The Modern Dance Community Thrives on Crenshaw
On the bustling corner of Crenshaw and Coliseum sits a gold and black mural with prominent West African adinkra symbols and the words “Dance Lives Here.” It is the home of the Lula Washington Dance Theatre, a Los Angeles dance institution since 1980 which houses a dance school for young people ages three through 21 along with a world-renowned modern dance repertoire.
Lula Washington Dance Theatre is a family affair. The company and school was founded by Lula Washington and her husband Erwin, and is co-managed by their daughter Tamica; all of whom grew up in South Los Angeles. Their mission is twofold: to build a world-class contemporary modern dance company that travels worldwide with work that reflects African-American history and culture, and to create a school in the inner city where young people can learn the art of dance. The Washingtons use dance to “motivate, educate, inspire, challenge and enrich young people so they can become successful and productive citizens” because they know firsthand the transformative power of this art form.