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Living a Spectrum of the Black Experience: My Ongoing Response to a History I Did Not Know

Monday, June 6, 2022

A tap dance artist/advocate, educator and mother, Lisa La Touche grew up in Alberta as a bi-racial woman of color without any awareness of local Black cultural history. At a young age, she found her passion and sense of belonging in dance and her focus became the African American art form, tap dance. Committed to learning her craft, she quickly found a connection to Black history in America. This led her to living and thriving in Harlem as well as the chance to dance on Broadway.

When Lisa returned in 2020 to her hometown of Calgary, she was unprepared for the Black cultural isolation she witnessed and the reverse culture shock she experienced. This sent her on a mission to meet local Black elders and unearth histories that unlocked a much-needed sense of purpose and belonging.

In her presentation, Lisa will share stories of her ongoing journey of discovering the history she did not know. She will also present her short film about local Black heroes in the arts. Her journey and the film speak to the hopes she has of living in a truly inclusive world filled with its authentic beauty.

Bio: Lisa La Touche is the recipient of the Fred Astaire Award and the Actor’s Equity Award for Outstanding Broadway Chorus. An original cast member in Broadway’s Shuffle Along, a member of the touring Savion Glover production, Stepz, and performer with both New York's Off-Broadway and the North American touring casts of STOMP, since 2010 she has run her own performance company Tap Phonics. She is also an educator and professor who has taught for PACE University, NYU, The School of Jacob’s Pillow, University of Calgary, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Rosie’s Theater Kids and the American Tap Dance Foundation. With Travis Knights, she is co-curator of Dance Immersion's Tap Dance Legacy Series providing the local black community free access to their cultural history. Her debut film TRAX provides a personal perspective on her journey back to Alberta and her ongoing discovery of important local black history. For more information, please visit

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