The first Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, occurred in 1865 in Charleston, South Carolina. Formerly enslaved Black people dug up the mass graves of Union soldiers that fought for the end of slavery, and provided respectful individualized graves for them . Afterward, in the spirit of Black Joy, they held a parade, sang songs, and gathered together with food to acknowledge the lives of the fallen soldiers. Memorial Day is seen as one of the most patriotic American holidays, and in true American tradition, it has erased the contributions and hardships of Black people and other people of color.
With celebrations like Juneteenth, we strive to continue to bring true American history to the forefront while holding Black joy as the common historical thread that allows Black communities to thrive despite all we face.
Alicia the Dance Dragon Slayer began her life as Alicia Langlais. She is the creator of Diaspora Dance, an all-levels Caribbean Vibes meets Afro-Pop dance party class. In addition to her work as a Bay Area dancer, instructor, and middle school dance educator, she is also a dance inspiration coach. Alicia has earned a Master of Education in School Counseling and and a Master of Arts in Transpersonal Psychology. Her MA degree concentration in creative expression with studies and research focused on dance therapy allows Alicia to meld her dance training, personal experience with dance trauma, and mental wellness backgrounds to help students slay dance-related insecurities or trauma, which she calls “Dance Dragons.” Her dance experiences are founded in the ideology that every body is a beautiful dancing body, and if internal Dance Dragons make dancers feel otherwise, Alicia’s positivity and guidance will assure that they are SLAYED!