COVID-19 Dance Worker Narratives Project

In response to the historic Covid-19 pandemic and nationwide Black Lives Matter protests, from May 2020 to December 2021, the Jerome Robbins Dance Division’s Oral History Project gathered 58 peer-to-peer interviews from across dance communities in NYC and nationally.

Screenshots of various participants in the Covid-19 Dance Worker Narrative Project
Participant Screenshots, COVID-19 Dance Worker Narratives Project 2020-2021

The collection documents the unique experience of dance artists and workers during and after their experiences of the nationwide pandemic lockdowns and racial justice protests. This participatory project also gave opportunities for members of the dance community to connect with one another at a time when social limitations on physical gatherings kept people apart. 

Interviews ranged in length and topic, but were loosely organized around the following questions:

  • Can you briefly describe your dance practice and career path?

  • Describe the moment(s) when Covid-19 first came into your awareness

  • What were the first few months of the pandemic like for you? How did that change over the course of the year?

  • What has your relationship to dance and/or others in the dance community been like during this time?

  • How did the Black Lives Matter protests influence you as a dance artist or dance worker?

These interviews are currently being processed as of 2023 and will be made publicly accessible on the Library’s online streaming platform:  Digital CollectionsUntil then, special access to individual interviews can be made by appointment. 

For questions about the project, contact