Greetings from the South!

Between his busy tour schedule of performances and teaching workshops, LINES dancer Babatunji Johnson shares his experiences from the road. Read on and check out behind-the-scenes video clips of two youth master classes that he taught.

For more details of our tour visit our website.

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Photo by Jason Thrasher of Babatunji Johnson and Maya Harr in Athens, GA

LINES Dancer, Babatunji on Touring

So far I have been enjoying this tour very much. The venues have been packed and the crowds have been energized. I feel like we have been able to touch many people. So far we have gone to Atlanta and Athens Georgia, Germantown, Tennessee, and now as I am writing this we are in Danville, Kentucky. There is so much history here you can practically breathe it in the air or feel it brush against your skin – it is THICK!

Southern hospitality is REAL!

People here are so kind – their drawls are so THICK! I don’t think there is anywhere that I have traveled to on earth where on a daily basis I have full-on conversations with not one, but at least three complete strangers. On a daily basis. It’s so cool!

LINES Ballet family meal in Nashville, TN – the soul food is a hit! (Photo by Cody Chen)

History & MLK Day

I had the pleasure of going to see Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s house in Atlanta as well as the chapel where he preached. It was surreal.

I had the chance to be in Athens during their first ever MLK day parade, and recently performed just outside of Memphis where he was assassinated.

I also got a bit of a history lesson from our van driver who was working on the dispatch lines at the time of his death when the distress calls were made. The history is THICK!

Connecting with Local Dance Communities

I got to connect with the local dancers in Athens, GA and teach workshops on two different occasions. I am falling in love with teaching and it feels so good to give back in this way. On this tour, the company for the first-time ever has allowed me to teach not just 2 workshops but a total of 5! Super stoked!

James Gowan and Babatunji Johnson led a master class for the Kentucky School for the Deaf (photos by Steve Hoffman):

My family

I also was fortunate enough to meet my auntie who I hadn’t seen since I was probably 6 years old and many of my cousins who I had never met!

Needless to say, I have been enjoying myself! I can’t wait for whatever is next to come.

Until next time, much love!

– Babatunji Johnson

Written by Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Alonzo King LINES Ballet is comprised of an internationally renowned contemporary ballet company, three education programs that serve pre-professional dancers, and a dance center that provides adult drop-in classes for all levels. The LINES Ballet mission is to nurture dynamic artistry and the development of authentic creative expression in dance, through collaboration, performance, and education.

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