. From March-August, 2022, Artistic Director Germaul Barnes and Managing Director Rosemary Johnson organized and facilitated a planning process incorporating current and former company dancers, board members, and stakeholders to create a new vision for SDW’s future as Alabama’s oldest, professional modern dance company. The primary goal is to revitalize organizational growth by honoring the past to plan for the future. The planning process included town hall style meetings, focus groups, and task force meetings.