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Celebrating Black History Now: Alicia Graf Mack - Dancer, First Black Dean & Juilliard

Celebrating Black History Now: Alicia Graf Mack - Dancer, First Black Dean & Juilliard

King Louie
02/01/2024 09:30 AM EST

All month long, HOT 97 along with our sister station WBLS will be celebrating young professionals that are making Black History today.

Alicia Graf Mack is the First Black Dean & Director of Juilliard. Born in San Jose, California, she moved to Harlem at 17-years-old after being hired by founder Arthur Mitchell to join the Dance Theatre of Harlem as a professional ballarina.

She eventually used the knowledge passed on to her by her mentor to later join one of her dream companies in the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. It was very important to her to continue her career and have a sense of belonging and express her art with a mission to "showcase the brilliance of black people and black culture."

In 2018, she became the first woman of color and the youngest person to hold her position at Juilliard. Success in the dance world runs in the family.

Her younger sister, Daisha Graf has worked with Rihanna, Beyoncé, TLC, and more. She has also worked on films such as Ghostbusters, Annie, Step Up 2, & 3-D, VH1's The Breaks and more!

The sisters created the DnA Arts Collective in which they host workshops, masterclasses, and more!

Mack also uses her voice and impact to celebrate dancers and choreographers with the Moving Moments podcast, "We need to keep their legacies alive by sharing their stories, and continuing their legacy forward." 

"Part of my vision and mission is to shift the atmosphere. I hope to be the person that makes the soil rich [for the students."

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