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SOJOURN

RDT’s upcoming performance SOJOURN features four choreographic visions of community, contemporary issues and the nature of human relationships. 

One of the choreographers, Natosha Washington, is presenting a work that was created in 2018, Say Their Names, part 1. 

Raised in the south, Natosha Washington negotiates stereotyping, privilege and identity daily. Teaching or creating, she focuses on the intersection of social justice, art making and community engagement. Equity, access and transparency are hallmarks of her work—whether honoring Salt Lake School District’s multiplicity of cultures with community-wide dance celebrations or revealing through dance her own history and experiences as a black woman living in Utah. For RDT’s 2018 commission “Say Their Names, part 1,” she explored racial divides, identity and human connectivity. Delving into current events and cultural identity, Washington’s new iteration of “Say Their Names”, which will be developed this summer and premier in the Fall of 2023, promises to deliver an evening of truth telling and inspiration through the interplay of her choreography, RDT dancers and the Calvary Baptist Choir. 

SOJOURN, November 17-19, 2022 
7:30pm at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Salt Lake City 

Natosha Washington Bio: 

Natosha Washington currently teaches dance for 8th-12th grade at West High in Salt Lake City, Utah. Washington is a professional choreographer, director and avid educator who is passionate about all-inclusive learning. Washington’s most recent achievement is The Sorenson Legacy Award for Best Secondary Dance Educator in the state of Utah 2015. Washington received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah in Modern Dance and Bachelors of Fine Arts from Ricks College. During her time at the U, Washington’s work received the Best Performance award at the National College Dance Festival and was featured in Dance Magazine.  Washington co-directed the Utah-based company, RawMoves that received a Slammy Award for Best New Dance Company in SLC 2005. Washington became a full time dance teacher at Judge Memorial Catholic High School and created a program for young men to dance, starting with 18 it developed to 44 young men. Washington went on to teach at Northwest Middle School and created the school’s Celebration of Dance. In this program 400+ students celebrate their school and individual cultures through dance. When Washington started at West High School she expanded the program two class sizes, reaching over 60+ extra students. In addition, Washington is developing a new educational program in collaboration with Weber State Professor Blake geared towards first generation students to receive higher education. As a choreographer, Washington’s work has been seen on professional, collegiate and secondary school companies, including her own company, The Penguin Lady Collective.  

What People are Saying

The diversity of the dancers really spoke to my students! It was great to see boys and girls dancing, and different races. The high level of engagement was so refreshing and got students excited about thecontent.
This activity was valuable because it helped students make connections between dance, rhythm, healthy lifestyles, and expression. The students were impressed by the talent of the dancers and it was motivating to them.
Opportunities for art and expression are so limited at school but so essential and valuable for all students, especially those who struggle to learn through traditional methods. My Kindergarteners have been dancing since you left!
This was so engaging. I looked around the auditorium and every student was watching. Not one person was talking or distracted
This activity is valuable to teachers and students because it gives them a creative outlet. We need movement in the classroom to engage, energize and deepen student learning.
I got great ideas on how to incorporate movement into math and science lessons.
I loved how you made movement and exercise relatable to the students. The dancers were full of energy and there was very little down time so students stayed engaged.
Our children were captivated by the performance. They listened to you and they were learning without knowing. They usually giggle when bodies are shown and talked about. But the way you presented it was so tastefully done, they now do poses and movement around the room and outside. You brokesome barriers and they took that permission and literally ran with it!