South Chicago Dance Theatre

South Chicago Dance Theatre (SCDT) is firmly rooted on the city’s south side. Several of the company’s collaborators have been a part of the fabric of the south side’s vibrant arts community since the early 1960’s. Thus, the SCDT is committed to maintaining its rich heritage through the embodiment of south Chicago influenced movement, music and history.

Since the 2017 launch, the Main Company has toured regionally, nationally and internationally and commissioned the choreographic work of renowned artists. Its collaborative initiatives have included music ensembles, television, opera, art museums and public schools through a range of self-produced and institutionally presented performances. Prioritizing intergenerational learning and exchange, SCDT’s seven core programs utilize the art of dance to reframe trauma narratives through creative storytelling and replace dominant cultural narratives with community narratives. These creative initiatives include the Main Company and Emerging Artist Program, the Choreographic Fellowship, the School, the Education and Community Programs, the South Chicago Arts Administration Fellowship, the annual South Chicago Dance Festival, and the Choreographic Diplomacy ™ Program. The art of dance empowers our community to resist oppression and foster collective healing.

Highlights from South Chicago Dance Theatre's 5th anniversary season include performing at the Pritzker Pavilion for over 4,000 audience members at the annual Dance For Life fundraiser in August 2021, being presented at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2021, touring to the Netherlands in March 2022 and closing the 5th anniversary season with 5 new commissions at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in May 2022. Additional season 5 recognition includes receiving a three-year award from the Mellon Foundation and the International Association of Blacks in Dance, being accepted into the Allies For Community Business Neighborhood Entrepreneurship Lab, receiving the African American Arts Alliance Black Excellence award for “Dance Company”, support from the Princess Grace USA foundation for Crystal Michelle Perkins work “Lit-Anies”, receiving the Chicago DCASE Foster Innovation award, and increasing its budget by 212%.

During the 5th anniversary season, SCDT’s Resident Choreographer Kia S. Smith was also honored with a 3Arts Make A Wave Award, a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Award in support of “Memoirs of Jazz in the Alley”, a residency with the Cliff Dwellers and is also a Choreographic Fellow at the renowned Jacob’s Pillow.